In a study from the University of Missouri, scientists found an FDA-approved drug to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes also may decrease blood vessel dysfunction associated with aging.
In the study, researchers initially examined the role aging plays in human blood vessel function and stiffness.
Then they evaluated how treatment with the sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor empagliflozin (Empa) improved blood vessel function and reduced arterial stiffness in aged male mice.
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death in older adults in the U.S.
Weight loss, physical activity, antihypertensive therapy and lipid-lowering drugs have shown variable effectiveness at improving blood vessel function and reducing arterial stiffness.
The researchers compared blood vessel function and stiffness in 18 healthy human patients—the average age of 25—with 18 patients who averaged 61 years old.
They found the older patients had impaired endothelial function and increased aortic stiffness when compared to the younger patients.
The findings in young and older adults confirm previous clinical data demonstrating the impact of aging on blood vessel function and arterial stiffness.
In order to examine the effects of Empa on vascular aging, the team put 72-week-old male mice into two groups.
Twenty-nine were fed for six weeks with a diet enriched with Empa, while the other half were given standard food.
After analyzing both groups six weeks later, the researchers discovered the mice treated with Empa had better blood vessel function, reduced arterial stiffness and other vascular benefits.
This is the first study to examine the potential role of SGLT2 inhibition in reversing vascular aging.
The findings highlight the need for further clinical investigations to determine the potential role of SGLT2 inhibition as a way to delay or reverse vascular aging in humans.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about key cause of type 2 diabetes, and this eating habit could help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing ultrasound may help prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes.
The study was conducted by Camila Manrique-Acevedo et al and published in the journal GeroScience.
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