This diabetes drug may help slow down blood vessel aging

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Aging brings with it a range of health challenges, and among the most significant are arterial stiffness and declining blood vessel function.

These changes can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, a leading cause of death among the elderly population.

While established methods like physical activity, antihypertensive therapy, and lipid-lowering drugs can address vascular aging, researchers are continually exploring new treatments to enhance vascular health in older adults.

A recent study published in GeroScience introduces a novel perspective on Empagliflozin (Empa), an FDA-approved drug primarily used to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes patients.

The study investigates the potential of Empa in countering the effects of vascular aging.

Comparative Analysis of Vascular Health

The initial phase of the study involved establishing a baseline by comparing the blood vessel function and stiffness in two groups: young adults (with an average age of 25) and older adults (with an average age of 61).

As expected, the older group displayed a significant decline in endothelial function and an increase in aortic stiffness, indicating typical vascular aging.

Empa’s Effects on Aged Mice

The study’s crucial phase centered on 72-week-old male mice. These mice were divided into two groups: one group received Empa-enriched food, while the other followed a standard diet.

After six weeks, the Empa-treated group exhibited notable improvements in blood vessel function, reduced arterial stiffness, and other vascular benefits compared to the control group.

Mechanism Behind Empa’s Effectiveness

Empa’s potential to combat vascular aging is rooted in its ability to inhibit sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2).

SGLT2 inhibitors function by preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing glucose into the bloodstream, thus assisting in reducing blood glucose levels. This study represents the first exploration of the role of SGLT2 inhibition in countering vascular aging.

The Path Ahead

While these findings are preliminary and derived from animal studies, they provide a foundation for more extensive clinical investigations into the potential of SGLT2 inhibition.

If these results can be replicated in human studies, it could revolutionize the approach to vascular health in the aging population, complementing existing therapeutic methods.

This research received funding from reputable institutions such as the National Institutes of Health and a VA Merit Grant, underscoring its significance.

Furthermore, with no reported conflicts of interest among the authors, these findings hold promise for future studies and potential therapeutic applications.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that eating more eggs is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and how to eat to reduce heart disease death risk if you have diabetes.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about high-protein diets linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and results showing Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by one-third.

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