Sodium-glucose cotransporter inhibitor/inhibition (SGLTi), initially approved as a glucose-lowering therapy for type 2 diabetes, is associated with decreased risks for many of the most common conditions of aging, including heart failure, chronic kidney disease, all-cause hospitalization, atrial fibrillation, cancer, gout, emphysema, neurodegenerative disease/dementia, emphysema, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, atherosclerotic disease, and infections. Studies also show that SGLTi improves overall life expectancy and reduces risks of cardiovascular death and cancer death. These wide-ranging health benefits are largely unexplained by the SGLTi’s modest improvements in standard risk factors. SGLTi produces upregulation of nutrient deprivation signaling and downregulation of nutrient surplus signaling. This in turn promotes autophagy, which helps to optimize cellular integrity and prevent apoptotic cell death. SGLTi decreases oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress, restores of mitochondrial health, stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, and diminishes proinflammatory and profibrotic pathways. These actions help to revitalize senescent cells, tissues, and organs. In summary, SGLTi appears to slow aging, prevent disease, and improve life expectancy, and its mechanisms of action lend strong biological plausibility to this hypothesis. Further randomized trials are warranted to test whether SGLTi, a safe and well-tolerated, once-daily pill, might improve healthspan and lifespan.
It raises an interesting question about whether SGLTi should/could be cycled in a similar manner to Rapamycin.