The plant-based compound found in capers, olives, buckwheat, asparagus, and raspberries works by positively impacting liver health(fizkes | iStock)
· Sodium rutin treatment extended the life and healthspan of mice.
· The present findings suggest sodium rutin is a promising candidate for clinical application in age-related diseases.
Since aging is linked to progressive dysregulation of our metabolism, the maintenance of metabolic health may lead to anti-aging effects. Lifespan-extending strategies, such as dietary restriction and rapamycin treatment, have been reported to improve liver metabolism, indicating that liver health plays an important role in the anti-aging process.
Li and colleagues from the Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences show that sodium rutin — a salt version of a natural flavonoid compound that is widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom, especially in vegetables and fruits — significantly extended the lifespan and healthspan of mice by maintaining liver health. Continuous sodium rutin supplementation in drinking water significantly extended the lifespan in mice by roughly 10%, improved physical performance, and delayed aging characteristics. The present findings render sodium rutin a promising candidate for clinical application in aging-related diseases.
Rutin — found in capers, olives, buckwheat, asparagus, and raspberries — has attracted attention over the past decades due to its multiple functions, including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-diabetic, neuroprotective, and cardiovascular-protective effects. A recent study has shown that rutin is a metabolic modulator that ameliorates obesity in mice through brown fat activation. But the poor solubility of rutin in aqueous media hampers the thorough investigation of its biological mechanisms and its clinical application.
To investigate the long-term effect of sodium rutin treatment on male mice, Li and colleagues added sodium rutin to drinking water (0.2 mg/mL). Mice had free access to sodium rutin supplemented water from 32 weeks of age to end of life. The research team found that the lifespan of sodium rutin-treated mice was significantly higher than that of untreated mice. The mean lifespan was increased by approximately 79 days in the sodium rutin-supplemented group and the maximum lifespan was increased by aging-related approximately 3 months.
More importantly, sodium rutin increased the health span by significantly delaying aging-related changes, such as balding and skin aging. Sodium rutin also improved the performance of aging mice in several behavioral and physical exams, such as tests of spatial memory and balance.
Li and colleagues looked into how sodium rutin was affecting the aging of cells and tissues. In 2-year old mice, sodium rutin treatment markedly reduced the accumulation of fat in the liver. They also detected a lower level of liver cell replicative arrest (senescence), reduced fibrosis in the heart, kidney scarring (glomerulosclerosis), and atrophy in the skeleton muscle in sodium rutin-treated mice. These results suggest that dietary supplementation with sodium rutin extends the lifespan, improves fitness, and effectively alleviates a range of aging-associated pathologies in mice.
Furthermore, a whole-body investigation of metabolism and gene activity revealed that sodium rutin treatment promoted liver fitness by modulating lipid metabolism. The research team from the Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences also demonstrated that the protective effect of sodium rutin on the liver was achieved by enhancing autophagy — the cell’s recycling process critical to metabolism and health — of liver cells.
“Our study strongly implicates that sodium rutin is a promising drug candidate for targeting aging,” proposed Li and colleagues. “We suggest that sodium rutin could be used in anti-aging therapy and for the treatment of aging-associated diseases.”