Physical performance is enhanced in old mice fed a short term diet medicated with rapamycin, acarbose, and phenylbutyrate
Loss of physical performance, as seen in humans by decreased grip strength and overall physical fitness, is generally accepted to be a consequence of aging. Treatments to delay or reduce these changes or increase resilience to them are generally not available. In this preliminary study, 20-month-old male and female C57BL/6 mice were given either a standard mouse diet or a formulated mouse diet containing rapamycin (14 ppm), acarbose (1000 ppm), and phenylbutyrate (1000 ppm), or a diet containing one half dose of each drug, for 3 months. At the end of the study, performance on a rotarod and grip strength test was compared. In general, mice fed the full dose drug cocktail diet performed better on these assays, with significant improvements in rotarod performance in females fed the full dose cocktail and in grip strength in males fed the full dose cocktail, and females fed the low dose cocktail. These observations provide support for the concept that short term treatment with a cocktail of drugs that targets multiple aging pathways can increase resilience to aging, and suggests that this prototype cocktail could be part of a clinical therapeutic strategy for delaying age-related loss of physical performance in people.
Keywords: Healthy aging, physical performance, aging processes, anti-aging drug cocktail, rapamycin, acarbose, phenylbutyrate, aging mice