Molecules With Pre-Clinical Evidence of Targeting Aging in Multi-species Models for Consideration in Companion Animal Medicine

Heather Oxford, DVM, MPH


Issue: Volume 75 Summer 2025

Online Publication Date: 13 June 2024


Aging is the most significant risk factor for chronic disease in humans and animals. There are hallmarks of aging which are characteristics that manifest normally during aging and that can be experimentally aggravated and ameliorated. Although age is not formally recognized as a disease by the FDA or the National Institute on Aging, identifying these hallmarks of characteristic molecular, cellular, and organismal functions and causes of aging allows for the consideration of aging as a disease process. This enables practitioners to more precisely treat and prevent specific aspects of aging as done with traditional disease. Anti-aging research has progressed at an exponential rate in the past 2 decades, providing insights to targets within each of these hallmarks that can allow intervention via lifestyle modifications, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceutical agents. The nutraceutical and pharmaceutical compounds selected for this review have shown the potential to either delay or prevent onset of aging-related morbidity or mortality in multiple laboratory species, with evidence for safety in the relatively few published pharmacokinetic and toxicity trials in companion animals. For clinical inclusion of such interventions into companion animal medicine, more well-designed studies and the development of monitoring protocols to measure healthspan index would be helpful to adequately assess efficacy of such interventions.