Holding prescription medicals. Female doctor in white coat is in the hall

Is Rapamycin A Longevity Miracle Drug? Benefits and Effects

Reviewed by Dr. Richard Baxter

Rapamycin has emerged as a new contender in the quest for longevity.The news has been buzzing about Rapamycin, as a potential “miracle drug,”. It’s been gaining attention for its promising impact on aging and healthspan. So. after talking to the experts, we share Rapamycin’s top benefits ,side effects and research.

Let’s dive into the ongoing debate surrounding its status as a revolutionary breakthrough in longevity science. Rapamycin, also known as sirolimus, is a drug with immunosuppressive and antiproliferative properties

Researchers like Dr. Zev Williams and Dr. Jonathan An are pioneering Rapamycin’s potential to slow aging. Dr. Williams leads the VIBRANT trial at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia studding the benefit of slowing down menopause in women.

“Imagine a world where we can not only live longer but also maintain our health and vitality well into our later years. Rapamycin might just be the game-changer we’ve been looking for. With ongoing research, we could be on the brink of a new era in health and aging.”

Dr. An at University Of Washington Medicine is FDA-approved for the first study on Rapamycin’s effects on aging adults with periodontal disease at UW Department of Oral Health Sciences.

I asked Longevity specialist Dr. Baxter about it and was impressed what I learned. I am sharing it here.

Aging women- longevity drugs may slow the aging process

What Is Rapamycin?

The drug rapamycin, was initially discovered in soil samples from Easter Island. It is scientifically known as Rapa Nui, has been making waves in the field of age-related diseases. In the 1970s researchers from Ayerst Pharmaceuticals found that Rapamycin’s immunosuppressive effects, were later linked to the mTOR pathway in the early 1990s.

Rapamycin has been tested on animals like mice and flies, and guess what? It makes them live way longer! In some mice, it even added 14% to their lifespan. That’s like adding 10 extra years to a 70-year-old person. Crazy, right?

The information provided in this article about rapamycin is intended for general informational purposes only. I am not a medical professional, and the content should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of your physician or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment options.

Top Benefits Of Rapamycin As A Longevity Drug

The reason Rapamycin is known as a longevity drug is because it shows great potential to help people live longer lives. This aging and healthspan drug is getting lots of attention by researchers lately.

Rapamycin has proven to have many beneficial effects on aging in mice; ongoing research is finding that rapamycin may have these positive effects in humans as well. Studies have shown that, in humans, rapamycin can:

1. Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease:

Rapamycin shows promise in slowing Alzheimer’s disease progression, particularly linked to seizures.

selective focus of senior woman with alzheimers disease string human finger reminder touching
selective focus of senior woman with alzheimers disease string human finger reminder touching

2. mTOR Regulation:

Rapamycin impacts mTOR (mTOR stands for mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin) a crucial cellular process for growth and metabolism. Dysregulation of mTOR is associated with aging-related health issues, which Rapamycin can correct.

3. Help Skin Rejuvenation:

Rapamycin cream has been found to rejuvenate the skin. Research shows significant improvements in skin aging at molecular and clinical levels. Rapamycin is known as a longevity drug and is taken orally and will be used more and more in skincare products.

a WOMEN with cancer that has a scarf around her head.

4. Slow Cancer Growth

Rapamycin’s inhibition of mTOR has implications in medical fields such as cancer therapy, organ transplantation, and anti-aging potential.

Rapamycin can slow cancer cell growth and is used alongside other treatments for tumor management. Rapamycin is often used in combination with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. Combining Rapamycin with other drugs can enhance its anti-cancer effects and improve treatment outcomes.

Young woman with flying long hair celebrating life. Longer life span is possible.
Healthier- longer life may be more possible than ever

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers are keen on investigating the potential of rapamycin in cancer prevention and anti-aging. Mikhail Blagosklonny, who studies rapamycin at Roswell Park, says this drug can directly target pre-cancerous cells and stop them from becoming cancerous. 

He highlights that in many experiments with mice, rapamycin effectively prevents cancer.

5. Help With Organ Transplantation:

One of the biggest benefits of Rapamycin is that it’s been approved for preventing organ rejection after transplantation, demonstrating its safety for human use. By suppressing the immune response, rapamycin helps reduce the risk of acute rejection episodes following organ transplantation. This is crucial for ensuring the long-term success of the transplant and the health of the recipient.

6. Assists With Overall Anti-Aging And Longevity:

While not officially prescribed as a longevity drug, some individuals take Rapamycin independently and report improved well-being.

Overall, while rapamycin holds promise as an anti-aging intervention, more research is needed to fully understand its effects, risks, and potential benefits in humans. Collaborative efforts between researchers, clinicians, and regulatory bodies will be crucial in advancing our knowledge in this area.

7. Cognitive Support:

Rapamycin protects the brain in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.This is of the biggest benefits of Rapamycin. It does this by enhancing processes like autophagy, which removes harmful cells and proteins. It also improves brain signals, cognition, memory, and learning.

Rapamycin is among the few promising options for aging and longevity. In fact, there are currently no drugs approved solely for this purpose. However, more research is needed to establish its long-term safety and optimal dosage.

“[Rapamycin] is the most robust and reproducible drug that we know about today for impacting not only longevity, but to the extent that we can measure various metrics of healthspan in complex animals, rapamycin also seems to positively impact pretty much every aspect of health span that we measure.

—Matt Kaeberlein

Overall, Rapamycin is considered a crucial medicine by many for promoting longer, healthier lives.This longevity drug has ongoing research that so it’s essential to fully understand its benefits and risks.

Rapamycin drug for anti-aging

How Does Rapamycin Work As A Longevity Drug?

Rapamycin works by stopping a protein called mTOR (short for mammalian target of rapamycin). This protein normally tells cells to grow, make new proteins, and multiply. Rapamycin targets one part of mTOR called mTORC1.

When mTORC1 is blocked by rapamycin, cells make fewer new proteins, grow more slowly, and don’t multiply as much. This is really helpful in treating cancer because it slows down the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Calms Down Inflammation & Weakens The Immune System

Wait? It slows down the immune system you ask?

Rapamycin also has other effects. It can calm down inflammation and weaken the immune system a bit if taken in large doses. This can be useful for treating diseases where the immune system attacks the body (like in autoimmune diseases) and for helping people who’ve had organ transplants by preventing their bodies from rejecting the new organ.

As Longevity specialist Dr. Richard Baxter points out, Rapamycin suppresses cellular senescence by promoting a process called autophagy (literally “self-eating”). The discovery of autophagy, which is such a crucial component of cell function, earned Yoshinori Ohsumi the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 2016.  This is exciting new that Rapamycin could be a key drug for longevity.

Rapamycin is a longevity drug that stops a protein group called mTOR from working. mTOR is like a boss inside cells that helps them grow and do their jobs. When rapamycin blocks TOR, cells can’t grow or divide as much.

Research Studies On Rapamycin- Slowing Down How Cells Age

Scientists suggest rapamycin might help people live longer by slowing down how cells age. It does this by stopping mTOR from working too hard.  So, rapamaycin’s job is to block mTOR and slow down different things cells do. For example, growing, working with the immune system, and aging.

Dr. Baxter explains that in experimental studies, they have shown that rapamycin extends the lifespan of mice, even when they start the treatment of late in life. Research Studies on Rapamycin are gearing up everywhere.

Rapamycin is the only known pharmacological treatment that increases lifespan in all model organisms studied. Conversely, aberrant TOR signaling is linked to a variety of diseases, ranging from epilepsy to cancer. For this reason, rapamycin derivatives (rapalogs) may find a path to approval as disease therapies, but with potential use in anti-aging. “

The Low Cost Little Pill

According to a Washington Post review, over twenty-four medical practices prescribe rapamycin for anti-aging purposes.

The cost variation is substantial, but some online providers offer a standard dosage for around $10 per week or even cheaper. Alan Green, a doctor from Little Neck, New York, has treated nearly 1,500 patients with rapamycin since 2017 and regards it as “the most pivotal drug in medical history.”

Rapamycin Side Effects

As research studies on Rapamycin continue, the common side effects (adverse side effects) of rapamycin (sirolimus) are taken into consideration. Side effects of Rapamycin as shown below.

Mild Side Effects Of Rapamycin:

  • Mouth sores or inflammation
  • Weakened immune system
  • Anemia and fatigue
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Elevated cholesterol or lipid levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Headaches

Serious Side Effects Of Rapamycin:

  • Blood clots
  • Stroke or pulmonary embolism
  • Blood clotting problems
  • Canker sores

The search results highlight that while most side effects are mild, some can be significant or life-threatening

Rapamycin is also known to cause metabolic defects like hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance. The good news is that these effects appear to be reversible upon stopping the drug. If taken with another drug like Metformin, Rapamycin is a promising drug for longevity.

Intermittent Dosing:

When the drug administration on an intermittent level  (e.g. every other week) in mice can partially reduce some adverse effects like glucose intolerance while still effectively extending lifespan, especially in females. I find it facinating that even lower doses have a big impact on health.

Short-Term Treatment:

  • Remarkably, just 3 months of rapamycin treatment in early adulthood was sufficient to increase post-treatment life expectancy in mice.
  • This transient rapamycin regimen avoided typical side effects seen with chronic use like elevated cancer risk

How To Get A Rapamycin Prescription

Getting rapamycin or a prescription for it has become easier in the past year. Here, we regularly update detailed information about doctors who prescribe rapamycin and pharmacies where you can buy it.

It’s worth noting that health insurance usually doesn’t cover rapamycin for anti-aging purposes. Research indicates that taking it weekly for many years might offer full longevity benefits. Therefore, people are searching for affordable prices. Below, we share links to the best options users have discovered.

The mTOR Inhibitor

The mTOR pathway plays an important role in cell growth and the aging process. When mTOR is inhibited by drugs like rapamycin, cell growth slows down. This leads to potential benefits against age-related decline and diseases.

What Is A mTOR Inhibitor?

An mTOR inhibitor is a type of medicine that blocks a protein called mTOR in cells. This protein helps control how cells grow and survive. By blocking mTOR, these medications can slow down cell growth and have different effects, like helping after organ transplants or possibly slowing down aging (though that’s still being studied).

One example of an mTOR inhibitor is Rapamycin, which researchers are looking at for its possible anti-aging effects and other medical uses.

mTOR Pathway

The mTOR pathway is like a cell’s instruction manual for growth and function. It’s controlled by a protein called mTOR. When mTOR gets a signal, it tells the cell to grow and do its job. But if mTOR is stopped, it can slow down cell growth and other processes, which could be helpful for things like aging or health issues.

This pathway also plays a causal role in insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

This pathway controls how our cells grow and do their jobs. By changing this pathway, rapamycin helps our cells stay healthy and get rid of yucky stuff inside them. Rapamycin also seems to be good at fighting cancer. This is great news because cancer is a really scary disease that can make people sick. 

The mechanism of action of rapamycin lies in its ability to inhibit the mTOR pathway, a crucial regulator of cell growth and metabolism. By targeting this pathway, rapamycin has shown beneficial effects in cancer therapy, as well as in slowing down the aging process and age-related decline in various organ systems.

Health care researchers working in life science laboratory, medical science technology research
Health care researchers working in life science laboratory, medical science technology research

The Latest Studies On Rapamycin

The latest studies on rapamycin for longevity have been published in high-profile journals like Nature Aging and The Lancet Healthy Longevity. Studies in mice and rats showed that Rapamycin extended their lifespans, prompting interest in its potential benefits for humans.

The key findings: A study in Nature Aging by researchers at the Max Planck Institute found that giving rapamycin to young adult fruit flies for just 2 weeks extended their lifespan. 

Early Treatment Of Rapamycin Results In Long-term Benefits

This was due to the drug causing long-lasting changes in the cells of the fly intestine that persisted even after treatment stopped.

In mice, 3 months of rapamycin starting in early adulthood improved gut barrier integrity in middle age, with benefits still seen 6 months after treatment ended. 

This suggests rapamycin may have long-lasting anti-aging effects if given at the right time.A systematic review in The Lancet Healthy Longevity analyzed 19 human studies on rapamycin and its derivatives. The study showed some positive effects on the immune, cardiovascular, and skin systems, but the overall results were inconclusive. 

Rapamycin did not significantly improve brain function, muscle strength, or glucose metabolism in healthy older adults. The review authors noted the need for more research on rapamycin’s effects on the respiratory, digestive, kidney, and reproductive systems, as well as long-term safety data.

The optimal dosing regimen for longevity also remains unclear, with some participants taking high doses of 20 mg/week.

More Studies and Clinical Trials

In summary, while rapamycin has extended lifespan in animal models, its effects in humans are still being determined. Studies of Rapamycin look promising.

Ongoing clinical trials will provide more definitive answers on Rapamycin’s potential as an anti-aging therapy. But for now, its use for longevity remains experimental.

If rapamycin can stop cancer, it might help people live longer and healthier lives.But here’s the thing – rapamycin isn’t perfect. If you take too much of it, it can cause some not-so-fun side effects, like making your immune system weaker.

This is especially bad for people who have had organ transplants because they need powerful medicines to keep their bodies from rejecting the new organ.Scientists are working hard to figure out the best way to use rapamycin. 

They’re trying different doses and seeing if taking it for a short time is better than taking it every day. They’re also making new versions of rapamycin that might work even better and have fewer side effects.So, while rapamycin is super exciting and might help us live longer someday, we still have a lot to learn.

For now, the best things we can do to stay healthy and live long are to eat yummy fruits and veggies, exercise, and get lots of sleep. And don’t forget to brush your teeth and be kind to others – those things are important for a happy life too!

The Dog Aging Project- helping dogs live longer lives

The Dog Aging Project- Rapamycin Extends Dog Lives

I was interested to learn that middle-aged dogs have been tested with rapamycin. Dr. Baxter tells me that The Dog Aging Project is a research initiative led by Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, a scientist who studies aging. This project aims to understand why dog’s age and how we can help them live longer, healthier lives. I signed up my pup! Yes, I did! The longer Ranger lives, the happier our family will be.

Dogs are great for this research because they share many similarities with humans in how they age. The project collects information and samples from thousands of pet dogs across the United States. They look at things like the dogs’ genetics, lifestyle, and health.

By studying these dogs, researchers hope to discover new ways to improve not just dogs’ lives, but also our understanding of aging. New treatments or strategies could emerge to promote better health in both dogs and humans as they age.

Final Thoughts:

Rapamycin and mTOR inhibitors have shown promise in extending lifespan and improving healthspan in various model organisms, including mice and yeast. However, extrapolating these findings to humans requires careful consideration due to the complexities of aging and the potential side effects of rapamycin.

Long-term studies in humans are indeed needed to fully understand the risks and benefits of rapamycin as an anti-aging intervention. These studies should explore not only the effects on lifespan but also on quality of life, potential adverse effects, optimal dosing regimens, and interactions with other drugs or treatments.

Until more data is available, it’s essential for researchers and healthcare providers to approach rapamycin and similar interventions cautiously, weighing potential benefits against potential risks and considering individual factors such as age, health status, and genetic background.

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