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Rapamyacin, Anti-Aging Magic Pill or Hoax?

The United Nations estimates a global life expectancy of 72.9 years as of 2019. Compare to 1900, the global average life expectancy has more than doubled. But with a longer life, comes incidences of age-related and chronic diseases.

In my previous blog I reviewed the process of senescence or “aging” in your body: what happens at a cellular level, as you grow older. I reviewed what causes more “wear and tear” of your body and how that attributes to chronic illness. I even provide guidance on how to naturally increase “autophagy” a process within your body where the cell breaks down and destroys old, damaged, and abnormal cells. The process of autophagy (or your body’s way of recycling bad cells) is something you need to increase in order to live longer and age well.

Most of the ways to increase autophagy include lifestyle changes. And thus, not appealing to the masses. Researchers are constantly looking for pharmaceutical interventions to help age-related decline.

Recently there has been significant content published on a particular pharmaceutical intervention using an already FDA-approved drug called Rapamycin. Originally approved in 1999 as an immunosuppressant for transplant patients, much animal and laboratory research supports evidence that Rapamycin slows down the aging process, at a cellular level.

Critics of Rapamycin as a potential anti-aging drug say that it has been shown to have some powerful side effects, especially when given on a daily basis. Rapamycin at the immunosuppressive dosing schedule used in transplant patients can cause canker sores, cataracts, high blood pressure, anemia, and diabetes. Rapamycin may also raise the risks of infection, bleeding, and certain types of cancers, such as skin cancer.

I have decided to review the most popular content on the Internet today regarding Rapamycin for anti-aging purposes and give my honest feedback.

Content 1: Health News Article

This article gives a good overview of the history of Rapamycin and reviews the risks associated with the drug. However, I need to point out that these are the risks of Rapamycin of kidney transplant patients who were taking a much more frequent dose. This article does not mention specifically any documented side effects of individuals who were taking rapamycin for anti-aging purposes.

Also, it is noted, “Scientists who study aging say that taking a weekly rather than a daily dose can improve immune response and won’t contribute to serious side effects.”

Dr. Mannick did a study on humans where she gave elderly participants Rapamycin and then gave them a 2012 seasonal influenza vaccine. The participants who had Rapamycin in their system were found to have a more robust immune response than those who were given the placebo. These elderly individuals suffered from “inflammaging”, low-level chronic inflammation seen in old age, which can impair immune response. Rapamycin helps focus the immune response to be more productive, thus these elderly patients had a more youthful antibody response and were able to better fight off influenza when introduced to their system.

Content 2: Tim Ferris Show: #610: The Life-Extension Episode — Dr. Matt Kaeberlein on The Dog Aging Project, Rapamycin, Metformin, Spermidine, NAD+ Precursors, Urolithin A, Acarbose, and Much More


Transcript on Tim’s Blog

Tim Ferris may be the most notable bio-hacker, as he has hundreds of pages of written content and hours of podcasts describing his carefully researched methods. Tim Ferris has one of the most popular podcasts on the Internet with over 900 million downloads. He invited on his podcast Dr. Matt Kaeberlein the founding Director of the UW Healthy Aging and Longevity Research and a previous Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington. This was a great podcast to listen to and these were the most important takeaways from the conversation.

Dr. Kaeberlien says “Rapamycin and caloric restriction is the most potent health-spanning interventions we have now to push declines and disease functions” and I definitely agree with him.

Another takeaway from this conversation was when Dr. Kaeberlien said “There is a risk of doing NOTHING to maintain our health as we get older.”

We all need to perform proper exercise, eat a proper diet, and get enough sleep. Father time never stops ticking and the older you get, the more careful and proactive you must be to maintain your health, and using properly dosed Rapamycin can be very helpful for many people.

Content 3: Personal Accounts of Rapamycin Use for Anti-Aging.

I wanted to include 2 different personal journeys of Rapamycin use. The first is Dr. Matt Kaeberlein from the above content.

Dr. Kaeberlein discusses his own “self-experiment” to heal a shoulder injury using Rapamycin. He then reviews a small study of 330 people who are taking Rapamycin and feeling anti-aging effects.

This study is anecdotal results. But it is the largest study on Rapamycin and anti-aging available today.

One thing of note in this article is that Dr. Kaeberlein says that “for now, his favorite tried-and-true tips for aging well are still the ones you’ve heard many times before: eat a balanced diet, exercise, and sleep well.” And this I can whole-heartedly agree. Readers of my blog will know that this is my mantra, and I truly believe it.

The second article is a personal account from a guy “in the hopes of helping his body stay young”.

I think this individual’s journey is similar to many other people searching for and purchasing Rapamycin on the Internet. They read up on the medication, the science, and they want to reap Rapamycin’s anti-aging effects. They receive their delivery, take a small dose, wait, and see if they feel any different. Maybe they take a little more, as much as they are brave enough to take because they don’t really know how much is too much.

In my opinion, self-treatment with a powerful drug like Rapamycin is potentially dangerous. I recommend that you consult with an experienced medical professional to guide you through your journey with a safe and most importantly, personalized regimen for YOU.
Additionally, readers must understand that Rapamycin, by itself is not a magic pill. However, Rapamycin, in addition to proper diet, adequate sleep, healthy air quality, and metabolically directed nutrition can have a profound effect on your life span and the quality of your life (health span).

Rapamycin has been FDA approved for over 20 years and mounting evidence indicates that its proper use can reduce your chances of developing the diseases of aging like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and more. If you want to live a longer, healthier life less burdened by disease, you can contact me for a consultation.

But for now this story is to be continued…

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