Rapamycin – the most promising life extension drug?

New book explores rapamycin, mTOR, autophagy and treating mTOR Syndrome to understand cellular biochemistry, health – and the aging process.

Pharmacist and certified clinical nutritionist Ross Pelton, PhD, has over 30 years of research and scientific experience, is the author of ten books on a variety of health topics, and is the man behind the Natural Pharmacist website. Pelton has a passion for educating people about their health and life extension, and that has inspired him to write a book about what he calls “one of the most important health topics of all time” – rapamycin.

Longevity.Technology: While rapamycin has been shown to have antiaging properties in various studies, further research is ongoing into the using the drug for that purpose in humans. However, rapamycin is already often cited as the most effective antiaging drug currently available, and the world is catching on – with Google searches up by 900% last year [1]. When we discovered a comprehensive new book on rapamycin had been published, we wanted to get our hands on a copy and find out more from the author himself.

Originally isolated from bacteria found on Easter Island, rapamycin was developed as an immunosuppressing drug for organ transplant patients. However, a couple of decades ago it gained a whole new lease of life (sorry) as an antiaging drug when researchers discovered it significantly extend the lifespan of C elegans, flies and mice. A study published in the journal Aging Cell demonstrated that rapamycin was found to extend the lifespan of mice by up to 9% and to improve their healthspan [2].

Rapamycin works by inhibiting the protein mTOR (or, to give it its catchy full name, mammalian target of rapamycin or mechanistic target of rapamycin, depending who you are talking to). Activated by nutrients, growth factors, and energy levels, mTor plays a key role in the regulation cell growth and proliferation, and it controls the balance between cell growth and cell death. By blocking mTOR, rapamycin can help to slow down the aging process, thereby reducing the risk of age-related diseases.

Calorie restriction has been shown to increase lifespan and improve healthspan in various organisms, including mammals. While, the underlying mechanisms of calorie restriction are not completely understood, it is thought to involve the inhibition of mTOR.

Because it also targets the mTOR pathway, rapamycin is thought to mimic calorie restriction; calorie restriction has been found to increase the process of autophagy, the body’s way of removing damaged cells and recycling their components, and rapamycin also increases autophagy by inhibiting mTOR, helping to maintain cellular homeostasis, as well as reducing inflammation and oxidative stress [3].

Ross Pelton’s book, Rapamycin, mTOR, Autophagy & Treating mTOR Syndrome discusses the discovery and history of rapamycin and the animal and human studies that document its effectiveness as a life extension drug.

Pelton describes his book as a “revolutionary new understanding of cellular biochemistry, health and the aging process.”

“mTOR and autophagy are scientific/medical discoveries of historic proportions,” he says. “These cellular mechanisms regulate the health and the aging process of every living organism, especially humans. The purpose of my book is to explain mTOR and autophagy, the counterbalancing relationship between them, and how rapamycin can help correct an imbalance in the mTOR/autophagy ratio. I hope my book will help improve people’s health, delay the onset of age-related diseases, and extend the lifespan and healthspan of most people alive today.”

We are delighted to bring you a few extracts from Pelton’s new book – you can order your own copy HERE.

Rapamycin, mTOR, Autophagy & Treating mTOR Syndrome on…

The deadly effect of mTOR Syndrome

The over-expression of mTOR increases the risk for cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and dementia. In fact, studies in animal models suggest that the constant over-expression of mTOR is associated with accelerated onset of virtually all age-related diseases. mTOR Syndrome is likely a key factor related to the epidemic of chronic diseases that seem to be increasing in most countries throughout the world.

This explains the importance of intermittent fasting, time restricted eating and taking rapamycin, all of which partially inhibit mTOR and promote autophagy.

Conserved traits

In biology, a conserved trait refers to a gene, or genes, that code for a cellular function that has existed unchanged over long periods of time. Essentially, conserved traits are genetic instructions for functions that are fundamentally important for the health and survival of an organism or species.

Autophagy and mTOR are conserved traits. The genes that regulate these functions are known to have been present in the first single cell organisms approximately 3.5 billion years ago. These functions have been regulating the health and longevity of cells and organisms since the beginning of life on earth.

So, the mTOR/autophagy “system” has been a fundamental process that regulates the health and life of every cell since life started to evolve on earth. Yet, we humans are just learning about this critical mechanism, which is a fundamental Rule of Health that regulates health and our aging process.

The good news is that this is actionable, it is something we can regulate and control to improve our health and longevity. Most people suffer from some degree of mTOR Syndrome. Rapamycin can help rebalance your mTOR/autophagy system.

The importance of timing

Health problems such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes are major problems. However, the primary way that people try to correct these problems is by either eating less (how much they eat) and/or changing their diets (what they eat). The importance of the timing of when people eat has largely been neglected in the thinking of most people.

For most of mankind’s evolution, people did not eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, interspersed with between-meal and bedtime snacks … this topic is critical to understanding long-term health, and why rapamycin works so well. Our ancestors, who ate 1 or 2 meals a day, only spent about 4 hours consuming food daily. Many people today are eating from 7 AM until 9 PM, which means they are consuming calories 14-hours per day compared to our ancestors who consumed calories 4-hours/day. Consequently, mTOR is activated for much longer each day and the critical process of autophagy doesn’t seldom gets activated, which has devastating health consequences.

Research into rapamycin’s mechanisms of action have elucidated the importance of autophagy, and its relative absence in the lives of most people.

Calorie restriction and intermittent fasting are very important, but most people won’t adhere to these protocols. This is what rapamycin does for you; by mimicking calorie restriction, it initiates autophagy without you having to engage in calorie restriction or fasting. In the future, I hope someone conducts a rapamycin study comparing people who eat 3 meals a day vs people who are engaged in intermittent fasting. I’d bet that combining rapamycin with intermittent fasting will increase the positive results.

[1] https://www.rapamycin.news/t/rapamycin-searches-on-google-up-900-this-year/874
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19587680/
[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18006683/

Images courtesy of Ross Pelton, PhD