Rapamycin - And Your Aging Plan

August 23, 2020 

Rapamycin is a macrolide antibiotic found at the base of giant stone moai on Easter Island, otherwise known as Rapa Nui. Hence the name, "Rapa"-mycin. It was thought to be promising as an antibiotic against yeast and was in the process of being developed for such when it was found to be a bit too toxic for comfort, and almost abandoned. It wasn't toxicity, it was potency!  Some of the scientists working on it squirreled it away and were determined to develop its secrets, as they just had a hunch it could do much, much more. So right they were.

Rapamycin appeared to have anti-proliferative and immunosuppressive effects, meriting further study. Just what was it doing?

mTOR is the "molecular target of rapamycin". Rapamycin forms a "gain-of-function" complex with a binding protein called (FKBP12), and this complex binds and specifically acts as an inhibitor mTOR. And mTOR inhibition is magic. Why? mTOR is basically a nutrient response pathway. It functions as a master regulator of cellular growth and metabolism in response to nutrient and hormonal cues.  

The core problem humans have today is that our environment has changed from what we were designed to live in. We have a metabolism that is used to prolonged periods of calorie shortage and designed to survive that by avidly saving calories in the brief interludes of excess, and then using them up cautiously. In a world of excess calories and sedentary behavior, our own biochemical systems go into meltdown. We get chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, dementia.

The TOR pathways have two complexes called TORc1 and TORc2. TOR-c1 recognizes extra amino acids and turns on growth. TOR-c2 appears to recognize extra insulin and insulin-like growth factors. Dietary restriction (fasting in one way or another) appears to inhibit TOR. And that makes you live longer. This process was first found in yeast, and if you watch the published literature, it is now climbing up the ladder of mammals to humans.

mTOR inhibition has already made it to humans by the use of rapamycin analogs on cardiac stents. When you put a stent into someone, you don't want the scar tissue around the healing process to go on too long, or you plug the stent up. Hence, stents have been coated with rapamycin for almost 20 years now. Nifty!

But what about taking on the whole concept? What would happen is we take rapamycin as an anti-aging strategy?

Well, that is the state of the art! Combine all the evidence-based literature you can find, and consider what it takes to treat aging as a disease. It's not "just natural". It's an illness of its own sort. Super agers, those folks who live looking and acting healthily into their late nineties and even 00's, look different than other humans. They aren't on any pills. They never got diabetes. Their mitochondria are still making peptides that communicate with your hypothalamus (next week - stay tuned). And rapamycin fits in that system by suppressing all the inflammation caused by too many calories. Combine the peptides that activate your mitochondrial based peptides, intermittent fasting, sufficient exercise, limit excess protein with rapamycin, and we are beginning to formulate a means by which we humans can add some 20 years to our "healthspan". Interested?

www: What will work for me? I'm interested. I do my monthly five-day calorie restriction. This is the last week of the month so I'm on it now. 800 calories for 5 days. And I'm planning a good bike ride this afternoon. But it's eyeing rapamycin that is on my radar now. I'm trying to learn just where it fits. It appears to me that taking one pill a week of rapamycin, in conjunction with Thymosin A, CJC/ipamorelin, and oral BPC peptides, with metformin, NAD+ might all be in the mix. Throw in some real attention to love and community, and survive this pandemic, and we might be ready for showtime.

References: Cell Metabolism, Nature, Biochem BioPhys Acta,

Pop Quiz

1. What is rapamycin? Answer: an antifungal antibiotic that targets the protein complexes that control your aging modulation system.

2. How does it do that? Answer: It gauges how much food you are getting and turns on proliferation in respsone to that.

3. What's wrong with nutrients? Answer: We get too many. And that's bad. You want to inhibit that.

4. Is rapamycin being used in humans already? Answer: Yes. It has been on stents for 20 years to inhibit proliferation on coronary arteries.

5. Where else might proliferation be a problem? Answer: Well, generally speaking, cancer is unregulated proliferation. Anti-aging is all about inhibiting many loci of proliferation: coronary arteries, cancers, fat tissues.. On and on.