- Suppressing the TOR (target of rapamycin) enzyme in insects, worms, and other invertebrates leads to an increase in their lifespan
- It was unclear if this lifespan-extending effect would be observed after suppressing the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) enzyme in mammalians
- The current study reported that male mice fed with rapamycin had a 9% improvement in their expected 90% mortality age (the age at which 90% of mice would be dead from natural causes) while female mice experienced a 14% improvement. All mice started taking rapamycin at 600 days of age (a rough equivalent of 60 years for humans)
- As calculated by the Jackson Laboratory (JAX), this improvement can be described as a 28% boost in lifespan for male mice and a 38% increase for female mice
- In humans, this would likely be equivalent to extending the life expectancy of an average 60-year-old person by 10 extra years
Actions to Consider
- Rapamycin is a powerful prescription medication from the macrolide group, with significant antibacterial and antifungal action. As such, you can’t (and shouldn’t) just buy it somewhere and take mindlessly to boost your lifespan
- On the bright side, it’s a great idea to stay alert for more rapamycin-related news. Who knows, maybe science will come up with a safe version of rapamycin throughout the following decade to use as an anti-aging pill?
- In the meantime, promote your healthspan and lifespan by practicing simple activities that are known to be beneficial in this matter. Fasting, meditation, and moderate physical activity are great starting points
- Quercetin and resveratrol, two phytochemicals found in red grapes, red wine, tea, and apple have been reported to suppress mTOR signaling too
Rapamycin: An effective longevity pill, at last?
Mankind has been dreaming of a solution to aging for thousands of years already. As centuries fly by, we seem to be getting nowhere close to finding one, even with all the technology at our disposal.
Sometimes, though, a glimmer of hope appears.
One of such encouraging findings throughout the last few decades is rapamycin, a conventional medication that has been reported multiple times to have a prominent anti-aging effect.
What is this study about?
In this study, scientists from three separate centers (The Jackson Laboratory, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas Science Health Science Center at San Antonio) fed rapamycin to older mice to see if it would increase their lifespan.
The study was carried out in three separate locations on different populations of mice to increase the probability that the effect, if found, would be universal to mice as a species—or maybe to mammals in general.
Rapamycin: the pill that may give you 10 extra years of life
A distinctive feature of this study was that the rapamycin therapy had been started when the mice reached 600 days of age, the equivalent of about 60 years for humans. Such an approach could determine if rapamycin would be effective in treating aging rather than postponing or preventing it.
The results were staggering. Male mice fed with rapamycin had a 9% improvement in their expected 90% mortality age (the age at which 90% of mice would be dead from natural causes) while female mice experienced a 14% improvement. This improvement can be described as a 28% boost in lifespan for male mice and a 38% increase for female mice.
In simple terms, this could mean some 10 extra years of life for a 60-year-old person who starts taking rapamycin at that age. But what if you start at 50 years? Or 40 years?
We’ll need more studies to answer these questions, but right now everything looks promising enough to hope for the best.
While we wait for more studies on rapamycin and its anti-aging potential in humans, here are some potential ways to inhibit TOR without medications:
- Caloric restriction seems to decrease TOR activity in yeast
- Reducing dietary methionine seems to have a similar effect in mice. Rich sources of methionine include meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products
- Two phytochemicals have been often reported to inhibit mTOR signaling: quercetin, a flavonoid found in tea, onions, red grapes, and apple, and resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red grapes and red wine
Links to the study: