It’s no secret that many medications have multiple purposes. Sometimes, benefits that were not originally apparent are discovered later on.  Both Rapamycin and Metformin were formulated with other medical uses in mind. However, they each have fantastic benefits when it comes to anti aging benefits.

Rapamycin

Soil from the Easter Islands was found to somehow prevent the local inhabitants from getting Botulism and was collected and studied years later.  Bacteria specific to the Easter Islands were found in the soil and correlated to the protective effect of the soil.  Initially, it was used as an antifungal medication and later on as an immunosuppressant for transplant patients to prevent kidney rejection.  On further research, Rapamycin was observed to notably increase the lifespan of mice, which, of course, led scientists to ask the question: can Rapamycin increase the lifespan of humans?

While there are ongoing studies about the use of Rapamycin for anti aging, the early indicators are promising.  Mice showed a “reversal” of aging in their appearance and level of functioning, with some “elderly” female mice regaining the ability to become pregnant.

Early studies have shown that Rapamycin might be linked to the prevention of age related:

  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Neurological conditions

So how does Rapamycin work? Here are some of the things that have been shown in recent studies.

Rapamycin and Stress Resistance

The Rapamycin medication inhibits the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1). This compound is important for regulating metabolism and growth in a cell. However, when a medication like Rapamycin inhibits this activity, there is less signaling for growth. The focus instead shifts to stress resistance, a key for anti aging efforts.

Rapamycin and Senescent Cells

Taking Rapamycin for anti aging could lead to significant longevity. Inhibiting mTOR tricks the body into believing it is in a state of calorie deprivation. When this occurs, changes begin to take place at the cellular level. Cellular workers begin consuming the oldest and weakest cell parts (especially parts of senescent cells). The body has moved away from a “growth” phase that creates more senescent cells and promotes aging. Instead, it has entered a “repair” phase, renewing what it can and getting rid of what it cannot fix.

This implies that Rapamycin provides the body with the benefits of fasting without requiring a person to fast.

Senescent cells are cells that don’t divide. They are one of the “Hallmarks of Aging.” Their stagnancy is believed to spur aging or even drive cancer. Removing senescent cells can, in theory, slow aging.

Rapamycin and Immunity

Rapamycin is often used in organ transplant patients to prevent organ rejection. However, early studies have shown that very low doses of Rapamycin can increase immunity in elderly patients. This would directly contradict the low immunity associated with the aging process.

Rapamycin and Cardiac Problems

This drug is still in the early stages of testing for aging in humans. However, it is promising that dogs showed signs of younger hearts and fewer age related cardiac issues after taking Rapamycin.

Rapamycin and Aging Skin

For eight months, trial participants applied Rapamycin topically to the back of the hands. The skin of trial participants was then tested. Their skin contained more collagen (the structural part of the skin that prevents wrinkles) and less of the p16 protein (a measure of cell senescence).

Rapamycin Side Effects

Rapamycin is a promising player in the anti aging space. However, it is important to note that Rapamycin can have side-effects when used at the immunosuppressive dosage.  Even though the doses used for anti aging are significantly lower, some side-effects could occur. Dosage and use of Rapamycin as a treatment for aging should be discussed with your doctor.

Rapamycin for Anti Aging:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC681461 

Metformin

Usually used to help treat Type 2 diabetes, Metformin is generally well-tolerated by the body and shows promising signs of potential anti aging qualities, making it a strong contender for mass use in future years.

TAME Trials for Anti Aging

Metformin increased the health and life span of mice, leading scientists to begin more serious research through TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) trials. These trials will be testing for the efficacy of Metformin on the following age-related health problems:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Dementia

The TAME Trials might be a key factor in getting the FDA to approve treatment for aging outright as opposed to simply approving treatment for conditions caused by aging.

Metformin and Oxidative Stress

Studies indicate that Metformin inhibits oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria of cells. This creates less oxidative stress in the body and fewer free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that contain oxygen. They readily react with other molecules in the body, and some of these reactions can be harmful to the body. (Antioxidants fight against free radicals, which is why they’re popular selling points in many foods.)

Reactions caused by oxidative stress over time can lead to the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels)
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Neurodegenerative conditions
  • Cancer
  • Signs of aging

However, with less of this oxidative stress, the body sees fewer of these potentially harmful molecules in the body.

Metformin and mTORC1

Like Rapamycin, Metformin can potentially inhibit the growth-signaling pathways (including mTORC1) that can cause the body to age faster. By activating AMPK (protein), this growth impulse is decreased.

Metformin and Inflammation

Metformin influences the body’s microbiome and might reduce age associated inflammation. This could be potentially helpful for people suffering from chronic inflammation, a significant factor for many age related diseases.

Metformin Side Effects

Nausea and other stomach discomfort are the most common side effects of Metformin, and it is generally well-tolerated in the body. Some Metformin formulations have been found to be contaminated so it is important to discuss any new medications with your physician before introducing Metformin to your regular routine.  

Sources:

Metformin for Anti Aging  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772077

How does it work?

During the initial meeting Dr. Sorina will evaluate your current health condition and help you set goals for the treatment.  You wil be educated on the use and possible side-effects of Rapamycin and Metformin and then you will receive a prescription.  Ongoing evaluation with visits at 3 months intervals are imperative for safe treatment.