Rapamycin: A possible solution to ageing

Old age is something none of us can escape from, we’re bound to face it someday. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what we can to reduce its effects and stay healthy. We know of the age-old anti-ageing methods such as botox, fillers and laser treatments to reduce wrinkles and drugs that remove toxins from our bodies. But results from a new study have shown promise to have positive effects on health and lifespan. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Rapamycin?

Rapamycin, also known clinically as Rapamune or Sirolimus, is a type of drug that blocks certain white blood cells that may be responsible for rejecting foreign tissues and organs. It’s usually used after organ and bone marrow transplants to prevent the body from rejecting them. It’s classified as a type of antibiotic, a type of immunosuppressant and a serine/threonine kinase inhibitor.

What do the results from the study show?

A group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany found that Rapamycin has the potential to be more than just a cell-growth inhibitor or immunosuppressant. Their research has shown that the drug has potential as a geroprotector.

Brief exposure to Rapamycin can hopefully improve intestine health and extend lifespan. The study included a series of tests on the effects of short-term Rapamycin administration in fruit flies of different ages. The results showed that a two-week exposure to the drug in both young and adult flies extended their lives by protecting them against age-related pathology in the intestine.

The tests were repeated on young and adult mice, with a corresponding window of exposure (3 months). The results also showed positive and beneficial effects. Both sets of tests showed that Rapamycin has the strongest geroprotective effects when given earlier compared to when given at middle age. It also had no effects at all when given late in life. The brief treatment in early adulthood had protection just as strong as lifelong treatment that started later in life. So the best time to take the drug would be during early adulthood.

However, it was noted that the doses of Rapamycin used could have negative side effects so further testing and research need to be done to find an optimal dosage that would have zero to minimal side effects.

A step closer to preventing age decline

Scientists have been on a quest to find ways to combat the negative effects of ageing. Whether it’s physical ageing, mental ageing or health decline, there’s a race against the clock to discover ways to improve health and age-related conditions. The results from the study on Rapamycin pave the way for future research and clinical trials.

Scientists are now curious to see if they can replicate similar results in human trials and how they can apply more practical treatments. This study makes the future of anti-ageing options look a little brighter and more promising.


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