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Rapamycin's anti-aging properties | Biohacking your body
7 November 2023 | James Kearslake
Table of Contents
Fun Fact

Rapamycin got its name from Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, which is a remote island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people of the island are called the Rapa Nui, and so ‘Rapa’ was incorporated into the name of the drug.

Easter Island is famous for its iconic stone statues, known as the ‘moai’, which are large stone figures, carved from compressed volcanic ash and rock. They can be found across the island.

What is Rapamycin

In the quest for a longer, healthier life, scientific advancements have led to the discovery of intriguing compounds with the potential to extend our vitality.

Rapamycin is a compound that has recently emerged as a prominent candidate and is being taken by those looking to extend their lives, staying healthy into old age, and mitigating the effects of cognitive decline from aging.

Also known as sirolimus, it was first employed as an antifungal agent in the early 1970s, but its most ground-breaking discovery came when scientists unearthed its immunosuppressive properties.

Rapamycin inhibits the activation of T cells, a type of white blood cell, making it an invaluable tool in organ transplantation to prevent rejection.

As research has continued, rapamycin is now being used in target anti-aging nootropics and supplements, and we are likely to see the continued growth of this supplement as it becomes more widely known as a route to retaining our youthful physique, mental sharpness, and overall sense of health and wellbeing.

An image of a person's head glowing green and orange and neurons glowing yellow reflecting a healthy mind maintaining cognitive performance_Benefits of taking Rapamycin

Benefits of Rapamycin Supplements

Awareness of rapamycin is increasing rapidly, with many biohackers taking the supplement for its benefits to brain health and ability to limit cellular aging.

Befits of taking rapamycin include:

  1. Promotes Cellular Longevity – Recently identified, rapamycin has shown to be extending the lifespan and improving overall health in various organisms, leading to an investment in research of its anti-aging properties. Because of its promising results, it is already being taken as a supplement by those keen to limit the process of cellular aging and cognitive decline. More below on rapamycin aiding longevity
  2. Enhanced Cognitive Function – Research is also showing rapamycin can protect the health of the brain, having a direct improvement on cognitive function. It is fast becoming a supplement used by those looking to improve and maintain superior cognitive performance.
  3. Improved Synaptic Plasticity – It is currently thought that rapamycin also improves synaptic plasticity in the brain, strengthening the connections between nerve cells which is pivotal in learning and memory.
  4. Increased Metabolic Health – Rapamycin has demonstrated the ability to improve metabolic markers, such as glucose and insulin levels. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals at risk of diabetes or those looking to manage their weight. More below on rapamycin increasing metabolic health
  5. Reduced Inflammation – By modulating the immune system, rapamycin can also reduce chronic inflammation, a factor in various age-related diseases.
  6. Cardiovascular Health – Some evidence indicates that rapamycin can help prevent atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become narrowed and hardened, reducing the risk of heart disease.
An image of neuronal activity firing between synapses in the brain, representing how anandamide supplements activate the endocannabinoid system and release serotonin and dopamine

Uses of Rapamycin in Healthcare

Rapamycin has long been used in healthcare for its benefits to organ transplantation. Uses of rapamycin in healthcare include:

  1. Organ Transplantation – Rapamycin is used in organ transplantation to reduce the risk of graft rejection. It is prescribed alongside other immunosuppressant medications to help recipients tolerate and retain new organs.
  2. Cancer Treatment – Rapamycin and its derivatives, known as mTOR inhibitors, have also shown promise in supporting cancer treatments. They inhibit the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, a key regulator of cell growth. By blocking this pathway, rapamycin can slow down the growth of some cancer cells and enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
  3. Autoimmune Diseases – It can also help manage autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, by regulating the immune system’s overactivity and reducing symptoms and disease progression.
  4. Cardiovascular Health – Rapamycin has also help prevent restenosis, the re-narrowing of blood vessels following angioplasty, improving the health of the cardiovascular system.

Rapamycin’s Anti-Aging Benefits

Rapamycin is fast garnering attention for its potential as an anti-aging drug, offering the possibility of extending human lifespan and preventing cellular decline.

This interest stems from its ability to target the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, a central regulator of cell growth and metabolism, which plays a crucial role in the aging process:

  1. mTOR and Aging – The mTOR pathway is intricately linked to aging. It regulates essential cellular processes, including protein synthesis, autophagy (cellular ‘clean-up’ process), and the response to nutrient availability. As we age, the mTOR pathway becomes dysregulated, leading to cellular dysfunction and contributing to various age-related diseases. More below on the mTOR Pathway
  2. Caloric Restriction Mimetic – Rapamycin is often referred to as a caloric restriction mimetic because it mimics the physiological effects of calorie restriction without the need to significantly reduce food intake. Caloric restriction has been shown to extend the lifespan of various organisms, and rapamycin, by inhibiting mTOR, replicates some of these benefits.
  3. Longevity Studies – Studies in mice have shown rapamycin supplements extend their lifespan by up to 25%. Although the translation of these findings to humans is complex, the research is showing as promising for humans.
  4. Healthspan Improvement – Beyond increasing lifespan, rapamycin is also associated with an improvement in healthspan, which refers to the number of years an individual lives in good health. It has the potential to mitigate age-related diseases, such as cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, and cardiovascular issues.
  5. Human Clinical Trials – Clinical trials involving rapamycin and its derivatives are ongoing to determine their effects on human aging and age-related diseases. These trials aim to establish the safety and efficacy of rapamycin supplements in humans.

Understanding the mTOR Pathway

mTOR stands for the Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin and is a crucial cellular signalling pathway that acts as a control system within the body. It’s like the conductor of an orchestra ensuring all instruments (our cells) play in harmony.

Researchers are studying ways to manipulate the mTOR pathway to promote better health and potentially extend lifespan by maintaining this cellular orchestra in optimal balance.

The mTOR pathway works as follows:

  1. Cell Growth and Reproduction – At its core, mTOR regulates when and how your cells grow and reproduce. Think of it as a switch that turns on or off the ‘growth mode’ of your cells.
  2. Nutrient Sensing – mTOR is like a sensor that keeps tabs on the nutrients and energy available in your body. When it senses that there’s plenty of food and energy around, it signals your cells to grow and divide.
  3. Energy Allocation – It also helps allocate the available energy to different cellular processes. For instance, when you eat, mTOR ensures that the energy from your food goes where it’s needed to keep your body running smoothly.
  4. Cell Maintenance – mTOR plays a role in deciding when it’s time to clean up the cellular ‘junk’. It initiates a process called autophagy, which is like the cell’s recycling program. This helps remove damaged components and keeps your cells healthy.
  5. Aging and Disease – If the mTOR pathway is too active for too long, it can lead to uncontrolled cell growth, which is associated with issues like cancer. On the other hand, if it’s not active enough, it can lead to the accumulation of cellular damage, contributing to aging and age-related diseases.

Rapamycin Improving Metabolic Health

Metabolic health encompasses various aspects of our body’s ability to efficiently utilise and manage energy, including glucose and lipid metabolism. Rapamycin has shown to positively impact metabolic health, which can be beneficial for individuals at risk of metabolic disorders like diabetes and those looking to maintain a healthy weight.

  1. Glucose Regulation – One of the key benefits of rapamycin in terms of metabolic health is its impact on glucose regulation. Research indicates that rapamycin can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance. These effects are crucial in managing blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. By enhancing insulin sensitivity, rapamycin helps cells respond more effectively to insulin, allowing for better glucose uptake and utilisation.
  2. Weight Management – Obesity is a significant risk factor for metabolic disorders. Rapamycin has been studied for its potential to aid in weight management. While it’s not a magic solution for weight loss, it may help in maintaining a healthy weight by improving metabolic markers and promoting a balanced metabolism.
  3. Inflammation Reduction – Chronic inflammation is often associated with metabolic disorders like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Rapamycin has the potential to reduce inflammation, which, in turn, can positively affect metabolic health. By dampening the inflammatory response, rapamycin may help mitigate some of the negative effects of chronic inflammation on metabolic tissues and organs.
  4. Cardiovascular Benefits – Improved metabolic health is closely linked to cardiovascular well-being. Rapamycin has demonstrated the ability to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. By slowing down the progression of atherosclerosis, rapamycin can support better heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Anti-Aging Effects – Metabolic health is a critical component of the aging process. As rapamycin is explored as an anti-aging compound, its ability to enhance metabolic health is a significant factor in the overall potential for extending lifespan and promoting a higher quality of life as individuals age.

Potential Risks of Rapamycin Supplements

While studies continue on rapamycin there is always risks of potential side effects. Before taking rapamycin you need to consider:

  1. Side Effects – Like any medication or supplement, rapamycin can cause side effects, including mouth ulcers, high cholesterol, and gastrointestinal issues. These should be closely monitored when first taking the supplement.
  2. Dosage and Timing – The optimal dosage and timing for rapamycin supplements are still under investigation. Inaccurate dosing can lead to adverse effects so its important to always start with small doses, and build up to the recommended amount.
  3. Interactions – Rapamycin may interact with other medications and supplements, leading to unwanted complications. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you are taking existing medications for your health which rapamycin may interact with.
  4. Immunosuppression – Rapamycin has immunosuppressive properties which can increase susceptibility to infections. It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before considering rapamycin if you have a compromised immune system.

Final Thoughts

We are living in exciting times as studies into anti-aging products advance at exponential speed.

Rapamycin is already a trending product and leading the way in the biohacker community. It’s use is only set to increase over the next few years.

While new supplements to market always comes with risks of side effects, providing you manage usage closely during the first few weeks we see the benefits of trying new supplements outweighs the risks.

If we want to be ahead of the crowd, we need to be willing to try new things.

And rapamycin is definitely one that will be keeping us ahead of the crowd.

Who is James Kearslake?

Having been biohacking my mind and body long before it became fashionable, I’ve always lived by the benefits of nature’s resources to improve cognitive and physiological performance. Using my years of experience, products, and wellness practices, I’m now helping others elevate their cognitive performance to help build the life they want. I save you the time I’ve spent learning, so you can focus your time on building.

Proudly AI Supported

I proudly use AI to support development of my articles. As a heavily dyslexic person, writing can be a time consuming process with words often jumbled up and sentences the wrong way round. AI has become my crutch; allowing me to share the immense interest in my mind, while making content creation quicker and more accurate. AI is my benefit.


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