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  • Immune Suppressant Drug Dances Past Resveratrol In First Baby-Step Human Trial As An Anti-Aging Drug

    December 26, 2014: by Bill Sardi

    Well, we are getting the message loud and clear.  Any anti-aging pill is going to be an expensive and controlled prescription drug rather than a widely available and economical nutraceutical whether consumers like it or not.  The masses of the world won’t likely be able to afford it and doctors will extract their cut along with Big Pharma or the world will be left to wallow in the curse of aging.

    While the red wine molecule resveratrol has been proposed as an anti-aging pill over the past decade, an FDA-approved drug – rapamycin (ask) Sirolimus) — just danced past it by taking its first successful baby-step as an anti-aging drug.  There are no human trials that measure a marker of aging and resveratrol.

    Rapamycin (aka Sirolimus or Rapaimmune/ Novartis), a drug molecule derived from a bacterium that is used for its immune-suppressant effects among kidney transplant patients, first approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 1999 [Wikipedia], has long been proposed as an anti-aging agent along with the red wine molecule resveratrol and the anti-diabetic drug metformin.

    A report published in the journal Science Translational Medicine showed that patients given an experimental version of rapamycin developed about 20 percent more antibodies in response to the flu vaccine. Even low doses of the medication produced an improved immune response. [Science Translational Medicine Dec 24, 2014; HealthDay Dec 24, 2014]

    Of interest, while resveratrol is generally considered a molecular mimic of a calorie restricted diet via targeting of the Sirtuin1 survival gene, rapaymycin targets a different gene — mTOR (target of rapamycin) [Interdisciplinary Topics Gerontology 2015]

    Rapaymycin largely prolongs the life of laboratory mice by reducing death from cancer, the main cause of death in many mouse strains.  [Cellular Molecular Life Science Nov 2014]

    While the lab rats live longer when given rapamycin, researchers say aging effects continue.  [Journal Clinical Investigation Aug 2013]  Will use of rapamycin induce the same fate as Tithonus in Greek mythology who was given immortality by the Greek god Zeus but not eternal youth?  Tithonus live longer in the misery of old age. [Journal Clinical Investigation Aug 1, 2013]

    However, Mikhail Blagosklonny has convincingly shown that rapaymycin extends lifespan regardless of its anti-cancer properties. [Ageing Aug 2013] Dr. Blagosklonny claims the life-prolonging effect of rapamycin is achieved via alteration of cell signaling (as does resveratrol). [Ageing Nov 2011; Expert Review Molecular Medicine Sept 23, 2013]

    Rapamycin does have some molecular drawbacks that are strikingly overcome by the combination of rapamycin + resveratrol. [Cell Cycle Feb 1, 2014]

    While this writer has been critical of rapaymycin as it is known to produce significant undesirable side effects in humans, in very low doses it activates internal enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione, catalase, SOD) via a gene transcription factor known as Nrf2 [PLoS One Jan 7, 2014] and prolongs life. [Cell Metabolism 2011]

    Both rapamycin and resveratrol are believed to produce health and longevity benefits in low doses as they serve as low-dose biological stressors that activate internal antioxidant defenses, the so-called hormesis effect. [Dose Response Oct 16, 2009]

    Its one major disappointment in the animal lab is that while rapamycin does in fact extend the life of laboratory mice it only modestly does so (9-14% in male and female lab rats). [Nature July 16, 2009]  This is not the promised superlongevity – a doubling of lifespan and healthspan achieved in laboratory animal via calorie restriction, equivalent to 120 healthy years in humans.

    Of further interest, while clinicians who offer anti-aging medicine to their patients and promote human growth hormone (HGH), it is noted that growth hormone abolishes the beneficial effects of a calorie restricted diet in lab animals. Growth hormone increases mTOR whereas rapamycin (and resveratrol) inhibits mTOR. [Experimental Gerontology Oct 2014]  — ©2014 Bill Sardi,

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