What is Rapamycin? Dr. Peter Attia Explains | The Tim Ferriss Show | Summary and Q&A

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June 19, 2021
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Tim Ferriss
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What is Rapamycin? Dr. Peter Attia Explains | The Tim Ferriss Show

TL;DR

Rapamycin, a potent anti-fungal drug, has shown remarkable properties in extending lifespan in animal studies.

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Key Insights

  • 🇦🇨 Rapamycin was initially discovered as an anti-fungal agent from bacteria found on Easter Island in the 1960s.
  • 🤍 Its unique properties made it effective in inhibiting cell proliferation, particularly in white blood cells.
  • 👍 Approved for organ transplantation in 1999, rapamycin has since shown remarkable effects on extending lifespan in various animal studies.
  • 🐭 The interventions testing program has confirmed rapamycin's ability to significantly increase the lifespan of mice.
  • 🤕 Research suggests that rapamycin may have potential applications in enhancing health span and preventing age-related diseases.
  • ❓ Studies comparing rapamycin to other drugs like metformin highlight its distinct efficacy in longevity enhancement.
  • ❓ Rapamycin's side effects, including aphthous ulcers, are notable, but its benefits in extending lifespan outweigh these concerns.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the origin of rapamycin and how was it discovered?

Rapamycin is a drug derived from bacteria found on Easter Island in the 1960s. It was initially identified as a potent anti-fungal agent by a chemist named Siren Seagal.

Q: How did rapamycin transition from an anti-fungal drug to being approved for organ transplantation?

After its discovery, rapamycin's anti-proliferative properties made it suitable for preventing organ rejection in transplant patients, leading to its FDA approval in 1999.

Q: What significant findings were observed in animal studies regarding rapamycin's impact on lifespan?

Studies, notably the interventions testing program, demonstrated a substantial increase in the lifespan of mice treated with rapamycin, indicating its potential for longevity enhancement.

Q: How does rapamycin compare to other drugs like metformin in terms of lifespan extension?

Unlike metformin, rapamycin has shown consistent results in extending lifespan in animal studies, making it a promising candidate for age-related interventions.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Rapamycin, a drug discovered on Easter Island, was initially developed as an anti-fungal agent.

  • Its unique properties were found to be effective in inhibiting cell proliferation, especially in lymphocytes.

  • Approved for organ transplantation in 1999, rapamycin has shown promising results in extending lifespan in animal studies.

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