421 – Rapamycin: Extending Health Span and Lifespan

Living Longer and Healthier

Aging and Longevity

The Most Promising Life Extension Drug

In this interview Ross Pelton discusses Rapamycin and autophagy. These were new terms for me. The story of Rapamycin is interesting and intriguing. Rapamycin is a drug that was developed after discovery on Easter Island led to the drug’s development. This is an example of how a natural compound in nature is discovered, researched and developed as a drug. Ross covers this discovery in this interview and in his newest book: RAPAMYCIN – The Most Promising Life Extension Drug. This was all new to me and Ross’ book is a powerful introduction.

Easter Island Statues
Easter Island is where Rapamycin was discovered.

What is autophagy?

“Autophagy (pronounced “ah-TAH-fah-gee”) is your body’s process of reusing old and damaged cell parts. Cells are the basic building blocks of every tissue and organ in your body. Each cell contains multiple parts that keep it functioning. Over time, these parts can become defective or stop working. They become litter, or junk, inside an otherwise healthy cell.

Autophagy is your body’s cellular recycling system. It allows a cell to disassemble its junk parts and repurpose the salvageable bits and pieces into new, usable cell parts. A cell can discard the parts it doesn’t need.

Autophagy is also quality control for your cells. Too many junk components in a cell take up space and can slow or prevent a cell from functioning correctly. Autophagy remakes the clutter into the selected cell components you need, optimizing your cells’ performance.” Source: ClevelandClinic.org

Here is a short excerpt from our interview:


Rapamycin is the name of the most promising life extension drug that’s ever been discovered. So 25 years or more of research have been conducted by scientists around the world trying to figure out the mechanisms of action. How does this drug do what it does? And so there are really two main themes in my book. One is the story of Rapamycin, which is in itself a very interesting story. But beyond the drug Rapamycin research into its mechanisms of action, have discovered what I think is an even more important story, which is the story of mTOR and autophagy. And I’ll get into a discussion of these terms and explain to our listeners what they mean.

Scientists discovered that when Rapamycin goes into the body and it gets absorbed across a cellular membrane, it binds with a protein and So they named the protein mTOR as a small m and then a capital T, capital O capital R. And mTOR stands for the mechanistic target of Rapamycin. So this is just the protein inside cells that Rapamycin binds to when it gets absorbed. Now what is mTOR? Well, this protein mTOR is a key signaling molecule inside all cells, it senses when nutrients are available. So if you’re eating and nutrients are coming into your body, and the nutrients are coming into your cells mTOR senses when nutrients are available, and sends out a variety of signals that tells the cells to use these nutrients to build and grow and proliferate, make new proteins make new enzyme build new cellular components.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Google Scholar reports over 100,000 studies referring to Rapamycin and autophagy with over 9,000 so far in 2022. This is a huge body of science which suggests that Rapamycin is providing significant results. Here is a link to those results.

Additional Resources

1) Ross’ article titled The Rapamycin Story: Rapamycin, mTOR, Autophagy and Treating mTOR Syndrome was published in the current (June 2022) issue of the Life Extension magazine (pp. 63-66). https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2022/6/rapamycin

2)  Rapamycin: A Quantum Leap in Life Extension published in the May 2022 issue of the Townsend Letter. https://www.townsendletter.com/article/466-anti-aging-and-rapamycin/

3. Ross’ article titled Rapamycin: Extending Health Span & Lifespan was published in the May 2022 edition of Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal (IMCJ). http://imjournal.com/oa/pdf/Pelton.pdf

Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN

CLICK HERE for all interviews with Ross Pelton.

Ross Pelton

Ross Pelton is the Natural Pharmacist. He received his BS degree in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin. He also has a PhD in psychology and is a certified clinical nutritionist (CCN). In October 1999, Ross was named as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Pharmacists in America by American Druggist magazine for his work in natural medicine. He is the author of ten books and numerous online health seminars. Ross is currently the scientific director for Essential Formulas. The link to his blog and personal website is naturalpharmacist.net.

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