"Even elderly people can get some significant improvements in their health and ultimately increase their health span and their lifespan by starting and taking rapamycin even in their late 60s and 70s," veteran pharmacist and book author Dr. Ross Pelton told host Dr. Steve Hotze during the June 13 episode of "The Dr. Hotze Report" on Brighteon.TV.
"So I think the only people that probably are not able to get significant benefits from rapamycin are people who are already in hospice or on life support. But I think most people alive today can get some really significant health benefits from taking rapamycin."
Pelton, currently the scientific director of Dallas-based company Essential Formulas, Inc., shared that a team of scientists from Canada organized a scientific expedition to Easter Island back in 1966 to look for sources of new antibiotic and antifungal drugs.
The team took a lot of soil samples from the island and discovered that one of the soil samples had a compound produced by a strain of bacteria. The team called it rapamycin and developed it into an antifungal drug. (Related: New Easter Island Mystery: Scientists Say Natural Compound on Island Extends Lifespan.)
Rapamycin is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in humans as an immunosuppressant agent during organ transplants. It has been taken by thousands of people safely since 1999.
According to Pelton, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) did some early tests on rapamycin and concluded that it heads a new class of chemotherapy agents. Rapamycin is cytostatic and suppresses the growth of cancer cells without all of the side effects associated with cytotoxic drugs.
The NCI elevated rapamycin to priority drug status so they could accelerate research into it and was approved for different types of solid tumor cancers.
But the real breakthrough for rapamycin came when a physician named Joan Mannick, who was working at the drug company Novartis, tested it on humans aged 65 and above.
Pelton said the purpose of the clinical trial was to show that rapamycin could produce health benefits in elderly people. Those who received rad 001, a rapid log rapamycin-like molecule, along with the seasonal flu vaccine, got about a 20 percent boost in the functionality of their immune system.
This breakthrough study, according to Pelton, showed that rapamycin can provide some health benefits and proved that it is really an immune system modulator.
"This important trial in humans showed that rapamycin had some potential to improve the immune system and ultimately extend health span and lifespan. So that's where it all started," Pelton said.
The author of the book "Rapamycin: The Most Promising Life Extension Drug" noted that rapamycin is the number one drug out of all the 10 life extension therapies tested on mice. It's the most effective at suppressing genes that accelerate aging, and also the best in terms of promoting and activating genes that are associated with longevity and life extension.
Rapamycin crosses cellular membranes and binds to an enzyme or protein inside cells. This enzyme is called mTOR, or mechanistic target of rapamycin.
Pelton said mTOR is a sensor of nutrients inside cells and the signal for growth. He explained that when a person eats and has nutrients available in the cells, the mTOR senses these nutrients that are available. It then sends signals throughout the cell to use these nutrients to build, grow, proliferate and make new proteins, enzymes and cellular components.