Rapamycin effect on coronavirus
Rapamycin (sirolimus) affects the immune system. Covid 19 affects the elderly to a greater degree than younger subjects because the elderly have weaker immune systems than younger subjects. Some reports say that sirolimus increases the immune system, other reports say it is a general immune suppressor. With the current epidemic of covid 19, I would like guidance if sirolimus hurts or helps our ability to fight covid 19.
Unknown, and in fact it might have the opposite effect of promoting the virus. I'm not finding the article at the moment but something they've noticed with two young Chinese Dr's who died from it it is that it apparently put their immune system into some type of auto-immune function where it attacks itself. This is all pure hypothetical at this point, but it's possible Rapamycin could have a worse effect. If you're in good health your chances are probably quite good, so being relatively conservative here is likely the best course, it seems to me.
The Life Extension page on COVID-19 is probably the best source at the moment. It recommends old time immune boosters (e.g. garlic) which are probably safe, and Tagament if you come down with it.
Paul Beauchemin My thought is that the only human validation of the Blagosklonny theory is to be found in the literature regarding improved immune response to a vaccine after a 12-week course of rapamycin. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25540326 I find this actual human trial as the most convincing evidence of efficacy. So I agree that the evidence supporting Blagosklonny is compelling. However, I personally have been on a rapamycin regime for 15 weeks. My immune system should parallel the improvement reported in the human trial. However, it is unknown if continued useage could have a counterproductive effect. In other words, should I take my winnings (an improved immune system) and pause or should I continue gambling? I conclude, that for me personally, the prudent course is to pause.
Thanks for the very thoughtful discussion.
My view on this topic is that there are two ways to look at rapamycin's effect on immunity, and from within this framework, and given the regrettable half-life of rapamycin, the conclusion to stop rapamycin now should be considered seriously.
1. Over the medium- and long-term, rapamycin improves immunity. It does this in certain direct ways, but I think the main way it improves immunity is indirect, by improving health in general much like CR improves health.
2. Acutely, it is of course an immune-suppressant.
If rapamycin had the half-life we want in an mTOR-inhibitor – three or four hours (then one would take it at bedtime, to enhance the natural decrease in mTOR signaling that takes place in most tissues while we sleep) – I think the decision would be simple: keep taking rapamycin, but as soon as there's reason to believe one has the virus, stop immediately.
The problem is that rapamycin has a half-life of around 67 hours. So you could end up being dangerously compromised for a couple days once you stopped taking it.
Another option would be to keep taking it but be hypercareful not to expose yourself to the virus. We should all be hypercareful about this regardless. But it's harder than many people realize.
Continuing or not with Rapamycin during the Covid-19 breakout is of course an individual decision. My own (n=1 male 70) case I have been on Rapamycin for 19 months. Prior to rapamycin, I would like clockwork , annually get a cold moving into a URI. Haven't had even a sniffle since being on Rapamycin.
Blagosklonny wrote in a paper that Rapamycin also inhibits viral replication [18,19]. As a noteworthy example, rapamycin inhibits replication of the 1918 flu virus (the deadliest flu virus in history) by 100-fold , and also protects against lethal infection with influenza virus when administered during vaccination .
It would seem logical that mtor is involved in viral replication. Inhibiting mtor seems beneficial and if it stops or even slows viral replication ie covid 19... looks like a winner to me.
Anecdotally I saw a recent report of an older man who was on one of the infected cruise ships whose wife had contracted the virus. He was negative and she recovered. Of interest was the fact that he had a kidney transplant months prior to the cruise. All transplant patients get Rapamycin or a Rapalog. Could this be the reason he never caught the virus?
I'm all in on Rapamycin but I do wash my hands more often too.
You really should look at Dr Green's site. He writes:
"There is NOT sufficient medical evidence to establish with scientific certainty the efficacy of sirolimus in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 or furthermore whether sirolimus is contraindicated.
I am a 77 year old man with significant medical issues. I estimate that my risk of death, if I develop clinical infection with COVID-19, is in the range of 10-20%.
I continue to take rapamycin.
I have been inundated by the question of whether one should stop or not stop rapamycin in response to COVID-19. In response to those questions, I have prepared this summary of what I consider the best evidence that sirolimus provides excellent protection against COVID-19".
He goes on to explain at length why he believes you should continue to take Rapamycin. Also if you are a patient of Dr Green he will send you a prescription for hydrochloroquine and zithromycin.