Study Shows Drug Rapamycin Extends Lifespan of Mammals
Researchers have discovered the first drug that has been proven to extend the lifespan of mammals when taken late in life. The drug is called rapamycin and is derived from bacteria that lives in the soil on the remote and legendary Easter Island most well-known for its gigantic moai statues.
Rapamycin is already used to treat disease in humans and is an antifungal compound that is approved by the FDA as an immunosuppressive therapy to prevent rejection in organ transplant patients. The drug is also undergoing clinical trials at this time as an anti-cancer drug. Previous studies had proven that the drug was capable of extending the lifespan of invertebrates.
The new study gave the drug to mice starting at 20 months of age, the equivalent of 60 human years. During the study, the researchers found that the drug was able to extend the life of male mice by 9% and by 13% in female mice.