Anti aging drugs focus – Rapamycin

New opinion article by Dr. Mikhail V. Blagosklonny about anti aging drug published in the journal Aging.

Drug in focus is rapamycin, which functions by inhibiting mTOR pathway. Similar drugs include everolimus. Normally when over-activated by nutrients and insulin, mTOR acts via S6K to inhibit insulin signaling, thereby causing insulin resistance.

The evidence in preclinical and animal suggests that rapamycin is a universal anti-aging drug that is, it extends lifespan in all tested models from yeast to mammals, suppresses cell senescence and delays the onset of age-related diseases, which are manifestations of aging

Author lists advantages of rapamycin which include immunomodulator and anti inflammatory effects in addition to anti aging effects. Also it is know that rapamycin reduces viral replication. Some of the notable side effects include stomatitis and mucositis, non-infectious interstitial pneumonitis and nuetrophil inhibition which can lead to severe bacterial infections.

In addition to rapamycin/everolimus, other conventional drugs with anti-aging effect include metformin, aspirin, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers and PDE5 inhibitors such as Sildenafil and Tadalafil, can prevent or treat more than one age-related disease. In addition to above drugs calorie restriction and intermittent fasting has been shown to extend both the lifespan and healthspan in diverse species.

Systemic review of literature finds no evidence of increased risk of fatal stomach bleed following use of aspirin

Stomach bleeds caused by aspirin are considerably less serious than the spontaneous bleeds that can occur in people not taking the drug, concludes a study led by Cardiff University. Published in the journal Public Library of Science, the extensive study of literature on aspirin reveals that while regular use of the drug increases the risk of stomach bleeds by about a half, there is no valid evidence that any of these bleeds are fatal.

Professor Peter Elwood from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said: “Although many people use aspirin daily to reduce the risk of health problems such as cancer and heart disease, the wider use of the drug is severely limited because of the side effect of bleeding from the stomach. With our study showing that there is no increased risk of death from stomach bleeding in people who take regular aspirin, we hope there will be better confidence in the drug and wider use of it by older people, leading to important reductions in deaths and disablement from heart disease and cancer across the community.”

Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death and disability across the world, and research has shown that a small daily dose of aspirin can reduce the occurrence of both diseases by around 20-30%.

Recent research has also shown that low doses of aspirin given to patients with cancer, alongside chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, is an effective additional treatment, reducing the deaths of patients with bowel, and possibly other cancers, by a further 15%.

The study ‘Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials to ascertain fatal gastrointestinal bleeding events attributable to preventive low-dose aspirin: No evidence of increased risk’ can be found in Public Library of Science.

This study was a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. This type of research provides the strongest evidence for drawing causal conclusions because it draws together all of the best evidence.

Citation: “Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Trials to Ascertain Fatal Gastrointestinal Bleeding Events Attributable to Preventive Low-Dose Aspirin: No Evidence of Increased Risk”. Peter C. Elwood , Gareth Morgan  , Julieta Galante , John W. K. Chia , Sunil Dolwani , J. Michael Graziano , Mark Kelson , Angel Lanas , Marcus Longley , Ceri J. Phillips , Janet Pickering , Stephen E. Roberts , Swee S. Soon , Will Steward , Delyth Morris & Alison L. Weightman. PLOS ONE 2016 vol: 11 (11) pp: e0166166.
Adapted from press release by the University of Cardiff.