The Science Behind Rapamycin For Dogs

The science behind rapamycin for dogs

The science behind rapamycin for dogs shows us why rapamycin is such a help in increasing both health and longevity for dogs.  Rapamycin is a compound that has gained significant attention for its potential benefits in promoting longevity and delaying the aging process. Here’s how rapamycin works to increase longevity in our dogs... and in us.

The Science Behind Rapamycin For Dogs

  1. mTOR Inhibition: Rapamycin primarily acts by inhibiting a cellular pathway called the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). The mTOR pathway is crucial for regulating cell growth, proliferation, and survival. By inhibiting this pathway, rapamycin can reduce cellular stress, decrease protein synthesis, and lower metabolic activity, all of which are associated with slower aging processes.

  2. Improvement in Heart Function:  The Kaeberlein study clearly showed that rapamycin improved cardiac function in dogs with heart disease.  Interestingly, the dogs who benefitted the most were the ones with the worst heart disease.  As a side note, rapamycin has also been proven to reduce or actually eliminate the progression of fatal Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or HCM, in cats.  No other drug comes close. 
  3. Autophagy Enhancement: By inhibiting mTOR, rapamycin promotes autophagy, a process where cells break down and recycle old, damaged, or dysfunctional components. Enhancing autophagy is thought to improve cellular health and function, which can extend the lifespan of organisms.

  4. Disease Prevention: Rapamycin has been found to potentially delay the onset of age-related diseases such as CANCER, NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES like Alzheimers, and CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE. This protective effect can contribute to extended lifespan and improved health in later years.  In fact, the current thought is that rapamycin exerts its longevity benefits primarily by reducing cancer incidence.

  5. Experimental Evidence: Studies in various organisms, from yeast to mice, have shown that rapamycin can extend lifespan. In mice, for example, rapamycin has been shown to increase lifespan by as much as 20-30%, even when administration begins in middle age.  Every mammalian species studied to date has seen a longevity benefit with rapamycin.

  6. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Aging is associated with chronic low-level inflammation, known as "inflammaging." Rapamycin has anti-inflammatory properties that might help in reducing this age-related inflammation, thereby potentially mitigating its impact on chronic diseases and aging.  Rapamycin was also proven in the Kaeberlein study to reduce musculoskeletal inflammation, making dogs more active and more affectionate while on rapamycin. 

Listen, as always there are some things we don't know yet about rapamycin for our dogs.   These open questions include...

  • The optimal dose of rapamycin for our dogs
  • The best age at which to start rapamycin in our dogs
  • Long term side effects, although rapamycin has been proven to be very safe in dogs to this point.

The science behind rapamycin for dogs is clear and compelling.  If we want to do all we can to promote a long and healthy life for our dogs, rapamycin is a safe and effective choice.