This is a good twitter poll of a reasonably large sample (about 700 at the time of writing) of longevity experts’ opinions on the Life Expectancy (LE) benefits of rapamycin. In this poll approximately 44.6% of the longevity experts forecast a 5 year increase in human lifespan with regular rapamycin use, 16.6% expect 10 years increase in lifespan, and 20% predict more than 10 years increase in lifespan.
Alex is a founder of one of the leading Longevity Drug/Biology of Aging conferences (AARD) and also founder/CEO of one of the most well-funded longevity biotech companies (Insilico Medicine, which has gained over $400 million in funding to date), and his twitter followers (of which he has over 16,000) include many (if not most) of the scientists, researchers and participants in geroscience field and the longevity biotech industry. So, Alex is one of the few people in the world who could post a poll like the one above and get 500+ geroscientists and longevity biotech researchers to respond to it.
This group is probably in the best position to understand the risks and potential benefits of rapamycin (and they are a significant portion of the early adopters of rapamycin). Almost 80% of these PHD/MD longevity experts predict significant lifespan and healthspan improvement (and "significant is defined here as somewhere between 5 years to 20 or 30 years increase) with weekly rapamycin. And, of course, rapamycin is just one of numerous drugs showing longevity benefits: New Paper: Lifespan Benefits for the Combination of Rapamycin plus Acarbose in mice
Respectfully– it is not reasonable to use this poll to justify taking rapamycin, because it’s purely speculative and based off the honors system. Are we really supposed to be inclined to believe that all 500 responses came from PhDs/MDs? I would guess the true number of PhDs/MDs that actually answered is nowhere near that number. Plus, even if 500 experts did answer that, I would still not take them at their word for it: there is no longitudinal data in primates or even dogs yet. This is not a quality post IMO, and runs the risk of seriously misinforming newcomers to this form (and I say this as someone currently taking rapa because I’m comfortable with the risk/reward ratio).
Agree. A Twitter study. I voted, but I meet the criteria. How many people voted that didn’t?
Every poll has limitations… This is just one more data point for people to consider.
at least change the title then. because it’s deliberately not true
At least some of the decrease choosers were probably people who wanted to vote for “no effect” but there wasn’t an option for that.
In what way do you think the title is not true?
It’s not true that 80% of “longevity experts” predict significant benefits for rapa in humans. 80% of people in this survey? Sure. But this is a sample not representative of the entire population. Stats 101, man!
Sure - but you have limited number of characters in a title, and I think its pretty clear in the body of the post that this is from a survey of approx. 500 people on twitter. The goal of the title is to capture the essence of the story below, and I think it does that.
One more data point… but the quality of the data point matters. If one tweet says “rapamycin will make you grow an extra arm” I would not include that in my decision making.
I believe Twitter polls are worse than pure speculation since they add an air of legitimacy to speculation.
I think you’re over-generalizing. It depends who does the twitter poll, what their specifications are, who their followers are, etc… To write off all polls on a platform seems a little overly hasty. Polls on twitter may be less statistically valid simply due to sampling bias (the followers of any given person doing a poll may not be representative of the population as a whole), but I think some can provide a reasonable snapshot of thinking by a specific population at a single point in time.
I don’t think anyone should ever rely on a single data point for any significant decisions… and I think this poll is helpful in understanding what most PHDs/MDs in the Longevity Biotech and Geroscience field likely think about rapamycin. And, I think there is value in understanding what these people think about this drug and the research that has been done over the past 20 years on mTOR and rapamycin.
What better group of people would there be to poll on the likely LE potential of rapamycin than people who spend their careers / lives researching the biology of aging and related medical issues?
Of course, you can’t guarantee that all the respondents are honest in their responses about their status as PHDs/MDs and published papers, but with a large enough sample size you can probably assume that those who lied have a “normal distribution” of responses and cancel each other out. And of course, in virtually every poll/survey done, nobody validates that the person is who/what they say they are. Its not like most pollsters check people’s drivers licenses and ask for academic records; you assume people respond honestly, and if they don’t you assume their dishonest answers balance out with larger sample sizes.
The only answers I need to hear are from people like Dr. Attia, Dr. Kaberlein, Dr. Sinclair, Dr. Green etc… When the forefathers of longevity all agree on one supplement to prolong life in addition to all the scientific studies, it’s as much of a slam dunk as you can possibly get. All the naysayers that I hear are usually uninformed. I look back at when I heard about rapamycin at the beginning and thought “Take an immunosuppressant for longevity? Are you crazy?” We should remember that a lot of people never get past that barrier.
And honestly, I trust scientific studies more than people’s opinions anyway. People believe in a lot of crazy things. Trust the science.
Absolutely, I agree with the idea that a poll of 500 longevity experts would provide a valuable data point for making important decisions about our usage of Rapamycin.
I disagree with the specific assertion that this twitter poll is representative of that group. As you mention in your last paragraph, there are many issues with the data gathering of these polls. Those are a lot of critical assumptions about the data quality to dismiss so easily.
Fair enough. Reasonable people can disagree. As with all things in the longevity field I think the data is far from perfect, but its the best we have and we’re unlikely to get any better data any time soon. I noticed that Alex @biogerontology has recently joined our forum here. Perhaps we can get him to poll his participants at the next AARD conference in some sort of formal way to get the response with a more guaranteed accurate list of participants.