Is the Secret to a Longer Life Already Available at Your Local Pharmacy? (GQ)

I spoke with the writer of the following article. Its well-written and provides a good overview of some aspects of the science and issues around rapamycin and metformin. I recommend everyone read it.

Depending on who you ask, we may be on the cusp of a great leap forward in longevity medicine. “In probably the next three to four years, you will have this pill basket” of anti-aging drugs, says Dr. Vijay Yadav, an assistant professor of genetics and development at Columbia University. Based on the patient’s health profile, he says a clinician could tap into the basket’s selections and prescribe something to improve health during their final decades: “Let us see whether we can add 10 more years of a healthy life to you.”

Closely watching the advance are so-called biohacker communities, online groups that digest any new data to guide their own regimens of potential longevity drugs—typically therapies for other illnesses taken off-label—hoping for a headstart on treatments whose effectiveness will later be fully proven. There’s no way to pin down exact numbers, but approximately 20,000 people visit each month, home to a clique of people taking the drug for its purported anti-aging properties, according to its founder.

Read the full story at the link below:


What are the latest estimates of how many people are currently taken rapamycin for longevity purposes? I’m pretty sure it was approximately 600 to 800 as recently as May 2021 when I started. If 20,000 people are visiting this site monthly then interest has mushroomed.

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Its really hard to tell with any level of certainty. here is my rough estimate:

Last time I heard Dr. Green alone had over 1300 patients using rapamycin (That was in 2022 I think). There are about another 20 to 30 doctors prescribing that started in 2021 and 2022, perhaps they have an average of a few hundred patients each (so add a few thousand more). Then you have the online resellers (AgelessRX and Healthspan) - perhaps another few thousand. So together all the prescribed patients, perhaps 6,000 to 10,000 people. Then in our polls in the past about 50% of our visitors are buying from India. So a total of somewhere between 12,000 and 20,000 and growing quickly, with most being in the USA.

Just my back of the envelope calculations…


Correction needed? In the article “…In the early 2000s, research found that rapamycin targeted a molecule called mTOR (a very clever acronym for molecular target of rapamycin ).”

mTOR is the mammalian target of rapamycin. This seems like a major mistake - but maybe I am misunderstanding the author’s intent.


Its a mistake but not a huge one.

Its usually referred to as either “Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin” or “Mammalian target of rapamycin”…

From Wikipedia:

The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR ),[5] also referred to as the mechanistic target of rapamycin , and sometimes called FK506-binding protein 12-rapamycin-associated protein 1 (FRAP1), is a kinase that in humans is encoded by the MTOR gene.[6][7][8] mTOR is a member of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related kinase family of protein kinases.


Other names:

“FK506-binding protein 12-rapamycin-associated protein 1”


From a 2017 Brian Kennedy paper. " The mechanistic (previously referred to as mammalian) Target Of Rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine protein kinase that is inhibited by rapamycin"

The usage is probably important as the use of mammalian implies it relates only to mammals, and mTOR and its mechanism is found in all species, such as nematodes, insects etc. mTOR is a universal elixir to all life.

The author’s mistake is helping me with my understanding as I look at this more closely.


Could someone please post the GQ story link in the Reddit Longevity forum? I’ve posted too many rapamycin-related links, so they blocked me. And it seems nobody has posted this link yet.

So, please post this link: Is the Secret to a Longer Life Already Available at Your Local Pharmacy? | GQ

In this Reddit forum: Reddit - Dive into anything

Thanks. Just want to get the word out more about rapamycin.


On mTOR nomenclature

The TOR name is originally based on rapamycin-resistance-conferring mutations identified in yeast [1,2], and follows the standard yeast nomenclature convention of using a three-letter acronym to name a gene and its corresponding protein. Shortly after the discovery of TOR in yeast, four different groups independently described the mammalian orthologue, giving it the names FRAP [FKBP (FK506-binding protein)-rapamycin-associated protein] [3], RAFT (rapamycin and FK506-binding protein target) [4], RAPT (rapamycin target) [5] and mTOR (mammalian TOR) [6]. On the basis of the precedent in yeast, the field eventually settled on the name mTOR for mammalian TOR. TOR was subsequently identified in several other organisms and again given the TOR moniker, but with a prefix corresponding to the species of origin. For example, TOR in nematode worms (Caenorhabditis elegans), fruitflies (Drosophila), Arabidopsis thaliana and zebrafish were christened CeTOR, dTOR, AtTOR and zTOR respectively. …

A recent development was the introduction of mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) as an alternative name for mammalian TOR (mTOR). How did the name mechanistic target of rapamycin arise? In 2009, the HGNC (HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee) decided to rename some of the genes/proteins in the mTOR network to eliminate names that did not fit HGNC’s arguably arbitrary rules …

mTOR was not acceptable to HGNC because it contains a reference to mammals,which for some reason, then never clearly explained, was simply not acceptable. Just TOR alone without a prefixwas not acceptable because this symbol was already taken and could not be exchanged. The members of the community finally reluctantly agreed to mechanistic TOR …

Thus MTOR (or mtor in zebrafish and Xenopus to satisfy their specific nomenclature conventions) is now used officially by databases for nonmammalian species.


Posted. 6-Nov-2023. dgennetten


Thanks - its strange, I couldn’t seem to find it - but then I just did find it now. It seems it was delayed.

It is even a moderator that reposted it.
It was probably a moderator that removed dgennetten’s post since it was a self-post and not using the original title.