There has been quite a bit of discussion around the benefits of rapamycin in terms of helping in visceral fat reduction (and prevention). I’m creating this new thread to help pull some of this data and discussion together in a single threat for easier access by people.
First of all - a background on this:
Reduction of Visceral Fat: In unpublished data, it has been stated that the reason PEARL trial chose visceral fat loss as the primary endpoint is because one of its collaborates Dr Watson had previously done a very small Rapamycin trial and the biggest effect he saw was a reduction of visceral fat on DEXA scan.
Below are some of the discussion, and personal experiences, around this topic. Broadly, rapamycin does not by itself seem to stimulate weight loss. It does seem, however, to make it easier to lose weight, and specifically visceral fat, when combined with a good exercise program and healthy diet. For more information on rapamycin and prevention of age-associated weight gain, see our post on “The Case for Taking Rapamycin Earlier in Life”.
However, other improvements happen within 3-4 months of use. I weighed 198 pounds and visceral fat started vanishing about a 1 pound every few days starting at 3-months - by 4-months weight loss was 15 pounds - no muscle loss and I have stayed at a healthy 183 pounds ever since.
He and others have also posted more info and photos of their experience with visceral fat loss in these two discussion threads:
And this prompted a lot of discussion around this topic
Thanks. Do you cycle on and off as some do, or steady on Rapa? I am mostly OK, old man aches and pains…but visceral fat is stubborn. Just passing 8 weeks on 8mg + gfj, so hoping for some help and fighting impatience.
The actual weight loss - for me which was my visceral adipose tissue - fat was starting at the end of 3 month’s use into the 4th month. I have always continuous used rapa with no breaks or cycling - no negative issues or effects. I started at 6 mg once a week for 16 months or so to 8 mgs for 2 months and now 10mg the last month.
It’s always great to learn of such great success, such as yours, with rapa, because for many of us, it’s all about quality of life. My question is, were there other factors besides rapa which may have influenced your weight /visceral fat loss? How do you know that it was visceral fat that you lost? I ask because it’s notoriously difficult to lose visceral fat, and my husband has ALOT of it to lose, yet he barely looks overweight! Thanks for taking the time to share your inspiring story!
Hello V - Excellent to hear from you. Maybe I get another badge for 1st woman interaction on my post. It is interesting to me how many men are interested in learning about and using rapamycin for reversing age and extending quality of life. When I talk about rapa to men - they respond “this is incredible, amazing… tell me more”. Women are kinda like - Meh? Hahaha - so I am pleased to respond to you.
Not wanting to sound too stupid, but ummm… I wasn’t aware of visceral fat even existing 2-years ago - as if that belly and my man boobs (moobs) were not enough adipose tissue. I have since studied up and give a damn great lecture on adipose tissue (the largest hormone producing substance in our body) what it is, how it negatively effects Covid… yada yada!
I felt I had trimmed down my adipose tissue - traded it in on muscles. Then, on my 3-month visits - I do this as required by my physician for being on rapa> My physician was what lead me to discover the mystery of losing 15 pounds with no muscle loss after 3-4 months. He instantly knew what had happened and was very much surprised. He too realizes that visceral fat loss is extremely difficult - if not impossible for the average person. Which is why a person can suffer from a heart attack and cardiovascular disease and yet look healthy to most people.
Too confirm his observation - I went to the ultra-sound lab. Our medical school has been teaching students the basics of ultra sound for over 11 years - it is standard medical education at our university. They confirmed i was clear of visceral fat. Hence, the weight loss that lead to the return of my abs and Adonis belt was getting rid of the visceral fat. However, the only thing I did different was take 6mg of rapa once a week. With a solid hour workout - every other day.
Note: ultrasound is an accurate, non-invasive, and reliable method to estimate intra-abdominal and visceral fat. Moreover, the accuracy of ultrasound in assessing visceral fat seems to be as high as CT scan.
Maybe you want to do a before ultra scan of organs (liver and heart) as your base line and a post scan after use of rapa for 6-months or so. I eat like an average person (not too picky) mom type dinners and don’t even do exercise for my stomach muscles. Just what hits them peripherally from my other exercises on the machines. Hope that helps.
Great thanks for your detailed response! That is the reason I asked, since my husband found out exactly how much visceral fat he has because I had him get a DEXA scan, along with numerous baseline tests BEFORE starting the 6mg weekly rapa. This technology has become more available to the public recently. Perhaps the resistance training you do is synergistic with rapa in reducing the visceral fat, and since he does zero resistance training, we will see how much, if any effect, rapa alone has on his visceral fat after 1 year. He rides a bike 30 min a day, which is minimal and of course has no impact on muscle mass and bone density. Yes, I have also noticed (and been surprised by) what seems to be far fewer women engaged in this sphere of longevity hacking. In our case, it is my husband who has no interest - he is a hacker of other technologies
Hmmm… that might be a problem - the lack of resistance training. Every report I see on aging seems to identify a sedentary lifestyle makes aging and potential illness a lot worse. At least he is biking. A small work out of 15 minutes with 10 pounds weights you can get at a Walmart type store (then move up 5 lbs every few months). He might find an interest and keep adding a few more minutes and a few more types of lifting activity. My guess is that - rapa without exercise won’t produce the gains you want. But, better than nothing.
I was always under the impression that visceral fat is the easiest fat to reduce and is one of the first place where we start losing fat when we diet, exercise, etc.
Would benefits from rapamycin mean that it promotes the burning of visceral fat over that of glycogen and muscle mass? If not, then I don’t see this as rapamycin making it easy to reduce visceral fat, as much as rapamycin making it easy to lose weight (where visceral fat is usually the first place where we lose body fat).
That said, it’d still be very interesting to compare results with rapamycin with results with fasting/keto/GLP-1 agonists, to see if there are any differences in muscle mass lost.
I’ve been on Rapamycin, with increasing dosing, for the last 15 months. 57 yo male, lean, daily resistance/aerobic exercise. I lost all my weight on a ketogenic/one meal a day diet, long before starting Rapamycin.
In my n=1 experience, I cannot support weight loss observation taking Rapamycin. I’ve been slowing tweaking diet/exercise, maintaining weight, but trading residual fat for skeletal muscle. I don’t see a distinct Rapamycin signal overlay outside what I think are the main exogenous drivers to my fat/muscle balance. Having said that, I don’t believe based on blood markers, I’ve crossed into “dysregulation” of mTOR2, and rising lipids/glycemic control, indicative of a strong TOR suppression that might support weight loss.
Having said that, in the seminal cancer/Siroliums/GFJ study, a cohort under major Rapamycin AUC and confirmed strong TOR suppression, only 15/138 (approx 10%) reported weight loss, although each one was a Grade 3/4 toxicity. I don’t think many of us are in this level and sustained TOR suppression.
as long as we’re talking about visceral fat reduction - I found this new study of interest… need to dig down and better understand what a “green mediteranean diet” and duckweed is exactly…
Recently, researchers compared the green Mediterranean diet to the traditional Mediterranean diet and a non-Mediterranean healthy diet in a large-scale clinical interventional trial—the DIRECT PLUS. Subsequent analysis found that the green Mediterranean diet reduced visceral fat by 14%, the Mediterranean diet by 7% and the non-Mediterranean healthy diet by 4.5%. The study was published in BMC Medicine .
The DIRECT-PLUS trial research team was the first to introduce the concept of the green Mediterranean diet. This modified Mediterranean diet is further enriched with dietary polyphenols and is lower in red/processed meat than the traditional Mediterranean diet. On top of a daily intake of walnuts (28 grams), the participants consumed 3-4 cups of green tea/day and 100 grams (frozen cubes) of duckweed green shake/day. The aquatic green plant duckweed is high in bioavailable protein, iron, B12, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols and substituted meat intake.
The team has shown in previous studies that the green Mediterranean diet has a variety of salutary effects ranging from the microbiome to age-related degenerative diseases.
A group of 294 participants took part in the 18-month long trial.
Hila Zelicha et al, The effect of high-polyphenol Mediterranean diet on visceral adiposity: the DIRECT PLUS randomized controlled trial, BMC Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s12916-022-02525-8
I looked into duckweed a while ago because it was reported in 2021 to alleviate NAFLD.
I never discovered the specific mechanism. But it’s worth noting that you should be careful sourcing decent quality because:
“However, since duckweed is a phytoremediation plant that extracts metals, radionuclides and other pollutants from wastewater and accumulates those in their tissues, the safety of consuming this aquatic plant has become a concern”