The dark side of rapamycin

don’t get me wrong. i’m a total fan of rapamycin.
especially once you hit 50, it seems like rapamycin does little other than help you out a great deal. And the risks are worth it.

and I know that there’s a downside of less resistance to bacterial infections. that’s a pretty widely known caution to rapamycin.

But I’ve rarely heard of people disliking rapamycin. I mean Dr. Saladino here is no god, but I’ve found him to be a pretty smart guy when it comes to understanding good nutrition. I was kinda surprised on his take on rapamycin. Start with the time spot in the link. Do mTOR, IGF 1 and dairy accelerate aging? - YouTube

I know that the whole reason we have rapamycin is organ transplant patients and taking it every day pretty much completely takes out your immune system (which is a pretty scary thought - but I’m sure it beats death from an organ transplant).

I’m kinda wondering how worried I should be about tb and pulmonary infections. I also do know that rapamycin has not been well studied in the general population and there are big huge risks just jumping in and trying it.

It’s just kind of interesting in the end I guess.
I’m definitely still going to take it. But probably every 2 weeks. And with breaks of a month every now and then I’m thinking.

My grandpa lived past 90, but it was a lung infection of some sort (unknown therefore untreatable) that brought him to the end. He was my favorite guy.

I’m not so sure about rapa every single week anymore.

I’m sure others are taking it less than weekly. Since this whole thing is a big gray area, and since this is a message forum, I’m interested in other people’s thoughts and guesses :slight_smile:


Well, his name is carnivoreMD. That’s enough to give a cautionary note. I will save everyone the brain cells. Here is his argument. If we don’t tell the body that it is thriving, then our immune system will suffer. If we don’t give our body an abundance signal with protein (read meat), amino acids, glycine, then our immune system will suffer. Why would we think we are smarter than hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Our ancestors looked pretty healthy to me (ignores the fact that our ancestors have been dying for hundreds of thousands of years). If only the medical students knew about all of these populations that are free from obesity, diabetes, disease, free from chronic illness, simply because they eat meat, organs, and lots of animal fat.

That’s the level of the discourse.


I also take it every two weeks to reduce side effects. Doubt any study has been done looking for infections when Rapa is only taken once a week or less often, but you’d think if there were a significant number of bad infections we’d hear from someone like Dr Green.


I think Dr Green does recommend telling your doctor so they can watch out specifically for bacterial infections.

I’m kinda wondering why that video specifically mentions TB and pulmonary infections. Are the lungs the most vulnerable to bacterial infections?

Well, he really didn’t say much. I probably shouldn’t be reading so much into it.

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I will watch the video, but I think you have it wrong on the aspect of “pretty much completely takes out your immune system” aspect.

We have people here in our forums who are taking rapamycin due to organ transplants (@LaraPo for example) and she’s been taking rapamycin for many years, and it does lower the immune system a little bit (just enough so that the body doesn’t reject the new organ), but from the sounds of it, her life is pretty normal. She’s not like the “boy in the bubble” that can never be exposed to germs or she’ll die. She’s likely a little more careful to avoid infections and such. And that is of course for daily dosing for transplant patients - not weekly dosing that is typical in longevity applications that we do here on this site.

Generally, its pretty clear from people’s reported experiences with rapamycin in longevity dosing protocols, the immune system suppression bogeyman is vastly overplayed by doctors and others unfamiliar with the details and actual usage experiences.

And of course, you’re familiar with the Mannick study in 2014 that showed improved immunity from weekly dosing? mTOR inhibition improves immune function in the elderly - PubMed

I think you are completely wrong about the idea that “there are big huge risks just jumping in and trying it.” We’ve got lots of people who have been using it for years (me for over three years) with absolutely no issues. Is there some small chance that it could be harmful under some conditions - of course, as with all medications. But I think you’re vastly over-reacting and over-estimating the risk.

People reported the side effects in our survey of 100+ people, and they are by general consensus not bad: Rapamycin User Poll / Survey - Please Respond

and: Approximately 87% of Rapamycin Users Plan to Keep Using the Longevity Drug

But, of course, this is just my opinion. If you read up on rapamycin and don’t like the risks, just don’t take it. Everyone should discuss with their doctors and make an informed decision for themselves.


Thank you RapAdmin! You are right, I’m not like the boy in a bubble. I have absolutely normal life, go to gym, travel, socialize with friends, etc. I do get infections from time to time, like Covid last December, but not often because I try to avoid what I call “risky behavior” (like rubbing elbows in a crowded place). I recovered from Covid amazingly quickly - tested positive on the 6th day - and without long term consequences, which was due IMHO to protective effects of Rapamycin and a low dose of Prednisone for a few days to deal with inflammation. All my extensive bloodwork markers are back to normal. My doctor is amazed that I recuperated so quickly and believes that it happened due to my diet, exercising, higher levels of Vit D and protective effects of Rapamycin.


It may not be necessary to give much weight to the views of Paul Saladino, considering that he and Liver King are in a business partnership.


The robustness of the immune system could be the driving problem. For example, the immune response is how we can arterial plaque.

One would think that the immune system should to be perturbed.


Well its enlightening to hear from an actual organ transplant patient. Thankyou.

I probably shouldnt have thrown in so much hyperbole.

I think Ill stick with every other week. But there does seem to be a lot of data on this topic. It seems to be “known” significantly more than some say.


You may want to consider taking it once a week for 8–10 weeks and then cycling off for a month or more. Studies have shown that you will get almost all of the benefits and perhaps you will have fewer side effects. Matt Kaeberlein does something similar to that.


Saladino wrote a book called “The Carnivore Code” that argued that the carnivore diet was optimal for human health. Less than a year later he announced he was quitting the carnivore diet and eating 100g of carbs per day. But this is okay, you see, because the carbs are from “ancestral sources” like honey, fruit, and rice. Now he contends the keto diet can be dangerous. (Sorry, book buyers, no refunds. But you should still buy my crazy expensive organ meat supplements and my $200/month glucose monitoring plan.)

All this makes it difficult to take Saladino seriously.


People like Salatino use basic psychology to sell their crazyness to people. I sometimes feel like David Asprey among others does the same.

  1. Tell people, that their bad habits are actually great for them. Convince them with logical sounding pseudo science.
  2. Tell people how innovative and wise they are with their lifestyle.
  3. Tell people how stupid others are, who stick to the current research.

The newly created community will fight for their beliefs.

  1. Sell crazy stuff, like organ supplements.

The Saladino diet:



Ok - so here is some of the counter-argument against the statements by Dr. Carnivore by Brian Kennedy, Geroscientist (in addition to the aforementioned rebutal against the excessive fear mongering around immune supression). Dr. Protein seems clueless about Rapamycin and really shouldn’t be talking about things he doesn’t understand well…


The way it has been since Edward Bernays


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that’s only because they got eaten by dinosaurs, duh (j/k)

I don’t have words… oh yes I actually do!
He’s made so many changes over the years that I really don’t think he truly knows anything other than what works for him personally at any given time. I say this as someone who bought his carnivore book when it was first released. I have the utmost respect for his medical background/degree but I don’t think it qualifies him to be handing out broad recommendations and personally I will just stick with my own experience and that of other ordinary people who aren’t trying to sell me anything. When I was on Instagram back when covid first hit he was claiming in a post that people eating the carnivore diet were basically immune to catching it yet I had been eating carnivore for about 10 months at that time and still got covid. :slight_smile: That was when I stopped following him. It isn’t a miracle diet as he made it out to be (although I found it beneficial in many ways) and he has since changed his stance. He’s taking his followers along on his journey of discovery about diet/ lifestyle hacks that work for him which is a shame really since we all have our own unique situation/context to consider when deciding what works best for us. The optimal human diet is just never, ever that simple and highly individual in my opinion.


Wow. Alotta comments :open_mouth:

Ok, yall don’t have to like Dr Saladino. But I gotta say I do. I kinda think he’s made progress in nutrition. Not on his own. All his ideas are from other people. And he says so and gives credit. But I think changing your ways based on data that you collect on yourself is proooobably the proper way to do science.

Is anybody else standing up for the postprandial curve and sayin “you need that - it’s healthy”?

He shills the dessicated organ pills, but if you’re gonna shill somethin, that’s not a terrible thing ta shill, I’d say.

But, he does go on and on and on and on. Not thrilled with that part. But it kinda seems to me that honey actually is pretty magic. Significantly different than sugar. Maybe not chemically. But somehow. Maybe our cells just “know” it.

But, you know, in the end…

This mtor pathway is in the deep deep guts of our cells. (Well, almost all if not all eukaryotes, right?) We know the key that definitely resets it for a while (rapamycin). And we know a tiny tiny bit about how it’s turned on. And a tinier bit about what comes after it (almost everything:)

But it’s a very deep pathway. With a LOT leading up to it. And a LOT of things happening after it.
To say you understand it is craziness.

To say you understand it is saying you understand practically EVERYTHING about nutrition. And that’s crazy talk. We’re nowhere near that.

I think we’ll find significantly more things that lead up to and follow mtor that we have no idea about now.

But, you know, in the end… I’m sure glad we found it. Very glad !! Thank goodness we found it.

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I can honestly say that I do not understand any of this.


To all, I agree there’s too much hype in all subjects. In regard / comments on Salaino.

Re carnivore diet. My wife has read Salidino’s book, followed his evolution. Look at his picture, he’s got an amazing body no mater what you say. My wife eats 90% meat/fish and a bit of honey/squashes. I don’;t like vegies and just eat meat and only meat and am the one on rapa/senolytics.

As we age we need to eat approaching and exceeding 100g of protein to stave off sarcopenia. Protein also helps with osteroposis. Which is another reason why we biase what we eat to be nearly 100% meats.

I’m defending the carnivore diet. We go to 3 medical conferences a year on Low Carb / Metabolic Health. My wife wears the $200/mo CGM (Salidinos reco) for 2 yr+ and probably will wear one for 6 mo more and stop. after 2.5yr she now has her diet tuned to 75-85 flat for 24hrs x 7 days. She was not this metabolicly in control prior to Salitino / CGM use!!! The CGM was the policeman that tattled when there was vering off diet.

We’ve just traveled to Denver for the Low Carb conf 2023 / Denver. Every speaker has an advanced degree and clinical experience. We went to the Low Carb/Metabolic Conf of Boca in FL in Feb and prior years. I can summarize; strip carbs from your diet for all forms of health, mental health, weight loss and disease avoidance and chronic disease resolution. Yes to time restricted eating, yes to periodic fasting, yes to metabolically being in ketosis, yes to low carb. These are just my views from spending so much time, $$, study on diet vs health.

We just cooked in our hotel room via a george forman grill a conventional steak each that we bought at whole foods. A few olives a few pieces of cheese, a few paper coffee cups (hotel provided) of wine. Haha so yes a tiny bit of carbs, but mostly meat. We both feel best after years and years of refining from a quality wide ranged vegie + meat diet (more grains and vegies and meat) and not feeling well. Now feel best, blood work is best, inflamation are all best (for us) on meat.

FWIW at home we’ve moved to a wine vendor that selects world wide wine producers for low/no sugar AND no toxics. Look up for a keto friendly low toxics source of wine.

I agree though that you are entitled to your own opinions. We are all on our own tracks.

We have both learned re so many personalities out there in these frustrating recent times; listen, but dig into the raw data yourselves to determine for yourselves what is fact and what facts apply to your body. I really do mean, you need to read the body of the studies not just the abstracts and even into the raw data.

Wishing all the best, curt