Dr. Donald Ellsworth on the Benefits of Rapamycin (aka Sirolimus)

July 20, 2022

In this podcast, Dr. Steven Hotze interviews Dr. Donald Ellsworth about the many benefits of Rapamycin. You don’t want to miss this great information!

Podcast Highlights:

2:48: Rapamycin, which is actually, while it is a prescription medication, it’s also a natural product. It was actually found on the Easter Islands in 1964 by some Canadian researchers who were actually looking for interesting things that were in the soil on this very remote Pacific island. And for a while, it sat on shelves.

3:09: But it was eventually noted to have strong, not only antifungal properties, which is the first thing they noted, but it was able to suppress the immune system, so they used it to prevent kidney rejection after transplants.

3:40: Well, it turns out that it only has that effect at a high daily dose. At doses that are lower, and maybe on a weekly, every two week dose, it actually stimulates the immune system to work better. But even more interestingly, it has effects on making virtually every organism that’s ever been studied, they live longer.

4:48: You just really need the safety studies and reasonable biologic mechanism for it to be helpful in people, which we do have.

4:57: And it comes down to an enzyme that’s in our cells known as mTOR which was interestingly, this enzyme turns out to be the key to our cellular activity and our aging process. And we know it’s that important because Rapamycin binds this enzyme.

5:16:  mTOR stands for target of Rapamycin. What they found is that when Rapamycin binds this, it actually slows down the activity temporarily if you take it on a weekly basis, or every two weeks. And by doing so, you have increased longevity.

6:03: In fact, we’ve known since the 1930s that one way to make organisms live longer, as well as people, is to restrict your calories.

8:02: Autophagy is basically where you break down proteins, you recycle things, you clean out the debris that’s clogging things up. So it is part of the repair process. So you need this natural balance between growth and development, and a time to clean things up. Similar to we need to be awake, we need to be asleep. We need to have times of activity in the house, we need to have cleanup sessions.

8:25: And the problem our cells get into is, it’s constantly going to be in the grow mode, in the do mode, skipping the repair process when we live the typical American lifestyle. And we know that process ages the body and increases the risk of virtually every disease we associate with aging.

9:01: But now that we have a tool that can intervene here, in addition to healthy lifestyle, intermittent fasting, eating healthy foods, we know that we can use this tool, Rapamycin, also known as Sirolimus, to balance things out. And what’s exciting is that we know it’s well tolerated.

9:22: …we have safety studies showing that it actually enhances immune function and it’s available now.

10:00: As a matter of fact, Rapamycin works as if you were doing intermittent fasting.

10:56: And what the Rapamycin does, it basically has an effect on the cell as if you were doing intermittent fasting. It down regulates the mTOR system, which is over stimulated through too much food, and it turns on the autophagy system, which cleans up all of the debris.

11:50: As a matter of fact, it’s an immunomodulator, it modulates immune system. In lower doses, it doesn’t have an immune suppressive effect.

12:42: Dr. Steven Hotze: By the way, how many articles have been written in journals on Rapamycin since 1975? PubMed, if you just go to PubMed, and you put in the word Rapamycin, how many articles? Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Yes, it’s over 50,000.

13:17: But then they saw that it also slowed solid tumor growth, so it’s been used to…for cancer treatment and also for a type of lymphoma. So interesting that, wow, we have a tool that can help prevent cancer. And it does, though, by slowing the growth. Which is a different mechanism.

14:38: Of course, we’re not directly treating cancer, but it certainly would be, if you have a risk, if you have a history, this would be a tool that you would definitely want to consider. Because it looks like mTOR activity, it’s a significant accelerator of the risk of developing cancer. It accelerates the growth of existing cancers.

15:36: A lot of people report that after they’ve been on it for a few months, they can clearly see a change in their energy level going up, and they often report being more positive.

16:03: Aches and pains, and the need for pain medication, drops when people take Rapamycin.

16:46: The stints are now embedded with Rapamycin, or Rapamycin analog, that cuts down on inflammation. And so that’s what the cardiologists are using.

18:04: And it appears that Rapamycin, because it comes from a natural substance, it’s natural. Even though it is a prescription drug, it’s a natural product that was derived from some bacteria found in the ground decades ago in the Easter Islands.

19:40: So it has a very good safety profile

20:48: Interestingly, and the good news is, speaking of the beyond part, is that when they gave this to mice towards the very end of their lifespan, the mice lived 9 to 14% longer, even when it was given that late.

Podcast Transcription:

Dr. Steven Hotze: Hello, I’m Dr. Steven Hotze, and welcome to the program today. It’s going to be a very informative, educational program, and it’s going to stimulate your thinking. All of us are getting older, and many of us, as we get older, begin to have a whole series of health problems, and we try, go to the physician. We get on pharmaceutical drugs, that doesn’t seem to work. You may come to the Hotze Health & Wellness Center where you have natural approaches to health and help you obtain and maintain health and wellness naturally. So you have energy vitality, and you have enthusiasm for life. So our whole program is built around getting people healthy and well – increasing their energy level, strengthening their immune system naturally, without pharmaceutical drugs.

Our program involves healthy eating, lifestyle replenishment, balancing out your natural occurring hormones, thyroid hormones, sex hormones, adrenal support, vitamin and mineral supplementation. When you have allergies, we treat for airborne and food allergies. And we also recommend a good exercise program. All this does improve the quality of life. And it may indeed, and probably does in a lot of people, provide life extension. But I wanted you to meet today with one of our lead physicians here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Dr. Don Ellsworth. Dr. Ellsworth is a researcher. He’s always looking for ways that we can help improve our program so our guests get the maximum benefit about coming in here to the Hotze Health & Wellness Center.

Recently, in the last several months, he became aware of a product, a drug product, called Rapamycin, R-A-P-A-M-Y-C-I-N, Rapamycin. Which has been on the market for, golly, 30 or so years or longer here in America, in the United States, and it has been proven over the last several years to have significant benefits in increasing longevity and in health span. So I wanted to have Dr. Ellsworth discuss this new development, in addition to our practice that we have here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. So doctor, tell us about Rapamycin and what it is, how it was discovered, and what it’s been used for in the past, its safety and how it works, and how it will affect our overall health span and lifespan.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Thank you very much. I’m very excited about this new tool we have.  Because Rapamycin, which is actually, while it is a prescription medication, it’s also a natural product. It was actually found on the Easter Islands in 1964 by some Canadian researchers who were actually looking for interesting things that were in the soil on this very remote Pacific island. And for a while, it sat on shelves. But it was eventually noted to have strong, not only antifungal properties, which is the first thing they noted, but it was able to suppress the immune system, so they used it to prevent kidney rejection after transplants. And because its first medical FDA approval was for that purpose, it got pigeonholed as something that has nothing to do with being healthy. It got pigeonholed for people who are on the sicker side, who needed something to hold back their immune system.

Well, it turns out that it only has that effect at a high daily dose. At doses that are lower, and maybe on a weekly, every two week dose, it actually stimulates the immune system to work better. But even more interestingly, it has effects on making virtually every organism that’s ever been studied, they live longer. Now, if you think about it, when you do a study, say it’s a mouse study, you don’t usually look for them to live longer. You’re more asking the question, “does it cause obvious harm?” But what they found is that they would live, even elderly mice, would live longer. But the younger they were, they could be 20% longer, 30% longer lived, 40%, 50%, even 60% longer. If you think about what that would mean for human lifespan, these are enormous implications.

mTOR Enzyme

Of course, it’s much harder to study lifespan in humans. And I’m not really anticipating that study to be forthcoming. And in some ways, it would be unethical in my mind to wait for that study. Because you really can’t. You just really need the safety studies and reasonable biologic mechanism for it to be helpful in people. Which we do have. And it comes down to an enzyme that’s in our cells known as mTOR which was interestingly, this enzyme turns out to be the key to our cellular activity and our aging process. And we know it’s that important because Rapamycin binds this enzyme.

mTOR stands for target of Rapamycin. What they found is that when Rapamycin binds this, it actually slows down the activity temporarily if you take it on a weekly basis, or every two weeks. And by doing so, you have increased longevity. And mTOR is interesting because you need activity to build muscle and to grow and divide. But most of us as we go through life, especially in our culture, we eventually become much more on the too much mTOR side of the over equation…

Dr. Steven Hotze: Overstimulated.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Which you know has been perhaps referred to as the mTOR syndrome, mTOR overactivity. And you can bring that back by fasting or caloric restriction. In fact, we’ve known since the 1930s that one way to make organisms live longer, as well as people, is to restrict your calories.

Dr. Steven Hotze: That’s right. Thin people live longer than heavy people. That’s just statistic. That’s just an actuarial statistic. We know that.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: And we had no idea how that worked until we started studying mTOR. Now we know that when we have caloric restriction, this particular enzyme down regulates. Which basically means it’s going back into the right balance. And by doing so you have enhanced longevity.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Well explain what the balance, the mTOR with the autophagy.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: There’s basically two. If you think of your cell, it’s normally doing a lot of things. It’s making proteins, it’s growing, it’s dividing. All those things are stimulated by mTOR.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And what stimulates mTOR?

Dr. Ellsworth: Nutritional intake, largely.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Right. So as we’re eating all the time, Americans have an overactive mTOR system, so they’re overproducing cellular products.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Exactly, exactly.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And those cellular products break down. But if all you’re doing is providing your body with nutrients 18 hours a day, from morning to bedtime snack, that overstimulates the mTOR system. And you have all of these breakdown products that have to get cleaned up. I like to explain it like this. Recently we had our, eight of our grandchildren, at a beach home. And they were all under the age of 10 years in age. And I’m telling you what, the house was, you can imagine, with cups and trash and everything all over the place. That happened all day long until the kids went to bed.

Then the ladies, my wife and my two daughters, had to go clean everything up. But it never got completely cleaned up because the kids were up in the morning and it was messed up again. So this is kind of like your cells. Your cells are overacting. They’re overactive, like a bunch of little kids, they’re overactive when you’re imbibing too much nutrition and your body has to go through a cleanup phase, a trash removal. And that’s autophagy.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Right. Autophagy is basically where you break down proteins, you recycle things, you clean out the debris that’s clogging things up. So it is part of the repair process. So you need this natural balance between growth and development, and a time to clean things up. Similar to we need to be awake, we need to be asleep. We need to have times of activity in the house, we need to have cleanup sessions. And the problem our cells get into is, it’s constantly going to be in the grow mode, in the do mode, skipping the repair process when we live the typical American lifestyle. And we know that process ages the body and increases the risk of virtually every disease we associate with aging.

Dr. Steven Hotze: They call it the mTOR system, which is what? Type two diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and a whole host of problems that are associated with aging.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Cognitive changes, degenerative changes, osteoarthritis, and that sounds terrible. But now that we have a tool that can intervene here, in addition to healthy lifestyle, intermittent fasting, eating healthy foods, we know that we can use this tool, Rapamycin, also known as Sirolimus, to balance things out. And what’s exciting is that we know it’s well tolerated. We know that it…we have safety studies showing that it actually enhances immune function and it’s available now. I mean, there’s so many times where people have come in and joked, “Doc, I’d love for you to give me an extra so many years. I want to live to be this age.” Of course, we can’t make any guarantees. But we actually have a plausible mechanism for being able to say this does, in all of this animal models, give hope that by achieving this process of getting balance with this particular enzyme, mTOR, that you may be on that trajectory. And that’s exciting.

Dr. Steven Hotze:  As a matter of fact, Rapamycin works as if you were doing intermittent fasting. Now, many of you may have tried it, or you hear about intermittent fasting, and that’s where you eat one meal a day like Dr. Ellsworth does and like I do. We eat one meal a day. And Dr. Ellsworth is thin, trim. I’m two pounds plus or minus within my playing weight in high school. And the way I stay thin and trim is that…it’s not through exercise. You can’t ever exercise enough to get down to a body weight. You have to run 30 miles to lose one pound of real fat. You only burn up 120 calories every mile you run, and a pound of fat’s 3,500 calories. So you do the math, and you figure it out. It takes 30 miles of running to lose a pound of fat.

But if you eat healthy and you have intermittent fasting, well guess what? You’re going to get down to an ideal body weight. Problem is a lot of people have difficulty doing that, the self-discipline to do that. And what the Rapamycin does, it basically has an effect on the cell as if you were doing intermittent fasting. It down regulates the mTOR system, which is over stimulated through too much food. And it turns on the autophagy system, which cleans up all of the debris. So it’s a way for you to basically mimic intermittent fasting using this medication which by the way is natural. It’s derived from bacteria that they found in the soil on the Easter Islands in 1964. And so, drug companies were able to patent this molecule, and this bacteria, and they used it initially, they used it for antifungal.

And as Dr. Ellsworth mentioned, they used it to suppress the immune system in high doses. It suppresses the immune system, so they figured it was an immunosuppressant. As a matter of fact, it’s an immunomodulator, it modulates immune system. In lower doses, it doesn’t have an immune suppressive effect. It does have an effect though, of downregulating your mTOR enzyme which, when it’s overactive, leads to a host of health problems that we’ve mentioned. The diabetes, the obesity, the heart disease, the joint disease, cognitive dysfunction, all the problems that go along with aging. So we’re very, very excited that we have this product available, and are you starting to recommend it to your patients?

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: I am. I am.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Are you taking this, yourself?

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Of course, of course.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And he did prescribe it to me. I read the book Rapamycin, which I’d highly recommend you reading. It’s called Rapamycin, R-A-P-A-M-Y-C-I-N, by Dr. Ross Pelton, who’s a natural pharmacist, who’s done studies on Rapamycin. By the way, how many articles have been written in journals on Rapamycin since 1975? PubMed, if you just go to PubMed, and you put in the word Rapamycin, how many articles?

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Yes, it’s over 50,000.

Dr. Steven Hotze: 50,000.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: It’s over 50,000.

Dr. Steven Hotze: So this has been well studied. Also talk to us about the National Cancer Institute, what it found out about Rapamycin in low doses.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: That’s a great question. It was, it was initially used for this purpose, to prevent the kidney transplants from being rejected. But then they saw that it also slowed solid tumor growth, so it’s been used to…for cancer treatment and also for a type of lymphoma. So interesting that, wow, we have a tool that can help prevent cancer. And it does, though, by slowing the growth. Which is a different mechanism.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Mechanism. It’s a cytostatic drug, cyto is cells. So it causes the cells to slow down their growth, the cancer cells. As opposed to cytotoxic drugs, which kill cancer cells, but they also kill all our other dividing cells in the body. And people that take cytotoxins, or the chemotherapy, have…their hair falls out, they get skin rashes, they get all kinds of immune disorders, or blood cells go down to nothing. Their white cells collapse. And it causes a host of health problems. Rapamycin doesn’t work that way. It is cytostatic. It just downregulates the cells so they don’t grow fast, and so I think it really has a benefit for people with cancer. It seems like, from what the Cancer Institute found, this might be something that could be used to help with down regulating cancer growth if people have it.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Of course we’re not directly treating cancer, but it certainly would be, if you have a risk, if you have a history, this would be a tool that you would definitely want to consider. Because it looks like mTOR activity, it’s a significant accelerator of the risk of developing cancer. It accelerates the growth of existing cancers. And that’s part of why you see a connection in the literature, that’s very clear with people who have weight problems. If you’re overweight, you’re at higher risk for cancer. If you have diabetes, you’re at higher risk for cancer. Well, and those are high mTOR activity level conditions. And so you can bring them back into balance by simply taking something as simple as Rapamycin. And people have been taking this now for 10 years.

And I consulted with a physician in New York, Al Green. And he was telling me how he has more than a thousand people that he’s prescribed it to. And when you look at the reports people have, it’s similar to some of the things I’ve noticed. A lot of people report that after they’ve been on it for a few months, they can clearly see a change in their energy level going up, and they often report being more positive. Do you remember when you’re 20 or 30, just kind of being in a good mood all the time? You know. It was just kind of natural. And sometimes somewhere along the line, it becomes a little less natural to be as upbeat, and people are seeing that coming back. And that’s kind of nice. Aches and pains, and the need for pain medication, drops when people take Rapamycin. And that’s always a good thing. And that’s the inflammation process, the degenerative process, well mTOR overactivity accelerates all of those processes.

Dr. Steven Hotze: …accelerates everything, and this is important to note, that Rapamycin is an anti-inflammatory drug. When given in the proper doses, it’s an anti-inflammatory. As a matter of fact, you’ve heard about people that have blockage in the heart. Instead of getting a bypass surgery, oftentimes the doctors will go and put a catheter and get into one of the main arteries in the heart. And they’ll put a stint in to open up. The stints are now embedded with Rapamycin, or Rapamycin analog, that cuts down on inflammation. And so that’s what the cardiologists are using. Because in the old days, when they put the stints in, they would get stenosis again. It would just clog up immediately. But now that they put the stints in with Rapamycin, the arteries stay open, and they don’t have the problem. So remember heart disease, coronary artery disease, is an inflammatory disease, so it makes sense that Rapamycin would work as an anti-inflammatory when you put it directly into the coronary arteries.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: It’s exciting that we have a tool that can actually be involved in slowing down one of the major killers in the United States, which is heart disease. And number two, cancer. So we’ve got something that is a great tool for staying healthy, not just living longer, but actually…

Dr. Steven Hotze: Living healthy.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Living healthier, which is extremely important.

Dr. Steven Hotze: You want to increase your health span. While you’re alive, you want to be alive. You want to feel alive. You don’t want to be having a host of diseases where you’re taking all of these medications which simply are toxic to the body, and make you sicker quicker. You want your body to repair itself. And God’s given the body amazing restorative power, if you’ll put the right molecules in the body.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Exactly.

Dr. Steven Hotze: And it appears that Rapamycin, because it comes from a natural substance, it’s natural. Even though it is a prescription drug, it’s a natural product that was derived from some bacteria found in the ground decades ago in the Easter Islands.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Easter Islands.

Dr. Steven Hotze: So we’re excited about the potential of this. And by the way, when I read the book three times, and it’s a great book. You need to get it and read it. It’s easy to read. And I’ve interviewed Dr. Pelton on my Brighteon TV show. He’s an amazing individual and has done amazing work. Now he’s not the only one that’s done work. There are literally thousands and thousands, tens of thousands, of articles about the benefits of Rapamycin. Now, some people might ask “well, it’s a pharmaceutical drug, it’s got to be toxic.”

And what we’ve found out in the studies on Rapamycin, in mice studies, they tried to give mice enough Rapamycin that it would kill them. It’s called an LD50, the lethal dose of a certain drug at which 50% of the test animals would die. They couldn’t give enough to the mice to cause them to die. The equivalent would be giving approximately 750,000 milligrams to a human being, and the medication that we recommend is five milligrams once a week. And there was no lethal dose ever determined in animal studies using Rapamycin.

In extremely high doses, there was no way they could. So it has a very good safety profile. It’s very good. They do say some people occasionally will complain that they get some sores, maybe they get an aphthous ulcer, or maybe a little skin problem. If that’s the case, then it always can be reduced, but what we’re recommending, and from the doctors that we’ve visited with, the dose is five milligrams once a week.

Dr. Ellsworth – what is the name you said below, in blue highlight? I could not make it out on the video…thank you! Jennifer

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Yes. And there may be some wiggle room on that. But it’s well tolerated. Everything’s reversible. And we’re seeing that some of the people that have been the researchers in this field, have made statements like, “The overwhelming evidence is that Rapamycin is the universal anti-aging drug.” And Al Green has made the appointment  “For a person over 50, this is the most important drug in the world today.” And we have these powerful tools available now, and our pharmacy is actually compounding it. And for those who come to see us, we do for those where it fits, which is going to be generally somebody who’s more in midlife and beyond. Interestingly, and the good news is, speaking of the beyond part, is that when they gave this to mice towards the very end of their lifespan, the mice lived 9 to 14% longer, even when it was given that late. Which is really a wow type of response. You just don’t expect to see that.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Right. The average life span of Americans, let’s say, it’s approximately 80, plus or minus two years. So if you’re at 70, if you could add 10% onto your life, that means you’re going to live to be 88, you know, all things being equal. You may live to be a hundred. But you may have lived to be that way anyway. I know people that have lived to been a hundred. And they weren’t taking Rapamycin but they were thin and trim, I think. They weren’t overweight people that lived that long. But this is a tremendous opportunity for us to provide you, if you’re interested, with a medication that has the apparent ability through animal studies, to increase longevity and increase your health span. And that’s what’s most important. Well, doctor, thank you for doing the study on this and bringing this information to us.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: My pleasure.

Dr. Steven Hotze: I think it could be revolutionary. I’m taking it. My wife’s taking it now, and we’ll just see how long we live. Thanks so much.

Dr. Donald Ellsworth: Yes. Thank you, Steve.

Dr. Steven Hotze: Okay.

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Written By: Steven F. Hotze, M.D.

Steven F. Hotze, M.D., is the founder and CEO of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Hotze Vitamins and Physicians Preference Pharmacy International, LLC.

 

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