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Metformin, mTOR inhibition, immune system function, COVID-19 and aging tied together

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  • Metformin, mTOR inhibition, immune system function, COVID-19 and aging tied together

    Those diverse topics all come together in an interesting recent long Peter Attia podcast with Joan Mannick and Nir Barzilai (see below reference). There are show notes which can be used to identify portions of interest if a person doesn't have the time or interest in listening to the entire podcast. I personally found it interesting enough to listen twice to really be able to understand specifics. The bottom line is that metformin and other mTOR inhibitors taken long-term act to keep the immune system healthier as a person ages. For those who just want the basics, think seriously about taking metformin for long-term health.

    One of the big issues of immediate concern that the aging population faces is the potential for inadequate immune system function directly in response to getting the COVID-19 virus and also the immune system response to future vaccines. In older people the innate part of the immune system doesn't work properly to release interferon early on in response to viral infection. The adaptive part of the immune system then doesn't boot up well to fight off the virus. Nir Barzilai presents a lot of info on metformin including thoughts on why we need to look closer at the data from the two studies showing metformin usage interferes with exercise adaptation and muscle growth. Joan Mannick provides a lot of insight into other mTOR inhibitors such as rapamycin/RTB101, and how studies have shown those beneficial to immune function.

    The final interesting piece was on DNA methylation changes in aging, and the methods/tests that attempt to provide accurate biological aging info based upon those DNA methylation changes.