Longevity and mTOR

What does mTor mean?

The mTOR kinase can be thought of as a kind of control centre of a body cell. It regulates metabolism, cell division and cell growth. In pathological processes, regulation no longer works as it should. Deactivating this control centre could, for example, lead to cancer cells being prevented from growing. Diabetes and obesity are also influenced by it.

But a study published in Science Translational Medicine in 2018 makes us sit up and take notice: Inhibiting mTOR kinase also has a positive effect on ageing processes. This also includes improving the body’s own defence function and thus fewer infections. Especially in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic this point becomes even more relevant.

Dysregulation of mTOR signalling, on the other hand, can weaken the immune system, promote muscle breakdown and pave the way for the onset and progression of various diseases common in old age, such as diabetes and a decline in mental capacity, including dementia.

Conversely, if mTOR is deactivated, this can cause an improvement in age-related diseases. In experiments with worms, flies and mice, it has been shown that inhibiting mTOR prolongs the lifespan of the animals. Thus, inhibitors of mTOR signalling may be able to delay ageing processes and thus act as a kind of fountain of youth.

What does mTor activate?

A healthy body needs mTOR activation for cell building and wound healing. For example, mTOR activation can be achieved through a protein-rich diet and exercise. For health optimisation, a phase of mTOR activation should be followed by mTOR inhibition, e.g. by interval fasting.

Namely, during prolonged periods of starvation, the mTOR kinase complex becomes temporarily inactive and falls off the cell membrane. The activity of mTOR can also be reduced pharmacologically by the immunosuppressive drug rapamycin. According to a study published in 2018 in Science Translational Medicine, inhibiting – as opposed to activating – mTOR kinase has a positive effect on ageing processes. This also includes improving the body’s own defence function and thus fewer infections. Especially with regard to the Covid19 pandemic, this point is definitely worth noting.

However, mTOR inhibitors, which are used in cancer medicine to slow down uncontrolled cell growth, sometimes lead to considerable undesirable side effects. Taking these substances can lead to metabolic disorders, high blood pressure, digestive disorders and respiratory problems.

Due to these side effects, it is therefore not advisable to use this purely for the purpose of anti-ageing.

Longevity and mTOR

Ever since time immemorial one theof the most popular thoughts is immortality or at least a really long life. In order to get one step closer to this, one has to deal more intensively with the protein mTOR which, has been identified as a critical element in agingbyscientists. mTOR-inhibitors not only play a role inanti-aging, but in age-related diseases as well.

How can one eliminate the mTOR-protein?

The fact that a natural brake for mTOR exists, is known already. During longer fasting periods the mTOR–Kinase-complex is temporarily inactivated and dissociates from the cell membrane. Several times a day, it also becomes inactive for a short time without leaving its place. By now a lipid-Kinase is known as well, which can inactivate the mTOR-complex locally. This becomes active overnight, for example, when the signal from insulin is absent. A strong inhibition of mTOR is thus achieved through fasting. Melatonin and vitamin d support this effect, as well as alphalipon-acid, certain polyphenoles and oleocanthal.

There are already approvedmTOR-inhibitors in medicine as well. An example for this is the immune suppressant Rapamycin. Due to its side effects though, it is not recommended to take this purely for anti-agingeffects.

It is importantto note that a healthy body needs themTOR-activation for cell construction and wound healing. For optimal health, a phase ofmTOR-activation with protein-rich nutrition and sport should be followed by a mTOR-inhibition through intermittent fasting or the likes.


Dr. med. Irmi Huber