Extend Your Life with Seven Medications and Additional Therapies
Many people don’t like to take prescription drugs unless they need to, and I’m sympathetic with that. So, I want to describe some of the trials that are done on various drugs. First, there is a clinical trial, usually proposed by a drug company that’s developed a new drug, and then they propose to the FDA to do a trial. The FDA has very strict guidelines. It’s very expensive, could take years, and in many cases, they’ve got to have very controlled conditions. So for example, placebo-controlled, meaning half the group are taking the drug, half the people are taking a sugar pill, and it’s double-blind. Meaning the people who are taking it don’t know whether they’re getting the real thing or not.
And the doctors analyzing the results, the researchers, don’t know which group is which either. Just to try to keep it pure from an identity standpoint. And then once we do that, in the end, we can identify the benefits of the drug and the side effects, with just one variable, the drug. So we will determine whether, of course, the benefits outweigh the side effects. And if they do, then it will be authorized as a drug approved by the FDA. And as we learned in the COVID crisis, that in some cases, this approval process could be used for emergencies, for what’s called off-label uses. And we’ve heard about people using malaria drugs and other drugs for purposes that could be useful for COVID 19. So that’s what’s called a clinical trial. The next type of trial or study is called an epidemiology study, and that means you take a very long, large population over a very long period, and then you can make some pretty good inferences. And in this case, now, there are many variables.
So an FDA-approved clinical trial, just one variable, the drug, but in an epidemiology study over many years with a big sampling, there are many variables. And there’s a couple of very famous ones, the Framingham Studies where it’s hundreds of thousands of doctors in one study, hundreds of thousands of nurses in another. So they know they have people who are willing to get a physical every year and willing to have their blood drawn and willing to fill out a form. And once they do, over a long period, you can draw some realistic inferences. It doesn’t show you cause and effect, but it does tell you inferences that would help you perhaps do clinical trials later. An example would be if a nurse is more than 30 pounds overweight, she loses seven years of life.
If a doctor was a heavy smoker, two packs a day or more, he or she will lose 11 years of life. So you can’t really show cause and effect, but you can get some pretty good inferences as long as it’s done over a long time, people are willing to fill out a form and get a physical every year, and so you’ve got pretty good data. So, that’s called an epidemiology study. Then there’s what’s called a meta-analysis, and that is where you take a whole bunch of epidemiology studies, mush them together, and the outcome could be an assessment of overall mortality risk. So it’s not just one epidemiology study, it could be 500 of them, and this of course takes a lot of computer power to make these assessments. Then next, there are studies in fruit flies, worms, mice, rats, and dogs in Canada only.
And the reason these are the organisms that are usually studied is that they all have a similar genome to humans, kind of surprising. And of course, when you do studies on these organisms, we can get the results very quickly because they don’t live very long. Fruit flies are days, and so that’s where you first start with a new study. First with flies, fruit flies, if that works, try on worms, and mice then rats, and then dogs. And then we have the idea that whether or not it’d be worth it to try it with a study on humans, whether it’d be worth it. And then the last, of course, is these small studies in humans where you can kind of get an initial idea of what the benefit and the risk are. And it’ll also assess the suitability for a potential clinical trial.
So it’s useful to understand how all of these various studies and trials work because it’ll come into play when we’re thinking about taking some of these various prescription drugs. So there are seven drugs or medications with this, what’s called off-label therapy, or adjuvant therapy, or additional therapy. And one that almost everybody knows about is Viagra. Viagra was developed as a heart drug, and it was kind of okay for that use, but the off-label use, the other benefit, even a greater benefit was for men with erectile dysfunction. And so that’s an example of Viagra was not developed for erectile dysfunction, but we found out that it does work for it. And since we’ve done a clinical trial and know the side effects aren’t too bad, then it’s an easy approval. You don’t have to get FDA approval. In most cases, doctors can just start prescribing it.
And so that’s an example of what we mean by off-label use. So there are four of these medications and prescription drugs that have off-label for a benefit. The first is aspirin. So aspirin usually is used for headaches, as we all know, and the primary use is typically to reduce chronic inflammation. And if you remember from some of my previous podcasts, that’s essentially all through all these diseases, it all kind of starts with chronic inflammation. So aspirin is good for that. That’s the primary use. The off-label use for aspirin is it greatly reduces the likelihood of colon cancer. And the suggested dose every day to get that off-label benefit from aspirin is one baby aspirin a day, which is a quarter of a regular aspirin, 81 milligrams.
The second one, so aspirin’s a medication, not a drug. Now statin is a drug. And as we all know, I’m sure statin is used to lower LDL and that’ll reduce the incidence of pleural sclerosis, which means heart attacks and strokes, and been a tremendous benefit in our country from taking statins for people. It also has an off-label benefit, and that is, it reduces the likelihood of four different cancers. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer. So for example, I don’t get headaches. I never take aspirin, but I’m taking aspirin, low dose, to reduce the probability of getting colon cancer. And I don’t have high cholesterol, but I’m taking a statin just to decrease the probability that I will get prostate, pancreatic, or kidney cancer, or if I was a woman, also of breast cancer.
The third one is a beta-blocker which is used to help people lower their blood pressure. That’s the primary use. And you may have remembered from some of my previous podcasts, 47% of the people in the U.S. have pressure over 120 slash 70. In other words, dangerous. And the off-label benefit of a beta-blocker is it will reduce the incidence of prostate and breast cancer. So I don’t have high blood pressure, but I’m taking a beta-blocker because I want that benefit to reduce the probability of me getting prostate cancer.
And then the last prescription drug is Metformin, and Metformin has been around for 30 or 40 years. It’s all based on the goat’s rue plant that’s been used in China for 2000 years. And its main benefit is to reduce the sugar levels in our body, and the primary use is for people who have type two diabetes, which is understandable. However, the off-label benefit of Metformin is it reduces the probability of five different cancers. Pancreatic, colon, stomach, endometrium, and liver. So again, I don’t have type two diabetes, but I’m taking Metformin.
Now, here’s something interesting about Metformin. So when people get type two diabetes, they don’t take Metformin. They will, epidemiology studies now, large groups of people, they will lose 11, sorry, 10 years off their lifespan and 15 years off of their healthspan. In other words, they’re not going to have a very good life for the last 15 years, meaning from age, say 55 to 70. And so when diabetics take Metformin, they live longer than people who don’t have diabetes. So it’s almost as good a proof you can get that it has a real benefit for longevity. And there is now, the first time ever, a clinical trial in progress for the additional benefits for longevity for Metformin is the only one ever started for a longevity benefit. As you can imagine, it’s got to be a long study because it takes a long time for us to see the effect on us humans.
Now, to give you one example about type two diabetes, by the way, 10% of Americans’ habit and 30% are pre-diabetic, so if you have type two diabetes and don’t take Metformin, again, you lose 10 years off your lifespan, 15 years off your healthspan. So my wife recently went down to Norfolk to see one of her girlfriends whose husband had just died from type two diabetes. And he was 71, so he lost nine years, and he has had one leg amputated. He has lost his eyesight and other things that have happened to him. Bedridden, and so had a lousy life for 15 years, and then recently he got renal failure, and so the choice was to go into dialysis and he just said, “Heck with it, I’m done.” So there’s just a perfect example of if you have type two diabetes, what’s going to happen to you, especially if you don’t take Metformin. And again, Metformin is an FDA-approved drug for treating type two diabetes by keeping the sugar levels in check.
So the first four, what was the medication? Aspirin and the other three were prescription drugs. And their major benefit is to help prevent various cancers. In addition, for Metformin, the additional benefit is we just live a lot longer. And so people might have asked, “So when should I start taking these? What age?” And you hear all kinds of advice on this. If you kind integrate the advice, I would say if you don’t have any underlying conditions, probably can wait till you’re in your sixties. But if you have underlying conditions, might even want to start at age 45. And by underlying conditions, we’ve kind of heard about this in the COVID crisis, what a whole list of these are. COPD, having had a heart attack, renal failure, high blood pressure, diabetes. So if you got any of that, especially more than one, you should probably be taking those already. And again, I know most people don’t want to take prescription drugs if they don’t have to, and in many cases, because of the side effects. For example, 5% of the people who take a statin just can’t do it. It makes their muscles weak.
So now let’s go to three other prescription drugs that have direct benefit longevity. Direct, whereas the other three were all about preventing various cancers. Metformin, of course, also had a longevity benefit, but now I’m going to talk about three prescription drugs that have a direct longevity benefit.
So the first is rapamycin. Rapamycin is only found on Easter Island. It was found by mistake, and its primary use is as an organ transplant rejection prevention drug. Meaning if you got a replacement kidney, then your body is going to naturally want to reject it. So to prevent that rejection, then take rapamycin for about two weeks, a fairly high dose, and then you’ll be fine. The body will slowly, over a couple of weeks period, accept that foreign organ, whether it’s from another human or a pig. But it also has a direct benefit on longevity, and you only take a small amount once a week for rapamycin. And so what rapamycin does is it’s extremely useful to tamp down that hormone that we have that leads to fast growth. That’s the hormone called mTOR, which we talked about in another podcast, that’s very useful to help us grow from a baby to adulthood quickly, but it doesn’t turn off. So when people get, brain cancer, it’s why that cancer grows so fast. We might have weeks to go or pancreatic cancer, we might have only months to go because that mTOR doesn’t turn off. Rapamycin tamps down that mTOR, so we don’t have that rapid cell growth, which is a problem in essentially all major diseases. And so when you’ve studied rapamycin, and again in yeast, fruit flies, worms, mice, rats, and dogs, the dogs cannot be studied in the U.S. Typically, they’re mainly studied in Canada. All of those organisms, including dogs, live 25% longer. So in Canada, almost everybody gives their dogs rapamycin. So another interesting side effect is weight loss. It sounds crazy to take an organ transplant rejection prevention drug, but if you take it on a very low dose, you get this longevity benefit.
The next is deprenyl, another prescription drug been around for a long time, and it’s used for people who have depression, and they’ve found that it has an off-label use for Alzheimer’s. So it’s now being used for Alzheimer’s as well. And it essentially regulates the amount of dopamine in the brain, supports positive mood, increased energy, enthusiasm, attention planning, and inhibition control. So all those are good, but it’s essentially a Metformin for the brain, which is essentially what it does from the longevity standpoint.
And then the final one is Dasatinib. If you don’t like the other two, you’re not going to like this one. So this is a chemotherapy drug used for certain types of leukemia, and at a fairly high dose. And it has a tremendous longevity benefit, and you only take a very small dose only twice a year, which of course is hardly anything and it has this great, great, great benefit for longevity.
So those of you who’ve ever taken our sales training, you know that salespeople always like to offer good, better, best, give the buyer options. So when you’re looking at how do you help our bodies live longer from this standpoint, a good way to do it is fasting. And that is essentially eating only in a 12 hour period, two days in a row, every two weeks. The studies show if you want to get the benefit of fasting, two days in a row for 16 hours every two weeks, and it’s not that difficult to do because if you, for example, if you only eat starting at noon, so you don’t eat breakfast, start eating at noon and quit eating at 8:00 PM, and then you’ve only eaten eight hours, so now you have 16 hours for the evening and of course, half of the hours, you’re going to be asleep.
So if it sounds difficult, my wife and I fast every single day, and I’ve been doing it for quite some time. So that’s a good way. The second way is to take a couple of supplements. There’s a supplement called quercetin, and another supplement that’s essentially green tea in a pill. That gives you better benefits. And then the best is dasatinib that I mentioned, the chemo drug, plus quercetin. And these probably are for, these three are probably for people over 60.
So that’s a summary of the seven medications or prescription drugs, actually one medication, aspirin, and six prescription drugs. The first three are to tamp down the probability of getting cancer, for the various cancers, and the last three are just directly related to longevity.