Recent research done at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis led to an unusual discovery!
Rapamycin, a drug normally used to suppress the immune system was found to bolster the powers of the flu vaccine.
Rapamycin was originally discovered in a soil sample taken on Easter Island (whose Polynesian name is Rapanui; hence, “rapamycin).” Early on it was found to have antifungal properties, but additional research revealed it to also have immunosuppressant and anti-tumor properties. Giving low doses to healthy mice, it actually increases their life span.
Its main use in humans is to prevent kidney transplant rejection. Taken in small amounts with the flu vaccine, it allows the immune cells in experimental animals to make high-level and broad-spectrum antibodies.
If human results prove similar, we may all end up taking a small amount of Rapamycin prior to our then once-every-10-years flu shot.