If you haven’t heard about spermidine before, now is a good time to get to know this youth-boosting compound. But don’t let its strange name mislead you. Spermidine is actually one of the most researched compounds in longevity science. And the good news is, you can easily include it in your diet or even supplement with it. Here’s what you need to know.
What is spermidine?
Spermidine was first discovered and named by Dutch microscopist Anton Van Leeuwenhoek in 1687. It’s a polyamine compound and not exclusively found in semen. Actually spermidine is found in many regular food sources.
Why is it such a hot topic in longevity science?
Spermidine plays a critical role in cell function and survival. Studies have shows that polyamine levels decrease with age.
One study found that higher survival rates among humans were linked to increased spermidine intake.
The link between longevity and spermidine
Spermidine is getting air time because it holds a lot of promise when it comes to longevity. Ask David Sinclair, PhD, recognised longevity expert. He posted this comment recently.
Protects against heart disease
Spermidine can also reduce blood pressure levels. It will lower your risk of heart failure, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Spermidine stimulates autophagy. Simply explained, autophagy is the recycling mechanism of the cell. Think of it like the body’s spring cleaning process. It cleans out dysfunctional and damaged cells and regenerates through the creation of newer, healthier cells.
Boost the immune system
Spermidine is also an important factor in the regulation of the immune system on various levels.
According to Nature, “Spermidine treatment has been shown to prolong the life span of yeast, flies, worms, mammalian cells and mice and to lead to cardio protection and improved cognitive function in aging mice.”
Combats neuro-degenerative disease
Taking spermidine supplements can reverse neuro damage caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. Spermidine plays a critical role in cell function and survival
As a result, it can help decrease the risk of suffering diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Alters the lipid metabolism
Lipid metabolism is the synthesis and degradation of lipids in cells. This involves the breakdown or storage of fats for energy as well as the synthesis of structural and functional lipids, such as those involved in the construction of cell membranes. Lipid metabolism is a strong regulator of health and lifespan.
Therefore, a dysfunction can have a negative impact on your health and lifespan. This is where spermidine comes in and aids the dysregulation process positively!
Aging is strongly linked to chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to chronic damage to cells. Inflammation is associated with many age-associated diseases. The good news is, research shows that polyamines like spermidine have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Decreases risk of cancer
Studies have found that eating a spermidine-rich diet could potentially reduce the risk of cancer-related deaths in humans. For example, spermidine can help prevent liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. These are some of the most common causes of liver cancer.
What foods contain spermidine?
The compound is found in fresh green pepper, wheat germ, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and a variety of cheeses. Even higher amounts are found in soybean products. These include natto, shitake mushrooms, amaranth grain, and durian. This may explain why the Japanese have such good longevity. Take for example the Okinawans. They live on an island off the coast of Japan and eat a diet high in spermidine.
Also, certain fruits and vegetables containing spermidine can be found in the Mediterranean diet. This diet is known to promote longevity.
Here are the top 16 foods to include in your diet
- Wheat germ
- Amaranth grain
- Whole grain
- Fresh green pepper
- Mushrooms (particularly shitake mushrooms)
- Green Tea
- Certain mature cheeses
- Soy products
What about supplementation?
Can we get enough spermidine in our diet? Well there’s always a debate about this. However, there’s a fair amount of literature to support the case for using supplements. This is in addition to having a good healthy diet of course.
These supplements are made from synthetic spermidine which are identical to the naturally occurring molecule. However, don’t buy blindly. Make sure you buy from a reputable source.
How to choose the right spermidine supplement?
Rules regarding supplementation vary by country. You’ll need to do some basic research on the regulations in your country.
As a basic rule, all supplements would be labeled with information regarding their manufacturing practices. They will also identify which country they are produced in and regulated by.
In the US, purchase products with labels showing they’ve been tested by either an independent, non-profit. like the US Pharmacopoeial (USP) Convention Dietary Supplement Verification Program or ConsumerLab.com.
Purchase dietary supplements made in countries where there are regulations to protect consumers and from established outlets.
Research a product before buying it and check reviews, especially the value of reporting use, as well as any bad reactions. You can also look at the About Herbs, website, which also helps you understand ingredients and what to look out for.
The bottom line
The name may raise eyebrows. However, if the research is anything to go by spermidine will help you live better for longer, naturally.