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What is spermidine and what are its benefits for longevity?

Spermidine is an organic molecule that is found in every cell of your body.  You consume spermidine in food and you synthesize it in your gut microbiome as well as in cells on demand. A growing number of studies have shown that spermidine plays a key role in a number of cellular processes that are key to longevity.  These include autophagy regulation1, reduction of oxidative stress, mitochondrial respiration,2,3 and aging of cardiac cells.4

The challenge is that spermidine levels in cells tend to decrease with age much as it happens with the now popular NAD.  While spermidine is found in wheat germ and soy products, its concentration tends to be relatively low.  As a result, there has been a growing interest in taking it supplement form.

Living longer

Studies in model animals including  yeast, flies, worms, mice, and human immune cells have demonstrated that spermidine supplementation extends lifespan and protects from cardiovascular disease. This has led scientists to classify spermidine as a geroprotector along with other compounds such as rapamycin, metformin, and NAD+.5 

As is the case with other geroprotectors of cellular health, spermidine impacts a number of processes including control of gene expression, cell growth and proliferation.  However, the biggest effect of spermidine has been observed in its ability to regulate autophagy, the process by which damaged cell structures and unwanted proteins are recycled. Autophagy is also known to be induced by fasting or calorie restriction, other popular methods of increasing lifespan.

Cardiovascular health

Spermidine is also thought to trigger anti-inflammatory processes and lower blood pressure, reducing salt-induced hypertension. These effects, coupled with promoted autophagy in cardiac tissue, results in protective effects on the heart. 

While most of these effects have been observed in animal studies, an analysis of data taken from food questionnaires has shown that individuals who consumed more spermidine-rich foods had less incidence of cardiovascular diseases, as well as lower blood pressure4

Spermidine Supplements

Our search for spermidine supplements led us to SpermidineLIFE. This product is made by Longevity Labs, an Austria-based company that recently launched the product in the US.  The company’s scientific advisory board includes Dr. Frank Madeo, the research scientist –also based in Austria– that discovered spermidine as an autophagy trigger and age-protective substance.  

SpermidineLIFE is extracted from GMO-free European wheat germ through a proprietary process.  According to the company, nearly 4.5 pounds of raw wheat is needed to produce one capsule of spermidineLIFE.  The product isn’t cheap, but it sounds like a good alternative to consuming lots of wheat crackers every day!

You can purchase the product here.

References:

1.       https://www.nature.com/articles/ncb1975/  

2.       https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5806691/

3.       https://www.aging-us.com/article/102647 

4.       https://paperchase-aging.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/pdf/w7HSzYb7GiTevCeuo.pdf

5.       https://www.nature.com/articles/s41573-020-0067-7

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