There has been a lot of buzz around the compound spermidine lately, with many people touting its benefits for longevity. But what is spermidine? And what does spermidine do? Is it a magical elixir for a long life, or is the science behind it more complicated?
Well, not to burst anyone's bubble, but the science behind spermidine is indeed more complicated than simply taking a supplement and reaping the benefits. However, that's not to say that spermidine isn't worth looking into if you're interested in living a long and healthy life.
At Afiya Health, we specialize in helping our clients understand the science behind longevity and disease prevention. So in this blog post, we'll be taking a closer look at spermidine and its effects on longevity.
We're going to try and simplify this as much as possible, but spermidine is a polyamine. A polyamine is a nitrogen-containing molecule that is involved in many cellular processes, such as cell proliferation, cell death, and gene expression.
Spermidine is mostly found naturally in the body and plays an important role in eukaryotic cell metabolism - which basically means that it helps cells to function correctly. But spermidine can also be found in foods like aged cheese, garlic, mushrooms, and whole grains. However, the levels of spermidine in food are usually quite low, so it's hard to get significant amounts from diet alone.
That's why many people choose to take spermidine supplements, which can provide much higher levels of the compound. But taking a supplement is not a magic bullet - as we'll discuss later on.
Now that we've answered the question "what is spermidine?," it's time to move on to the next question: "what does spermidine do?"
As we mentioned before, spermidine is involved in many cellular processes. But what does that mean, exactly?
Well, spermidine has been shown to help protect cells from damage, promote cell death (apoptosis) of damaged cells, and regulate gene expression. All of these effects are important for longevity, as they help to keep our cells healthy and functioning properly.
In addition, spermidine has also been shown to improve mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, and they play a critical role in energy production. When mitochondria are damaged or not working properly, it can lead to age-related diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. A systematic review of the literature on spermidine and aging found that spermidine supplementation can help to delay the onset of age-related diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Spermidine can also help to protect cells from DNA damage and reduce inflammation. These effects are once again achieved by preserving the structure of cells and reducing the amount of oxidative stress that cells experience. Oxidative stress is a major contributing factor to the aging process, so by reducing it, spermidine can help to slow down the aging process.
In another study, spermidine was found to reduce the number of senescent cells - these are cells that have stopped dividing and are no longer able to perform their normal functions. Senescent cells mean that our tissues and organs are not able to regenerate as well, which, again, can lead to age-related diseases. So by reducing the number of senescent cells, spermidine can help to keep our tissues and organs healthy for longer.
While the science behind spermidine is still emerging, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it can play a role in longevity. For instance, another prospective population-based study on spermidine and all-cause mortality found that higher spermidine intake was associated with a lower risk of death.
We know, all of the above looks pretty promising so far. But it's important to remember that spermidine is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to longevity. There are many other factors that contribute to the aging process, so it's important to take a holistic approach to longevity and not rely on spermidine (or any other single nutrient) to slow down the aging process.
Instead, focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And don't forget to exercise regularly and get enough sleep! These lifestyle factors are just as important as spermidine when it comes to longevity.
It's all well and good to know that spermidine is a compound that has important effects on longevity, but what foods are high in spermidine? And how can we get more of it into our diets?
As we mentioned before, spermidine is found in many different foods, but the levels are usually quite low. However, there are a few exceptions. The categories of food with the highest levels of spermidine are cereals, legumes, and soy-based products. Wheat germ and soybeans have notably high levels of these compounds, at 2,437 nmol/g and 1,425 nmol/g for spermidine, respectively.
Other good sources of spermidine include:
Spermidine is plentiful in a Mediterranean diet, which is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, seafood, and olive oil. This diet has been associated with several health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and longer life expectancy.
Short answer; yes!
Spermidine supplements are a great way to increase your intake of this important compound, and they come with a number of benefits, including:
As spermidine is a naturally occurring compound, it is considered safe to take in supplement form. However, as with any supplement, it is always best to speak to a healthcare professional before starting supplementation, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
If you're looking for a way to improve your health and longevity, spermidine supplements are a great option. They are backed by science, and they come with a range of benefits that can help you to live a longer, healthier life.
If you're interested in living a lengthy and wholesome life, spermidine is a nutrient you'll want to keep on your radar. This powerful compound has been shown to delay the aging process, protect cells from damage, and reduce inflammation.
But as we mentioned earlier, spermidine is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to longevity. That's why at Afiya Health, we look at the entire picture. We combine the latest research on aging with traditional knowledge to develop programs that help our clients live their best lives.
If you're ready to start your journey to longevity, Afiya Health is here to help. Our personalized, data-driven plans use trusted biomarkers to help you live longer and healthier. We'll empower you to feel your best, while providing the support you need to make lasting changes.
To learn more about our services, contact us today. We can't wait to help you achieve your health goals!
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