Supplements with anti-aging benefits have been on the rise in recent years, especially those that include spermidine. Spermidine plays a crucial role in cell metabolism within our bodies, and was first discovered in the late 1600s through human semen and sperm! Spermidine is made from putrescine and spermine, another polyamine important for cellular function.
Polyamines take care of different functions within our bodies. Polyamines can attach to molecules, and sustain functions that include apoptosis, cell growth, cell proliferation, and DNA stability. Since polyamines act so similarly to the factors that influence cell division, compounds like spermidine are very important for healthy tissue growth and function.
In this article, I will be covering points related to spermidine that include:
- Spermidine and the process of autophagy
- How to increase your spermidine
- Benefits of spermidine supplements
Spermidine + Autophagy
Longevity supplements like spermidine have numerous active ingredients that work together in us as we age. Spermidine primarily induces autophagy, a process of cellular rejuvenation that regulates cellular metabolism within the cell.
Your body's cellular recycling system allows the cells to break down their junk parts and reuse them for new components. This improves the quality of your cells by getting rid of some of those components that are taking up space and no longer useful. This process helps the cells perform better by remaking the parts of it that are needed for optimal operation.
Other than through spermidine, there are a couple other ways in which autophagy is induced. These ways may include:
- Fasting: The concept of fasting refers to a period of time where you restrict your food intake to a certain amount. This can lead to nutrient depletion and hinder the body's natural functions.
- Cutting calories: One of the most common ways to prevent nutrient depletion and improve the health of your body is by restricting your calories. This is done through a reduction in the number of energy units that your body consumes. This allows your cells to absorb the nutrients that they have lost.
- Switching to a low-carb diet high in fat: A low-carb, high-fat diet is referred to as a keto diet. This type of diet changes how your body burns energy. Instead of burning carbohydrates or sugar for energy, it will use fat instead. This can trigger the autophagy response.
- Exercise: Getting active can stimulate the processes that are involved in the production of ATGs.
Autophagy is referred to as “housekeeping” by scientists all over the world. Aside from this process’ ability to help cells function properly, autophagy could also play a role in responding to and even preventing disease.
However, we should state that autophagy may increase the risk of developing cancer. Since autophagy helps cells function more efficiently, this also includes cancer cells. When cancer cells are able to function more efficiently, this could actually encourage tumor growth. Genetic mutations in the DNA of a cell could even cause more cancer cells to form.
While there are risks associated with autophagy induced from spermidine, it’s important to note that there haven’t been many tests on humans to actually prove it’s as beneficial as we think. The majority of testing that involves autophagy has actually been done on animals like mice and rats.
How to Increase Spermidine
As we age, the amount of spermidine within our bodies declines. The amount of spermidine that each of us carry depends on a couple different factors, such as the process of biosynthesis as well as food and supplement intake. Continue reading to learn more about the ways in which you can work to increase your spermidine!
Spermidine Rich Foods
Food intake may be one of the easiest ways to increase your spermidine levels, since there are many foods out there that contain at least some amount of the substance. Check out some of the foods that are among the most rich in spermidine:
- Wheat/whole grains: Whole grains and wheat have high polyamine levels, and it’s believed that around 30% of daily spermidine intake is from these types of foods.
- Cheese: We used to think that cheese was bad for your health. However, recent studies have shown that aged cheeses such as parmesan, cheddar, and brie can help improve your overall health. They contain high levels of spermidine and are also good sources of calcium.
- Mushrooms: Some types of mushrooms, such as snow, oyster, and maitake mushrooms have high levels of spermidine. These nutrients can help boost your cognitive performance and brain health.
- Green peas: One cup of green peas is filled with 8 grams of protein, as well as a good amount of fiber and minerals. Theyalso have various vitamins and nutrients in them, such as spermidine.
- Rice/Rice bran: The outer layer of rice's grain, also known as the bran, is used for medicine. The oil of rice bran is extracted from the rice bran, and is commonly used as a healthy oil in Asia, India, and Japan. It's important to keep in mind that the rice bran is not the same as other types of bran, such as wheat and oats.
- Mangos: Although mangos have high levels of spermidine, they also have various other health benefits. Experts often refer to them as a "superfood." They are low in calories and are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and A. Foods like mangos that are high in fiber can help lower your appetite and maintain a healthy weight.
- Chickpeas: In addition to being used in vegan and vegetarian diets, chickpeas also make an appearance in many of the healthiest diets worldwide. One of the most common reasons why this food is often served is due to its high concentration of nutrients, including spermidine.
- Broccoli and cauliflower: Both broccoli and cauliflower are great sources of spermidine. Broccoli is a strong source of protein and fiber, with several B vitamins and folic acids included. Cauliflower on the other hand is filled with other nutrients that include potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus.
Areas of the World with Spermidine Rich Diets
People in certain regions around the world enjoy higher life expectancies than those in other areas. This can be attributed to the high consumption of spermidine-rich foods.
Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer, first created the term blue zones in 2000 after noticing that a higher number of centenarians were living in certain regions than in other areas of the world. He was curious to find out how human longevity was so strong in five different zones across the globe. These zones include:
- Ikaria, Greece
- Okinawa, Japan
- Ogliastra Region, Sardinia
- Loma Linda, California
- The Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
The population in these five zones believe that people should eat until their stomach is about 80% full. They also recommended that alcohol is consumed moderately.
Along with changing up your diet, you can also opt for supplements when it comes to increasing spermidine intake. There are numerous kinds of spermidine supplements out there, which come in both pure and compound forms. Along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, taking spermidine supplements daily can help counter age-related illnesses and produce a variety of antiaging effects. Check out some of the main benefits you could expect to receive by increasing your intake of spermidine!
It is important to understand the role of spermidine in lipid metabolism in order to see how it can affect healthspan and lifespan. The function of lipid metabolism is important as it regulates lifespan. If there are errors within the process, it could potentially have devastating effects.
In order to create fat cells, spermidine helps in the adipogenesis process, which involves the generation of stem cells. This process then modifies the lipid profiles.
Studies on the effects of spermidine on lipid metabolism have been conducted ever since the compound was first discovered in the late 1600s.
A study conducted on the process of adipogenesis revealed that the use of DFMO, which is a polyamine inhibitor, can prevent the process from taking place. In the absence of DFMO, the metabolism process was restored after spermidine was reintroduced. Because of its ability to support lipid metabolism, spermidine may be one of the most promising supplements out there to help support longevity.
As explained previously, spermidine triggers the important cellular process of autophagy and therefore increases in longevity. Studies have been conducted to show that spermidine can help maintain a healthy lifespan by limiting inflammation.
According to these studies, spermidine can actually create anti-inflammatory effects by inducing apoptosis, cell growth and proliferation, and the process of lipid metabolism.
The anti-inflammatory effects of spermidine are very important because inflammation has the potential to lead to many different health conditions, most notably heart disease and cancer. It can also cause immune cells to become dysfunctional, which can prevent the body from regenerating healthy tissues. By limiting chronic inflammation, spermidine can help people live longer.
Metabolism plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight. A strong metabolism helps you burn more calories. In addition, spermidine can improve metabolic endotoxemia and insulin resistance.
Spermidine can stimulate autophagy, which results in reduced visceral fat, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and weight gain. It is also believed that this substance can protect against type 2 diabetes and obesity. Keep in mind that consuming the right nutrients as part of a healthy diet overall will make it much easier to lose weight.
Aid with Hair Loss
The American Academy of Dermatologics states that humans lose around 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. To quickly regenerate tissues, they need several polyamine combinations. Polyamines are important for hair growth because the hair follicle is an organ that grows and multiplies rapidly.
Studies have shown that spermidine can have a direct impact on various functions of the hair follicle, such as its growth cycle and keratin expression.
Since spermidine occurs naturally in our body and is included in many of the common foods we eat, you can expect to reap the benefits of the polyamine without having to worry about any potential significant side effects. In a study conducted with mice and older adults, the data showed that spermidine supplementation through traditional methods is safe and well-tolerated.
Increase Your Spermidine Today
Spermidine is one of the most popular supplements used for anti aging purposes, along with a number of additional health benefits. Start by switching up your diet or trying out spermidine supplements, and you’ll be on the path to feeling as healthy and youthful for as long as possible!