Spermidine – the antioxidant supplement that can induce proteins that protect our DNA.
Spermidine is a supplement that protects your brain, your heart and has the same effects on human cells as fasting. Originally discovered in semen which gives this supplement its name, it is a polyamine which is particularly important in cell growth and maintaining genetic stability. Spermidine levels in the body were found to decrease as we age. Yet, it was found that by increasing the levels of this compound it lessened the risk of cardiovascular diseases and the likelihood of developing cancer. The substance was also revealed to appear in food products such as cheese, peas and citric fruits .
Longevity.Technology: Spermidine supplement is not available on the public market but is distributed by dietary supplement manufacturers. The product is marketed both in pure form and a varied compound version that has added ingredients. However, with increasing awareness, this new supplement has the potential to be the next big supplement opportunity for Longevity.
The TRL score for this Longevity.Technology domain is currently set at: ‘Technology refined and ready for initial human trials.’
The TRL score for the technology addressed in this article is: “Late proof of concept demonstrated in real-life conditions.”
Researchers at Lanzhou University in China conducted a study with spermidine and its effect on neural cells. The study was based on mice cells which were treated to act like aging cells, they were then exposed to spermidine. The results showed that the spermidine was effective in improving and maintaining the function of the mitochondria. The study revealed that it increased the use of oxygen in the neuron cell which is imperative to its metabolic process. Furthermore, the data showed that spermidine increased the lifespan and healthspan across different species such as flies, mice, yeast and nematodes .
Spermidine was able to stabilize the mitochondria DNA, a factor that is important in delaying aging as when the mitochondria genome begin to mutate, it is said to lead to aging. Many scientists claim that mitochondrial genome mutation is one of the key factors in limiting lifespans in animals and humans. The positive effect of this supplement in stabilizing and protecting the mitochondria, as well as increasing oxygen consumption in the cells makes spermidine a popular supplement in research and a strong candidate for Longevity applications. The supplement could help prevent and diminish age-related diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases and Alzheimer’s disease due to its capability to promote neuron survival.
Spermidine is also a regulator of autophagy, a housekeeping intercell process in which cells consume dead or diseased cells and use the leftover molecules for fuel or to create new cells. This intercell cannibalism can be induced by stress or fasting. As a neuroprotector and a cardioprotector, spermidine was found to trigger some of the same responses as calorie restriction, another popular method of increasing lifespan.
However, there are several disadvantages to this supplement. For example, studies have shown that while it works well in humans, the effect is more pronounced in mice. Furthermore, spermidine relies on inducing stress responses that trigger protective cell mechanisms that are effective in helping defend neuron cells and other cells from damage, yet there is a limit to how much spermidine can increase lifespan before that effect diminishes .
An advantage of this supplement is that studies have not found any side-effects from spermidine . The supplements effects on protecting and rejuvenating muscle function, neurodegeneration, and heart function are a validated preventive measure for many age-related diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease making it a great preventive measure.
A company called Longevity Labs, originating from Austria has released the supplement called SPERMADLINELIFE, a dietary supplement that is a mix of wheatgerm extract and spermidine . Although this supplement has passed all the necessary safety and approval regulations, the supplement is still new and not yet widely known.