Spermidine is a type of organic compound known as a polyamine. It is a small, positively charged molecule that is naturally found in all living cells, including human cells. Spermidine plays an important role in cell growth and division, as well as in the maintenance of cellular and organ functions. It has been shown to have anti-aging properties, as well as potential benefits for cardiovascular health and brain function.
Spermidine is found in a variety of foods, including cheese, soybeans, mushrooms, and whole grains. It is also available as a dietary supplement.
Spermidine has been shown to have several potential anti-aging effects. One of the main mechanisms by which spermidine may exert these effects is through its ability to stimulate autophagy, a natural process by which cells break down and recycle old or damaged proteins and other cellular components. Autophagy is an important process for maintaining cellular health and preventing cellular damage involved in aging and disease.
Studies have shown that spermidine can increase lifespan in several animal models, including yeast, flies, and mice. In addition, spermidine has been shown to have several other potential anti-aging effects, including:
- Protection against oxidative stress: Spermidine has antioxidant properties that can help protect cells against oxidative stress, a process that can damage cells and contribute to aging and disease.
- Cardiovascular benefits: Spermidine has been shown to have cardiovascular benefits, including the ability to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, and improve heart function.
- Brain health: Spermidine has been shown to improve cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
- Skin health: Spermidine has been shown to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
ITP spermidine study
The Intervention Testing Program (ITP) is a research program funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) that evaluates potential interventions for their ability to extend lifespan and improve healthspan in mice. Similar efforts exist for the nematode animal model C. elegans, known as the C. elegans Intervention Testing Program (CITP). Spermidine has been tested in the ITP, and the results of the study were published in 2020.
In the ITP study, mice were given spermidine in their drinking water at a concentration of 3 mM from the age of 12 months until the end of their natural lifespan. The study found that spermidine did not significantly extend lifespan in male or female mice, although there was a trend towards increased lifespan in male mice that did not reach statistical significance. However, spermidine did improve several measures of healthspan, including reducing the incidence of liver tumors and improving cardiac function in female mice.
While the ITP study did not find a significant extension of lifespan with spermidine, it did suggest that spermidine may have potential health benefits that could promote healthy aging. Further research is needed to fully understand the effects of spermidine on lifespan and healthspan in humans and animals.
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