Spermidine and its Implication in Longevity
There is global growth in the aging population, therefore research investigators have spent a great deal of time trying to find ways to bring about healthy aging. Physical activity, healthy lifestyle behavior and diet are all important in helping to preserve cognitive function. Research shows that restricting calories, exercise and intermittent fasting helps mental function. There are natural compounds that also help individuals during the aging process. Spermidine is one of these polyamine compounds, which is found in the body and has different cellular functions to support health and is also being provided as a supplement.
Spermidine may help to extend lifespan
It has been suggested that spermidine and spermine mimic the effects of anti-aging regimens such as calorie restriction (Wirth M et al, 2019) to extend lifespan. Research indicates that polyamines influence cognitive function related changes as one ages (Wirth M et al, 2019). Certain species have shown that spermidine reduces with age. In the body, polyamine levels may be directly related to functions of memory and as one ages, the levels change in areas of the brain that involve memory.
One of Spermidine’s Mechanism of Actions
Spermidine may protect the body by autophagy, which helps to regulate some types of cellular transmission (Gupta VK et al, 2016). It has demonstrated that it can stimulate autophagy in lab cells, as well as in animal models (Gupta VK et al, 2016).
Autophagy is a process that causes cell digestion and removal of damaged cells and regenerates and replace them with new healthy cells.
Spermidine supports brain function as one ages
With aging, memory begins to decline and it may be due to a group of synapses in the brain that change in their performance. A study was performed with animals that had age related problems related to memories of smelling (Gupta VK et al, 2016). This study provided a way to evaluate synaptic changes that are associated with memory problems in the aging.
The study showed that there is a presynaptic active zone that as one ages releases a large number of synaptic vesicles. The study showed that spermidine blocked the age-induced presynaptic active zone changes.
Synaptic vesicles are important because they are membrane sacs that store and carry several neurotransmitters that are released at synapses.
A human 3 month, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was performed with individuals between the ages of 60 to 80 years old (Wirth M et al, 2018). These individuals had satisfactory cognitive status, but had some subjective cognitive decline. A spermidine rich extract was provided against a placebo. A memory measurement was taken and the study showed that memory performance was moderately improved in the spermidine group over the placebo. The investigators stated that the beneficial effect may have been caused by influence of neuromodulator actions. From this study a follow up study was going to occur with a larger population (Wirth M et al, 2019).
Spermidine may support cardiovascular health
Spermidine has also been associated with cardiovascular risk protection.
An animal study showed that an oral dose of spermidine helped to extend the animal’s lifespan and had cardioprotective benefits related to heart muscle tissue and blood pressure (Eisenberg T et al, 2016). In addition, providing spermidine boosted cardiac autophagy and had a positive effect on cardio cells.
In summary, much research has had a focus on helping individuals to be healthy during the aging process. Restricting calories, exercise and intermittent fasting helps mental function. Natural compounds such as spermidine is one of these compounds, which is found within the body, but also is being used as a supplement having cognitive and cardiovascular benefits.