Spermidine is a type of polyamine that is created in the human body. It has numerous health benefits and is also found in a number of foods. With age, spermidine production declines.
This article details the potential benefits of spermidine, according to published research studies, and if there any potential side effects from spermidine consumption from natural foods or spermidine supplements.
What Does Spermidine Do?
Spermidine has a vast physiologic reach and affects a variety of biological processes within the human body. A key way spermidine induces its effects is by encouraging healthy autophagy, which is the recycling of old intracellular components.
Through this autophagy process, spermidine rejuvenates cells and keeps them healthy. This is likely why spermidine is thought to have such potent anti-aging properties.
Disclaimer: Please note that this list of spermidine benefits is for educational purposes only and does not mean that any benefit mentioned by any of the studies we looked at has been fully confirmed to the highest level of research standards. More research is always necessary to assess and confirm any direct links between spermidine intake and any improvement, or reduction, for any specific health risk.
6 Benefits of Spermidine
Research has shown that spermidine, at optimal levels, benefits health in the following ways:
- Reducing risk of cancer
- Reducing risk of neurologic disease
- Reducing risk of cardiovascular mortality
- Reducing risk of insulin resistance and diabetes
- Extending life and reducing overall mortality
- Promoting a youthful appearance
Always consult your healthcare provider before making any health decision.
1. Reducing Risk of Cancer
Spermidine has been shown to reduce cancer risk by stimulating anticancer immunosuppressive surveillance in animal studies. It has also been shown to suppress several pro-inflammatory chemicals that are often associated with cancer.
2. Reducing Risk of Neurologic Disease
Spermidine also has been shown to potentially prevent neurologic dysfunction. One 2016 study found that spermidine reduces the specific type of inflammation associated with the development of multiple sclerosis, an auto-immune demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system.
3. Reducing Risk of Cardiovascular Mortality
Spermidine may improve cardiovascular health in several ways. It can reverse arterial stiffness and hardening that is characteristic of atherosclerosis. As such, it also reduces lipid accumulation in blood vessels and atherosclerotic plaques.
This promotes optimal cardiac function and may reduce risk of heart attacks.
4. Reducing Risk of Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Preliminary research shows that spermidine as well as other polyamines are essential to pancreatic beta cell health. These are the cells that secrete the hormone insulin which directly helps regulate blood sugar.
According to a 2022 study, both too low and too high spermidine levels can harm pancreatic beta cells and therefore may contribute to insulin resistance and subsequent diabetes pathogenesis.
Therefore, healthy and safe levels of spermidine are needed for optimal beta cell functioning and blood sugar control.
5. Extending Life and Reducing Overall Mortality
Several population based studies have found that spermidine can potentially increase life expectancy and reduce mortality. One study found that middle aged adults who consumed higher amounts of spermidine had a reduced risk of overall mortality.
6. Promoting a Youthful Appearance
Spermidine has been found to even offset the physical signs of aging and can promote a youthful appearance of healthier looking skin, nails, and hair.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Spermidine?
Spermidine is generally very well tolerated. Studies available do not indicate any significant side effects or adverse effects aside from the mentioned beta cell dysfunction that can accompany very high amounts of spermidine supplementation.
Please consult your physician if you are thinking about starting a spermidine supplement to ensure it is safe for you before you begin.
- Méndez. 2017. The Other Legacy of Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek: The Polyamines
- Chen et al. 2021. Effects cardiac function in heart failure mice by influencing the gut microbiota and cardiac galectin-3
- Kiechl et al. 2018. Higher spermidine intake is linked to lower mortality: a prospective population-based study
- Kulkarni et al. 2022. Polyamines and Hypucene in beta cells and diabetes pathogenesis
- Madeo et al. 2018. Spermidine delays aging in humans
- Madeo et al. 2018. Spermidine in health and disease
- Ramot et al. 2011. Spermidine promotes human hair growth and is a novel modulator of human epithelial stem cell functions
- Yang et al. 2016. Spermidine alleviates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis through inducing inhibitory macrophages