Spermidine and its Longevity-promoting Effects

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- Updated by Sarah Qaiser

Table of contents

What Are Polyamines?

What Is Spermidine?

Is Spermidine Anti-Ageing?

How Can Spermidine Help Us as We Age?

How Does Autophagy Work?

How Do You Trigger Autophagy?

Where Can Spermidine Be Found?

What Foods Are High In Spermidine?


Key Takeaways

  • Polyamines, found in trees, have been proven to increase life length.
  • Polyamines help the body with essential functions, such as cell proliferation, immune system regulation, and gene expression.
  • Spermidine is one of the primary polyamines in our cells and is critical for our body’s cellular homeostasis.
  • Spermidine helps with bodily functions such as tissue regeneration, improves proteostasis, and enhances mitochondrial metabolic function.
  • Research has shown that people in their 90s have similar spermidine levels to those in their 50s, meaning if people keep their spermidine levels up, it may have longevity effects.
  • Autophagy, the body’s fasting process, is essential to maintaining a healthy body as it helps recycle damaged cells, brain cell growth, and heart cell health. It can be induced by spermidine.
  • The best way to take spermidine as a supplement is by taking one or two 500 mg scoops (after a meal) per day.
Spermidine, a naturally-occurring miracle in nature, is able to offer a notable effect on delaying the ageing process and treating age-related diseases. 

 Yoga Spermidine

People are always curious to find new opportunities to live longer and healthier lives. What if the answer was in the trees just beyond your window? Trees contain high amounts of polyamines such as spermidine, and due to this, they live incredibly long lives.

Part of the secret of their long life lies in these polyamines and their ability to enhance longevity. There is a way for us to take benefits as well, as a higher intake of spermidine will lead to an overall healthier life, and it can be found in a variety of foods and supplements.

This article will offer the best anti ageing tips, explaining how spermidine is one of the most important ways to increase your lifespan and quality of years, how spermidine helps the ageing process, how spermidine ties in with autophagy, and where spermidine can be found so you can take the most benefit from it.

Table of Contents:

      1. What Are Polyamines?
      2. What Is Spermidine?
      3. Is Spermidine Anti-Ageing?
      4. How Can Spermidine Help Us as We Age?
      5. How Does Autophagy Work?
      6. How Do You Trigger Autophagy?
      7. Where Can Spermidine Be Found?
      8. What Foods Are High In Spermidine?
      9. Conclusion

What Are Polyamines?

DNA and Spermidine

Polyamines are small organic compounds found in nature, being both water-soluble and hygroscopic and consisting of two or more amino groups.

Polycations, on the other hand, interact with proteins, DNA, and RNA as these molecules are negatively charged.

What Are The Roles Of Polyamines?

Polyamines play multiple roles in many body processes such as:

      • Cell differentiation, survival, and proliferation.
      • Immune system regulation.
      • Stabilisation of negatively charged molecules.
      • Regulation of ion channels.
      • Apoptosis.
      • Stress Resistance.
      • Gene Expression.
      • Balancing homeostasis within the body’s cells.

It is evident by looking into the roles of polyamines that a drop in the levels of polyamines affects the proper functioning of various processes (especially cell growth and genetic stability maintenance) in the body.

It is also true that as we age, the levels of polyamines start declining. This notice in decline mimics the speeding up of the ageing process. The relation between both is extensively researched, with scientists determining what types of polyamines exist and their functions.

What Are The Main Polyamines Presents In Our Cells?

Three polyamines are mainly present in our cells:

      1. Spermidine.
      2. Spermine.
      3. Putrescine.

The primary polyamine we will focus on is spermidine and its role in maintaining a healthy body.

What Is Spermidine?

 Effects Of Spermidine On Cells

Spermidine is a naturally occurring polyamine found in every organism and is critically involved in cellular homeostasis maintenance.

What Are The Roles Of Spermidine in the Human Body?

Spermidine affects various biological processes such as:

      • Tissue regeneration.
      • Cell growth, division, and proliferation.
      • DNA and RNA stabilisation.
      • Tissue regeneration.
      • Enzymatic modulation.
      • Regulation of translation.
      • It exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are observed in the body.
      • It enhances the metabolic function of mitochondria during respiration.
      • It promotes the activity of chaperones.
      • It also improves proteostasis.

Various studies by the NCIB (The National Center for Biotechnology Information), a research center that focuses heavily on health and science, have shown that supplementation of polyamine spermidine exhibits beneficial effects on the ageing process and age-related diseases.

Is Spermidine Anti-Aging?

According to the NCIB, various studies made on model organisms demonstrated notable anti-aging properties of spermidine.

Since then, some studies have shown how this polyamine could be revolutionary in fighting against various age-related diseases.

Our body's natural spermidine levels start declining with our age. This means as we age, we begin to lose health, vitality, and the natural anti-aging properties inherent in our bodies. 

However, revolutionary research and interventions are ongoing with spermidine. They indicate that this polyamine, when taken in the form of supplements, delays the ageing process and protects our bodies from age-related illnesses.

How Can Spermidine Help Us as We Age?

Spermidine supplementation can help us by reversing the drastic age-related changes and increasing the lifespan. Spermidine is linked with longevity. Since this polyamine interacts with several molecules in our body, it affects ageing via diverse body mechanisms.

Unfortunately, the mechanism through which Spermidine alters the ageing process and related diseases are not yet elucidated.

Research has noted that spermidine levels in humans between the ages of 60 and 80 were much lower than those of humans below 50.

To their surprise, the spermidine levels in people older than 90 were similar to humans below 50. These results showed that if humans maintain their Spermidine levels, it may have longevity effects.

How Does Autophagy Work?

Autophagy And The Body

Your body's natural recycling, or destroying process, is known as autophagy. The term ‘autophagy’ derives from a Latin word where ‘auto’ means ‘self’ and ‘phage’ means ‘to eat,’ which translates to ‘self-eating.’ This process breaks down the damaged and unneeded parts within cells and reuses these components for cellular repair or new cell formation in the form of building blocks. 

Autophagy is excellent and essential for cells as it keeps them healthy. This process occurs during the night when you sleep, short-term fasting, and take medications. 

Spermidine plays the role of mimicking fasting, but to better understand how fasting affects the body, we will look at how autophagy affects your age, how it affects your body, and how autophagy is triggered.

How Is Autophagy Affected While You Age?

As we grow older, the body's ability to activate the process of autophagy slows down in many cells. Hence, the waste of your body cells starts accumulating, which negatively impacts your health. 

The anti-aging function by forming younger cells is the primary benefit of autophagy. 

Repaired cells are more alike than younger cells and perform even better. That is why when autophagy is performing well, we have an older biological period and a more youthful chronological period. 

What Are The Functions Performed By Autophagy?

Autophagy performs various activities at the cellular level, such as:

      • Protecting from neurodegeneration nerve and brain cell growth. 
      • Eliciting healthy cells and regeneration. 
      • Supporting heart cells growth and guarding against diseases of the heart. 
      • Preventing the death of cells (necrosis) due to injury, diseases, or irregular blood supply. 
      • Recycling damaged cells and residual proteins.

How Do You Trigger Autophagy?

You can trigger autophagy through one of three processes:

      1. Through fasting.
      2. Through a ketogenic diet.
      3. And through exercise.

How Can I Trigger Autophagy Through Fasting? 

Spermidine In Salad

Fasting is the fastest way to observe and trigger autophagy. While fasting, you restrict your calories intake by starving your body intermittently. There are various forms of this fasting popular that help in activating autophagy, such as:

      • Intermittent fasting.
      • Time-restricted eating.
      • Alternate-day fasting.

How Can I Trigger Autophagy Through a Ketogenic Diet? 

Oysters Contain Spermidine

The ketogenic diet consists of low carbs and high fats that shift your body's metabolic pathways to make fat the main fuel instead of carbs-sourced glucose. This also triggers autophagy. 

How Can I Trigger Autophagy Through Exercise? 

Autophagy and Excercise

Positive stress is induced in our bodies when doing exercises that break down body tissues. The broken tissues are repaired, and they grow back, being more robust. 

According to various research done by the NCIB, this is proved that exercise induces the autophagy process in multiple organs like the pancreas, muscle, adipose tissue, and liver. Therefore, these organs are actively involved in numerous metabolic regulations.

How to Trigger Autophagy Without Fasting?

The other ways to induce autophagy and bypass the obligations of fasting, exercises, and diets yet still reap its benefits are anti-aging supplements and increased spermidine intake via foods. 

Who Should Not Trigger Autophagy Without Fasting?

At various stages of life, situations come when you cannot restrict yourself to a specific diet for an extended period. For example, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not recommended to diet. Similarly, it is not advisable for very young, diabetic, and underweight people to take on diets or exercises to induce autophagy. 

Diabetic patients may put themselves at risk if they fast. Also, people who are too ambitious with dieting may compromise on their nutrition and should also avoid these types of diets.

Also, fasting is a serious and self-disciplined process. Meal planning is required in a ketogenic diet, and strenuous exercise needs consistent time and energy, which may prove to be challenging for people who work full time or have busy lives.

Inducing autophagy with effortless alternatives will be a better option for those with any sensitivities to dieting, over-exercise, or other sensitivities.

During youth, the levels of spermidine are very high, and these high spermidine levels regularly activate the process of autophagy. The amount of spermidine decreases as age passes. So for those who are health-conscious, it is a good idea later in life to seek our sources of spermidine to increase their body’s health.

Where Can Spermidine Be Found?

Spermidine can be found in all eukaryotic cells, a type of cell found in plants and animals that contain nuclei. Spermidine is also present in the living tissues of almost all plants and animals, as well as certain strains of some bacteria.

At a physiological pH, we can find it as a molecule or chemical complex having positive charges at several sites, known as polycation. Additionally, we can find it in supplement form.

What Foods Are High In Spermidine?

Foods High In Spermidine

Spermidine is high in many plant-based foods. For example, vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, legumes, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), broccoli, fresh green pepper, lentils, wheat germs, rice, and rice bran are high in spermidine. We get about 30% of all spermidine from wheat and whole grains, according to an estimate.

It is also present in high concentrations in some fruits, such as mango. Besides, a variety of cheeses, amaranth grain, durian, miso, fermented soybean, or tofu, also known as natto, have high spermidine content.

Mushrooms such as maitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and snow mushrooms are also rich in spermidine.

Creating a diet around these types of foods will have beneficial effects on the body as more spermidine enters the body consistently.

What Are The Top Foods That Are High In Spermidine?

Here are the some of the top foods that are considered to have a high content of spermidine per one kilogram:

      • Wheat germ contains 243 mg per kilogram.
      • Dried soybeans have 207 mg per kilogram.
      • Aged cheese such as cheddar, brie, and parmesan (one year matured) has 199 mg per kilogram.
      • Finally, pumpkin seeds contain approximately 104mg of spermidine per one kilogram. 

Is Spermidine As A Supplement Safe?

Spermidine is safe as a supplement as it is one of the naturally occurring compounds in our body. 

According to several clinical trials and scientific studies, it is entirely safe as a dietary supplement for healthy adults without having any side effects. 

When Should Spermidine Supplements Not be Used?

Spermidine supplements should not be used during pregnancy and lactation, so it is not recommended for any expecting mothers or those who are breastfeeding. It is also not suitable for children.

How Do You Take Spermidine as a Supplement? 

You can take spermidine as a supplement by taking one or two 500mg scoops postprandially (after a meal) per day. You can take it in the morning, at noon or in the evening. 

What Are The Benefits Of Taking Spermidine Supplements? 

Spermidine supplements can have the following benefits: 

  1. They can reduce the incidence of some forms of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. They also improve brain functions, along with cognition.
  2. They can preserve the length of the telomere, hence, they can increase the lifespan if you use them regularly for an extended period. According to some research bodies, spermidine inhibits five out of nine hallmarks responsible for ageing. Due to the fact that natural spermidine levels fall as we age, spermidine supplements may be beneficial, and even necessary, to maintain the renewal and repair of cells.
  3. They can prevent your neurons from damage due to ischemia, inflammation, or oxidative stress injury.


Spermidine is a naturally occurring polyamine found in our bodies, and its level decreases with age. Therefore, there is a strong need to gain knowledge about the ways to raise anti-aging spermidine levels. 

Ongoing recent studies show that spermidine and autophagy restores health and youthfulness as a person grows older. In addition, the studies have noticed how starvation induces autophagy. Many food sources give spermidine, however, the exact polyamine amount varies.

Regarding anti-aging tips, now that we have uncovered the truth around polyamines, spermidine, and autophagy, it is possible to consider spermidine as a viable, science-backed supplement to induce extended youthfulness over a longer period.