Spermidine is a precious ally of health and longevity. An expert explains how it works and where it is
It was first found in 1678, in the male seed hence the name: spermidine. Three centuries later, the rediscovery in terms of longevity: spermidine, which in reality it is also present in many foods, according to some studies, it has the ability to stimulate autophagy, that is, it helps the body to break down and dispose of – for example – damaged or defective mitochondria, thus allowing the growth and functionality of healthy tissues. And this gives it an important anti-aging effect. But how does it work? Where can we find it? And most importantly, how can spermidine make us live better? We asked Eugenio Luigi Iorio, president of the International Observatory of Oxidative Stressprofessor of integrative medicine in Brazil and one of the leading longevity experts in the world.
Professor Iorio, is spermidine the elixir of life?“Aging is a complex process. There is no magic bullet. We can manage it by knowing its mechanisms well, with the goal of successful aging. But it is true that spermidine is part of a group of natural substances that play an important role in this process, as can be seen from a series of recent studies “.
What effect does spermidine have on our body?“As we age, cells enter a kind of delicate balance: we produce molecular garbage which is removed by our molecular scavengers. A mechanism known as autophagy. The organism is fine as long as the pace of molecular garbage production goes hand in hand with its elimination. When this balance is broken, aging processes are accelerated. The scientist Claudio Franceschi in this regard has coined a neologism: Garbaging (from garbage, rubbish, and aging, aging). According to some studies, spermidine activates the genes responsible for autophagy at the epigenetic level … “.
More simply?“Autophagy is a system that is set in motion when we fast or exercise. Basically, spermidine reproduces the same effects as sports and diettricking our molecular system “.
How are the effects of spermidine manifested?“Increasing cellular efficiency also means increasing performance, since cells live on signals that are exchanged: spermidine sets the basic mechanisms in place. Spermidine has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can improve breathing and metabolic function. It also appears to help memory and slow cognitive decline. ”
Where is spermidine found?“It is a natural substance present in many common foods: whole foods including wheat germ, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and some cheeses. It is even more concentrated in fermented products and in soy-based products such as natto, shitake mushrooms, amaranth grain. In Italy for some time it is also available in a nutraceutical supplement (SpermidineLIFE, ed) of totally natural origin and available in 1 mg tablets “.
How much should we take?“Being a micronutrient a little different from the others, there is no daily ration like for vitamins. The intake varies according to age, habits and other factors. What is certain is that a diet like ours Mediterranean, if made well it contains a good quantity. In other cases, it may be useful to take it through the supplement, but it is good that a specialist suggests it, even if at the prescribed dosages it has no side effects “.
Where does all this scientific interest in spermidine come from?“Several favorable studies have emerged over the years. Scientists have, for example, found that the naked mole rat, a mouse found in some desert areas of East Africa, has an exceptional longevity: it lives up to 32 years compared to 2 for laboratory mice. Not only that: he can stay 18 minutes in the absence of oxygen and heals his wounds quickly. Well it turned out that compared to normal mice it also has more spermidine. And this would be one of its long-life secrets… “.
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