We, as humans, have a limited lifespan and we are constantly looking for ways to live longer. And that’s actually an important subject for many researchers who are actively working on finding compounds, interventions, and techniques to improve the lifespan of people.
There are a large number of compounds that researchers are focusing on when they attempt to increase the lifespan of the human body, and spermidine is one of those. It’s a naturally occurring compound, but some people consider taking it in a supplement form too.
The question now is: does spermidine really work? And how safe is it to use spermidine? Are there any spermidine alternatives that we can turn to? These are the important questions we’ll answer in this article.
What Is Spermidine?
Spermidine is actually something that already exists in your body . As you sit down and read through this article, your body is making and using spermidine. But, some people find that taking spermidine supplements can help to make this compound even more powerful.
There are several amino groups that exist in spermidine. The compound is incredibly important for cells to grow and function properly. Plus, spermidine also seems to have certain health benefits to offer.
Spermidine helps to reduce inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammation is associated with a large number of diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and more.
The compound also has antioxidant properties that help your body fight off free radicals more effectively.
How Does Spermidine Promote Longevity?
Many believe that spermidine can actually increase their lifespan and there is some evidence behind these claims. The problem is, most of the current studies are done on animals, such as laboratory mice.
With this said, we can see how spermidine may improve longevity by taking a closer look at what it does. This compound, as we have already discussed, wards off oxidative stress and inflammation.
Both of these factors have been associated with a shorter lifespan, as they contribute to serious diseases that are linked to premature death.
Additionally, spermidine also promotes autophagy , which is another way in which the compound may promote longevity.
Why Spermidine Is Not Enough
Spermidine is one of the many compounds that researchers are looking at while trying to find ways to promote a longer lifespan.
On its own, it does offer a number of benefits, but it might not be “enough” or rather “powerful enough” to achieve these goals.
We have to focus on some of the limitations that we face when it comes to spermidine and its use for longevity and potential anti-aging effects. One of the major limitations is the fact that there are mostly short-term studies that show the impact of spermidine.
When trying to better understand a supplement like spermidine, it’s really important to have long-term evidence. This not only shows the potential benefits but also provides more data in terms of how safe the compound is when used over a longer period of time.
Furthermore, most of the studies that show positive results are done on animals. We need more data done on human subjects to better understand whether spermidine is the answer.
Studies also need to look at more than just spermidine and potentially identify the right combination of compounds to promote longevity in a safe, yet effective manner.
Natural Spermidine Alternatives
There are limitations that need to be considered when it comes to spermidine and taking a supplement with this compound may sometimes cause side effects. Luckily, there are a couple of alternatives that you can consider turning to as well.
While these alternatives might not work exactly the same as spermidine, they can offer somewhat similar effects and also contribute to your ability to live healthier and possibly reduce your risk of age-related diseases and premature death.
Lithium is a natural compound that has been linked to different potential benefits. In one review paper , it is suggested that lithium actually has potential in the treatment of depression. It also seems to be beneficial for overall cognitive function.
The study also mentions that lithium might be a good treatment protocol to prevent suicide. Other than this, lithium increases telomere length, which makes it a potential anti-aging substance that can be useful in various diseases.
Resveratrol has been studied for its potential anti-aging effects, particularly due to the fact that it is a very powerful antioxidant. When free radicals accumulate in your body, they cause oxidative stress - which has been linked to cancer and several other diseases.
Resveratrol improves your body’s antioxidant capacity, making it easier to reduce oxidative stress and providing a preventative tool against these diseases.
It’s found in grapes, red wine, and a couple of other fruits. Resveratrol also seems to be effective at inducing autophagy.
Curcumin is an active compound in turmeric, a spice that is often used in curries and even as a dye. In a concentrated form, curcumin shows a lot of promise in producing anti-inflammatory effects in your body.
Additionally, curcumin is also a strong antioxidant that protects against oxidative damage. Some evidence also shows that curcumin possesses neuroprotective properties.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fatty fish, flaxseeds, and avocados are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. It is a type of essential fatty acid that every cell in your body depends on.
Taking supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for improving your heart health, to improve your mood, and enhancing cognitive functions.
The protective properties and essential role that these fatty acids play in cellular health also mean it has anti-aging properties.
Found in abundance in apples, as well as other fruits and vegetables, quercetin is also sold in supplement form. The higher concentration of this compound may help to produce a powerful anti-inflammatory effect if you take it on a regular basis.
Quercetin is also a strong antioxidant and has even shown to yield anti-cancer characteristics.
Arthritis is a very common age-related disease and can significantly affect the quality of life. Glucosamine is found in cartilage - it’s actually a building block for cartilage.
Taking a supplement with glucosamine may help to improve cartilage health and this can be good for people who experience joint pain and inflammation. Additionally, it can also potentially offset disabilities caused by arthritis in old age.
Acetyl-Glucosamine In Hyaluronic Acid
Acetyl-glucosamine in hyaluronic acid serves as a lubricant for your joints and cartilage, ensuring everything works smoothly. Taking supplements that contain acetyl-glucosamine may help to increase the availability of hyaluronic acid in your body.
Fisetin has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Low-grade inflammation has been associated with a great number of diseases - including those that are usually related to age.
These supplements might help to ward off low-grade inflammation and fight against free radicals.
Another great spermidine alternative if you want to focus on lowering inflammation and oxidative stress in your body is pterostilbene. It is also a natural compound that exists in grapes and blueberries.
Synthetic Compounds And Novel Spermidine Alternatives
Apart from natural spermidine alternatives, there are also a couple of synthetic ones. Let’s take a closer look at these:
Rapamycin: This immunosuppressant drug holds potential in anti-aging therapy. It inhibits your mTOR pathway - something that regulates the growth of cells and even affects how quickly you age.
Metformin: Okay, you may recognize this as an antidiabetes drug - but it also holds properties for anti-aging. Metformin actually increases NAD+ - and that molecule is very important for the production of energy in cells and for the repair of cells.
NAD+ Boosters: Apart from Metformin, there are several other NAD+ boosters that are being investigated. Some are already available either as OTC drugs or through a prescription.
Senolytics: The main idea behind these synthetic drugs is to destroy cells that have become senescent. These are old cells that cannot divide anymore. And they collect waste materials that can trigger inflammation and other complications.
Gene Therapy and CRISPR: CRISPR is a technology that has been developed to edit genes, while gene therapy can be used to help adjust gene expression. Both of these also hold potential as alternative options to the use of spermidine.
Lifestyle Factors For Longevity
Certain lifestyle factors can also help to promote longevity and ensure you are able to live a longer, happier life. This is because they do not only focus on extending your lifespan, but can also do wonders for your quality of life - even in your old age.
Let’s consider three important lifestyle changes or factors that you have to consider for longevity:
If you fast for a certain period of time, then there is a natural process that is induced in your body - and it’s called autophagy. The “magic” thing here is the fact that through autophagy, the unnecessary and damaged compounds circulating in your cells are recycled.
Several studies have shown that caloric restriction is a highly effective protocol for extending lifespan.
It may help to reduce insulin resistance, help to limit inflammation in your body, and even reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases.
Exercise And Physical Activity
Living a sedentary lifestyle can have a number of adverse effects on your health - and it may ultimately also be the cause for premature death and a shorter lifespan.
Exercise can do a number of things for your longevity. It helps you manage your weight properly and lose excess fat. This can help to reduce the risk of serious complications associated with being overweight and obese.
Additionally, exercise can also help in inducing autophagy in your cells. This is an essential process that contributes to the health and survival of the cell.
Sleep And Circadian Rhythm
Sleep also plays a really important role in ensuring you can maximize your lifespan. If you fail to get enough sleep, then your body doesn’t get access to enough rest to recover and get ready for the next day.
You are also more likely to get sick if you do not sleep enough. Other than this, poor sleep is also linked to problems like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I increase spermidine levels?
It’s a natural compound that your body already makes, but you can increase levels by including certain foods in your diet.
Some of these foods include whole grains, fermented foods, mushrooms, seeds, and legumes. These foods may help to reduce the natural loss of spermidine as you age too.
Are there downsides to spermidine?
If you take a spermidine supplement, then it can cause certain side-effects. Nausea and vomiting have been reported in some people.
Additionally, spermidine in supplement form may interact with certain medications like those used to manage blood pressure.
Does spermidine really work?
There are a couple of studies that have been done on spermidine, but there are many limitations to these studies.
They are often done on animals and those on human subjects are done so only on a small group. This makes it hard to give a guaranteed answer on this question.
Does spermidine reverse aging?
It does seem that spermidine could have some anti-aging effects. Additionally, it may also play a role in helping to reduce your risk of certain age-related diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
It seems to also play a role in promoting autophagy in your body.
Does David Sinclair take spermidine?
Yes, Dr. David Sinclair has publicly announced his use of spermidine. He claims to take a 1mg dose of spermidine every day due to the potential anti-aging effects that the supplement might be able to provide.
Does spermidine trigger autophagy?
Yes, spermidine is involved in promoting and triggering autophagy processes. The compound inhibits the activity of certain acetyltransferases such as EP300. These are negative regulators of the autophagy process.
Spermidine occurs naturally in your body, but as you grow older, levels of this compound start to decline.
Due to its role in autophagy, cellular growth, and other areas of your body, many believe that taking spermidine could extend their lifespan.
Right now, there are limitations to the studies that are available, but it has been found that spermidine promotes longevity in mice. For those who want to improve their health, a number of spermidine alternatives are also available.
Spermidine in health and disease. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29371440/
Spermidine: a physiological autophagy inducer acting as an anti-aging vitamin in humans? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6287690/
The New News about Lithium: An Underutilized Treatment in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5854802/