Spermidine found to lengthen lifespan in mice and to promote cardiovascular health

November 15, 2016 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress report
Emmental cheese. Credit: Wikipedia

(Medical Xpress)—A large team of researchers with members from several Europeans countries and the U.S. has found that mice fed a compound called spermidine lived longer than ordinary mice and also had better cardiovascular heath. In their paper published in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers describe experiments they carried out with the compound and mice, what they found and why they believe the compound might provide benefits for humans.

Prior research has found that ingestion of spermidine—which was first discovered in semen samples, hence its name—led to longer lifespans in simple organisms such as fruit flies, yeast and roundworms. In this new study, the researchers sought to find out if the same would prove true for more complex creatures.

The researchers chose mice as their target, feeding some groups water with spermidine mixed in, while other groups received plain water. After observing the rodents over the course of their lifespans, the researchers discovered that those who had been given spermidine lived longer than those who had not—even if the supplement was not given to them until middle age. Closer examination of the rodents revealed that those given the supplement also had better heart function and lower . They also found that rats fed a high-salt diet, which causes , had lower pressure readings when given spermidine.

Prior research had also suggested that the means by which spermidine extended lifespan was by inducing autophagy in heart cells, which is where cells naturally disable parts of themselves that are dysfunctional or no longer necessary. To find out if this might be the case for rodents, the researchers conducted the same experiments using that had a genetic defect that prevented autophagy from taking place and found that feeding them spermidine did not cause them to live longer or to have improved cardiovascular health, suggesting that autophagy may, indeed, be involved in the process.

The acknowledge that there is thus far little evidence that suggests humans might receive the same benefits from consuming the compound, but note that they did conduct a survey of approximately 800 people regarding their diets and found that those that reported eating foods that contained a fair amount of the compound (mushrooms, whole grains, aged cheese, etc.) had fewer cardiovascular disease symptoms including . They suggest a much larger study should be undertaken before any real conclusions can be made.

Explore further: Healthy ageing—longer healthspan with spermidine

More information: Tobias Eisenberg et al. Cardioprotection and lifespan extension by the natural polyamine spermidine, Nature Medicine (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nm.4222

Abstract
Aging is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Here we show that oral supplementation of the natural polyamine spermidine extends the lifespan of mice and exerts cardioprotective effects, reducing cardiac hypertrophy and preserving diastolic function in old mice. Spermidine feeding enhanced cardiac autophagy, mitophagy and mitochondrial respiration, and it also improved the mechano-elastical properties of cardiomyocytes in vivo, coinciding with increased titin phosphorylation and suppressed subclinical inflammation. Spermidine feeding failed to provide cardioprotection in mice that lack the autophagy-related protein Atg5 in cardiomyocytes. In Dahl salt-sensitive rats that were fed a high-salt diet, a model for hypertension-induced congestive heart failure, spermidine feeding reduced systemic blood pressure, increased titin phosphorylation and prevented cardiac hypertrophy and a decline in diastolic function, thus delaying the progression to heart failure. In humans, high levels of dietary spermidine, as assessed from food questionnaires, correlated with reduced blood pressure and a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. Our results suggest a new and feasible strategy for protection against cardiovascular disease.

Related Stories

Healthy ageing—longer healthspan with spermidine

September 1, 2016
Spermidine cleans the cells and could potentially prolong lifespan. Research is ongoing and some of it is presented by Professor Frank Madeo at the Healthy Ageing conference tomorrow.

Keeping your synapses sharp: How spermidine reverses age-related memory decline

October 3, 2016
Synapses, connecting the neurons in our brains, continuously encode new memories, but the ability to form new memories ("learning") diminishes drastically for many of us as we get older.

New drug could make vaccines more effective in the elderly

November 11, 2014
Early tests in mice carried out by the research team have shown that the compound restores the immune system's inbuilt 'memory', enabling the body to mount a more powerful protective immune response following vaccination.

Feeding fruit flies with spermidin suppresses age-dependent memory impairment

September 2, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Age-induced memory impairment can be suppressed by administration of the natural substance spermidin. This was found in a recent study conducted by Prof. Dr. Stephan Sigrist from Freie Universität Berlin ...

New formulation of ibuprofen may be superior for pain relief than the current version

October 14, 2016
Move over aspirin, a new formulation of ibuprofen might prove to be a "wonder drug." In a research report published online in The FASEB Journal, scientists used mice and rats to show that ibuprofen arginate may allow people ...

Recommended for you

BPA can induce multigenerational effects on ability to communicate

June 18, 2018
Past studies have shown that biparental care of offspring can be affected negatively when females and males are exposed to bisphenol A (BPA); however, previous studies have not characterized how long-term effects of BPA exposure ...

New compound shown to be as effective as FDA-approved drugs against life-threatening infections

June 15, 2018
Purdue University researchers have identified  a new compound that in preliminary testing has shown itself to be as effective as antibiotics approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat life-threatening infections ...

Foods combining fats and carbohydrates more rewarding than foods with just fats or carbs

June 14, 2018
Researchers show that the reward center of the brain values foods high in both fat and carbohydrates—i.e., many processed foods—more than foods containing only fat or only carbs. A study of 206 adults, to appear June ...

3-D imaging and computer modeling capture breast duct development

June 14, 2018
Working with hundreds of time-lapse videos of mouse tissue, a team of biologists joined up with civil engineers to create what is believed to be the first 3-D computer model to show precisely how the tiny tubes that funnel ...

Beating cancer at its own game with a Trojan horse telomerase

June 13, 2018
Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase that uses an RNA template to synthesize telomeres. These repeat sequences bind special proteins that fold the ends of chromosomes back onto themselves to create a stable cap. When this ...

Turning the tables on the cholera pathogen

June 13, 2018
Recent cholera outbreaks in regions that are ravaged by war, struck by natural disasters, or simply lack basic sanitation, such as Yemen or Haiti, are making the development of new and more effective interventions a near-term ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.