A research group from the Hannover Medical School found out in tests with mice that spermidine intake not only improves brain performance, but also age-related problems hair loss helps. But what exactly is spermidine and where does it occur?
Hair loss reduction & heart protection
“The spermidine supply ensured that the animals developed less kidney and liver damage and a better performance-enhancing glucose supply in the brain,” explains study leader Dr. Evgeni Ponimaskin from the Institute for Neurophysiology at the Hannover Medical School (MHH). Age-related hair loss was also less than in the control group. For example, older mice that received spermidine hardly had any bald spots on their backs. This is usually typical of them as they age.
One effect was particularly surprising for the researchers: According to their studies, spermidine supply protects the heart: “In their investigations, they found that the cardio-protective effect is associated with reduced telomere shortening in heart tissue.” Telomeres protect the ends of the carriers of our genetic information (chromosomes) before degradation. If cells stop dividing, as in the myocardial cell, the telomeres are further shortened and programmed cell death occurs above a critical length.
However, “Telomeres in the spermidine-supplemented mice were similar in length to those in young animals,” says the study leader. Aging processes in the cells of mice are similar to those in the human body cells. Therefore, spermidine intake as a dietary supplement could also protect against some age-related diseases in humans.
What is spermidine exactly?
Spermidine is an endogenous substance. This means that it arises in the body and not through external circumstances. It was first discovered in male semen. This also gave the substance its name. However, we now know that spermidine exists in all body cells. Although certain intestinal bacteria are able to form this substance, the main component must be ingested through food.
Spermidine is found in larger amounts in the following products:
- wheat germ
- soy products
The substance activates autophagy in our body. As a result, faulty proteins, pathogens or cell components that are no longer functional are broken down. By the way, autophagy and spermidine are also the reason why you should drink coffee without milk.
Further studies show that a diet rich in spermidine can lead to a longer life expectancy. If the study of mice mentioned above can also be transferred to humans, the substance also reduces hair loss. The study by Evgeni Ponimaskin et al. you can find here.
Sources: Hannover Medical School, 2021