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Spermidine Benefits | Autophagy Benefits | Oxford Healthspan

What is spermidine?

Spermidine is a potent polyamine, known for inducing autophagy, which is the body's cellular renewal and recycling process that slows as we age.

The gut biome and our tissues produce 2/3 of our body's spermidine. This is known as 'endogenous production'. The final third comes 'exogenously' or externally from our diet.

As we age, spermidine production in our tissues and gut biome begin to fall, reducing our cells' ability to trigger an important cellular renewal and recycling process known as autophagy.

Proven spermidine benefits

Supplementation with spermidine in humans has been shown to support cognition and heart health, balance hormones, improve hair growth and fullness (including eyelashes) and strengthen nails.

Epidemiological studies have correlated higher spermidine levels with longer life.

Spermidine is one of few compounds that has been found to inhibit 9 of the 12 hallmarks of aging (the pathways through which your body ages).

Spermidine Benefits | Autophagy Benefits | Oxford Healthspan

Benefits of autophagy

Autophagy is fundamental to the proper functioning of your cells across your lifetime. Without it, proteins, organelles and other cellular matter build up and begin to cause the cells to malfunction or even die.

Studies show that autophagy enhances:

⦿ Cardiovascular health

⦿ Cognition and memory

⦿ Immune function

⦿ Healthy joint function

⦿ Lifespan

What is autophagy?

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you never took out the garbage? Rubbish would begin to pile up, decompose and generally get in the way of how things ran and looked in your home.

This is exactly what happens inside your body if it can no longer perform a vital function called autophagy (pronounced 'aw-TAW-fuh-gee').

Autophagy is your body's internal clear-up and spruce-up system: it bags and sorts parts of your cells into 'Rubbish' and 'Recycling.'

Old proteins and organelles that no longer work are bagged up to be burned as energy for your body. Other parts that can be salvaged are efficiently put into a recycling bin to be turned into spanking new cells.

In short, autophagy clears out damaged cells and regenerates new ones.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Oxford Professor of Immunology, Katja Simon, describes it as follows:

“I often call autophagy the recycling van that delivers the rubbish to the recycling centre. It is very important to degrade toxic waste for the survival of the cell, and a cell without autophagy cannot survive. Furthermore, autophagy levels fall in the aging process. The characteristics of old age, such as wrinkles or hearing loss, are actually due to falling autophagy levels and the accumulation of toxic wastes in the cells.” 

In 2016, Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for his groundbreaking scientific discovery on the mechanism of action of autophagy. He was able to demonstrate that this process of cellular recycling and renewal plays a key role in human health and slowing aging.