What Is Spermidine?

Spermidine Molecule Oxford Healthspan

Spermidine Explained

Spermidine is a potent polyamine known for inducing autophagy - the body's vital cell renewal and recycling process - and inhibiting the root causes of aging, known as the "Hallmarks of Aging".

Supplementation with spermidine in humans has been shown to support memory, cognition and heart health, balance hormones and improve hair growth and fullness.

Epidemiological studies have correlated higher spermidine levels with longer life.

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Natto Spermidine

Where Is Spermidine Found?

Your gut biome and body tissues produce 2/3 of your body's spermidine. The final 1/3 comes from your diet.

With age, your ability to produce spermidine declines, making you much more reliant on food-derived, supplemental sources of spermidine.

 Spermidine is present in all plants but is abundant in wheat germ, the long fermented Japanese soybean dish, Natto, shiitake mushrooms, and peas.

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Spermidine & The Hallmarks Of Aging

Spermidine Targets 9 Of The 12 Root Causes Of Aging

The main mechanism it does this is by activating autophagy, a cellular "clean up" and recycling process so fundamental that the Japanese scientist, Yoshinori Ohsumi, who explained how it works won the Nobel Prize in 2016.

Impaired autophagy

If you never took out the trash, it 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 when it can no longer trigger autophagy, which spermidine activates.

Mitochondrial dysfunction

As cells age, their mitochondria (the "cell powerhouse") lose the ability to provide cellular energy and start self-destructing, which creates oxidative stress. This is felt as low energy levels, and spermidine combats this by triggering mitophagy (autophagy within the mitochondria!)

Stem cell dysfunction

Stem cells lose their ability to divide with age, meaning old, dead cells can't be replaced. As a result, you might exhibit the outward signs of aging, like gray hair and wrinkles. By triggering autophagy and increasing cell differentiation, spermidine can prevent stem cell dysfunction.


Heard the term “inflammaging”? It describes the gradual increase of inflammation associated with aging that can lead to various age-related diseases. Spermidine has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, reducing systemic inflammation.

Telomere attrition

Telomeres are the end caps of your chromosomes, and their length determines the number of times a cell can divide. When the telomeres are dysfunctional, or unusually short, premature aging and age-related diseases occur. When the telomere length is long or maintained - which spermidine promotes - your cells can live longer. 

Gut dysbiosis

70% of your immune system lives in the gut, and one of its responsibilities is to maintain a balanced gut microbiome. Since the immune system loses effectiveness with age, it is unable to perform this gut "housekeeping" role and bacterial diversity suffers. Spermidine works to seal the tight junction proteins in the gut lining, promoting better gut health.

Epigenetic alterations

Your genome is like sheet music, and your epigenome is how that music is played. The sheet music is always the same, but your environment and lifestyle can influence how it is expressed. Without changing your lifestyle, epigenetic changes accumulate as you age.

Loss of proteostasis

Loss of proteostasis refers to poor protein folding. Proteins are responsible for nearly every task in your body, including cell shape, waste cleanup, inner cell organization, and routine maintenance. To function properly, proteins need to be folded perfectly. Spermidine helps with this by inducing autophagy.

Impaired intercellular communication

As cells age, they emit an increasing number of inflammatory signals, like "alarm bells", to alert the body that they need to be repaired. But when chronically sounded, these alarms can "inflammage" surrounding cells. Spermidine inhibits this by inducing autophagy, cleaning up old, broken cells and making way for new, healthy ones.

Autophagy Oxford Healthspan

What Is Autophagy?

Autophagy is a cellular "clean up" and recycling process that slows with age. A leading University of Oxford scientist and member of our scientific advisory board, Professor Katja Simon, describes autophagy as, the recycling van that delivers the rubbish to the recycling center. It is very important to degrade toxic waste for the survival of the cell, and a cell without autophagy cannot survive.”

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Benefits Of Spermidine

Healthy aging

Cell Renewal

Cardiovascular health

Memory and cognition

Immune function

Hair growth

Hormonal balance

Gut health

Fasting mimetic

Skin & nails

Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Denis Noble

Dr. Katja Simon

Dr. Ghada Alsaleh

Dr. Sasi Senga

Clinical Advisory Board

Dr. Paul Ch'en

Dr. Sandra Kaufmann

Dr. Olivia Lesslar

Amy Lamotte


1. López-Otín, C., Blasco, M. A., Partridge, L., Serrano, M., & Kroemer, G. (2013). The Hallmarks of Aging. Cell, 153(6), 1194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.039

2. Hofer, S. J., Simon, A. K., Bergmann, M., Eisenberg, T., Kroemer, G., & Madeo, F. (2022). Mechanisms of spermidine-induced autophagy and geroprotection. Nature Aging, 2(12), 1112-1129. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43587-022-00322-9

3. Madeo, F., Bauer, M. A., Carmona-Gutierrez, D., & Kroemer, G. (2019). Spermidine: A physiological autophagy inducer acting as an anti-aging vitamin in humans? Autophagy, 15(1), 165-168. https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2018.1530929


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