Spermidine is said to slow down aging processes and supposedly protect against a number of diseases, including Covid-19. You can find out how credible these promises about the effect of spermidine actually are here.
Spermidine is available as a dietary supplement in capsule or powder form. However, the substance also occurs naturally in food. For example, according to some packaging, wheat germ or pumpkin seeds have a particularly high spermidine content.
Manufacturers advertise the substance, among other things, as “vital food” and “fountain of youth”, which is said to slow down the aging process, prolong life and help against corona and cancer. In addition, spermidine should be able to put the body into fasting mode – even without you having to do without food. So far, none of these statements have been scientifically proven.
Spermidine: effects and false promises
The various advertising promises about spermidine are not completely wrong in their approaches. According to the consumer center, the substance can actually trigger cellular cleaning processes, known as autophagy. Autophagy is a process that also occurs in the body during fasting. It is a kind of self-cleaning program of the cells. Defective, unneeded and diseased cell components are broken down by the body itself and used for other processes.
Spermidine can therefore possibly be used to develop therapies for various infectious diseases, cancer and age-related complaints. According to the consumer advice center, science in this area is still in its infancy. There is still neither clear evidence for the healing effect of spermidine nor precise information about the necessary amounts or possible side effects.
Spermidine and Corona
In 2020, the effect of spermidine on Covid-19 pathogens was examined as part of a study at the Berlin Charité. According to the results, spermidine can actually slow down the multiplication of the pathogens. Based on this study, the assumption quickly spread that the substance was an efficient therapy against the virus as a dietary supplement. However, the researchers reject this hasty conclusion.
For example, the scientists used an extremely high concentration of spermidine in the investigations, which can hardly be achieved with dietary supplements. This is partly due to the aspect of bioavailability. This applies to all substances taken orally. Because they do not go directly into the blood, but are often first digested, broken down and possibly even excreted again. Only a fraction, if any, of the amount taken orally gets into the bloodstream. Scientific results indicate that this is also the case with spermidine.
In short: Spermidine does not prevent a corona infection either as a capsule or as a natural substance in food and is also not considered an effective therapy. So far, researchers have only seen the results of the corresponding study as an exciting starting point for subsequent research projects.
Spermidine: Carcinogenic or Anti-Aging?
Manufacturers also sometimes cite specific studies on their websites for certain spermidine products, which are intended to confirm the effect of the substance. From a scientific point of view, none of these studies are reliable. For example, the number of participants is too small or descriptions of the process and the methods used are insufficient. There are also studies that have been carried out on animals and are intended to confirm the life-prolonging effect of spermidine. However, these are not directly transferrable to humans.
In addition, it cannot be ruled out that spermidine could also have negative effects in too high a dose over a longer period of time. So far there have been cell and animal studies that demonstrate the tumor-inhibiting effect of spermidine. However, other studies indicate that the substance could even promote the development of cancer. To what extent spermidine could be carcinogenic has also not yet been clarified.
Spermidine: You should consider this before taking it
By the way, you don’t need any capsules or powder to supply your body with spermidine. According to the consumer center, the substance also occurs in mushrooms, legumes, cauliflower and cheese. With 50 grams of cauliflower or 2.5 grams of cheddar cheese, you can sometimes get the same spermidine content that is also contained in spermidine wheat germ, which is declared as “high dose”.
According to analyzes by the consumer center, normal wheat germs are sometimes marketed as spermidine products, even though the substance was not added or enriched here.
In some cases, manufacturers also add other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E or zinc to spermidine products. Depending on the dosage, overdoses can therefore quickly occur – especially if you are already taking food supplements. Therefore, always check the content of the added nutrient before taking it. With a healthy and balanced diet, additional intake of the nutrients mentioned above is usually not necessary.
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