While many might associate spermidine primarily with sperm due to its origins in semen, exciting research is showing its significant presence in ovaries and its potential benefits for female fertility and egg health. This molecule doesn't just play a part in male reproductive health; it has a role in several crucial processes in our body, such as slowing down aging and even improving memory.
In a deep dive into the ovaries of mice, scientists discovered stark differences between young and old mice. After giving older mice spermidine, there was a noticeable improvement in the health and readiness of their eggs for fertilization. This wasn't the only positive change. The overall cell health in these ovaries got a boost, suggesting that spermidine might be playing a key role in rejuvenating them.
These promising findings about spermidine's potential to enhance fertility are captivating and are additive to several other human and model organism studies demonstrating spermidine as crucial for both male and female fertility (1,2,3). While there is building excitement about the molecule's potential role in aiding adults wanting to have children later in life, more research is needed to truly establish its impact.
Read more about the study here:
1. Richard Bendera, Leanna S. Wilson The Regulatory Effect of Biogenic Polyamines Spermine and Spermidine in Men and Women Nutritional Research, Nokomis Research Inc., Toronto, Canada. DOI: 10.4236/ojemd.2019.93004.
Human. In this trial, treatment with spermine and spermidine supplementation was associated with a marked improvement in the stress response, sexual function, stamina, weight loss and a decrease in mood swings, irritability and fatigue when compared with non-treatment. The rate of improvement was significant within the thirty-day treatment period.
2. Jakobsen H, Rui H, Thomassen Y, Hald T, Purvis K. Polyamines and other accessory sex gland secretions in human seminal plasma 8 years after vasectomy. J Reprod Fertil. 1989 Sep;87(1):39-45. doi: 10.1530/jrf.0.0870039. PMID: 2621711.
63 Human. Post vasectomy, human seminal plasma contents of polyamines was significantly reduced.
3. Bauer MA, Carmona-Gutiérrez D, Ruckenstuhl C, Reisenbichler A, Megalou EV, Eisenberg T, Magnes C, Jungwirth H, Sinner FM, Pieber TR, Fröhlich KU, Kroemer G, Tavernarakis N, Madeo F. Spermidine promotes mating and fertilization efficiency in model organisms. Cell Cycle. 2013 Jan 15;12(2):346-52. doi: 10.4161/cc.23199. Epub 2012 Jan 15. PMID: 23255134; PMCID: PMC3575463.
Yeast. In this study, we demonstrate that pheromone-induced shmoo formation requires spermidine. In addition, we show that spermidine is essential for mating in yeast as well as for egg fertilization in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In both cases, this occurs independently from autophagy. In synthesis, we identify spermidine as an important mating component in unicellular and multicellular model organisms, supporting an unprecedented evolutionary conservation of the mechanisms governing fertilization-related cellular fusion.