What Foods Are High in Polyamines?


We should be doing everything in our power to ensure we live longer, happier, healthier lives. Polyamines, such as spermidine and spermine, help the body induce autophagy, which is the body’s process of cellular renewal eliminating old proteins and organelles that are no longer valuable. This process can help us live longer, boost our immune system, and improve our brain’s health. There are several ways that you can consume polyamines like spermidine, but what is polyamine?

What do Polyamines Do? 

If you’re looking to slow down the effects of aging, increase longevity, and prevent age-related disease, you should be focusing on promoting polyamines and polyamine synthesis. They interact with negatively charged molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. There are three ways to increase polyamine production - food intake, cellular synthesis, and microbial synthesis in the gut. Here are some polyamine examples:

  • Spermidine - natural
  • Spermine - natural 
  • Cyclen - synthetic
  • Tris(2-aminoethyl)amine - synthetic
  • 1,4,7-Triazacyclononane - synthetic

A healthy amount of polyamines has been tied to an increase in lifespan in model organisms. They are also believed to have positive effects on stress resistance, both in mammals and in plants. 

What Are Polyamine Levels?

The main polyamine in plant-based products is spermidine, spermine content is generally higher in animal-derived foods. During aging, the cellular levels of spermine and spermidine and the enzymatic activity of ODC tend to decrease. This can rapidly speed up the aging process and can limit the body’s ability to prevent aging diseases. 

By implementing a diet that focuses on a high level of spermine and spermidine, as well as biogenic polyamines supplements you can increase the concentration of the compounds in the blood. It can also decrease the levels of pro-inflammatory markers, age-associated DNA methylation, renal glomerular atrophy, and mortality. Higher polyamine levels can also increase autophagy, which is the body’s process of replacing old cells with new and healthy cells, but how can you find biogenic polyamine foods?

What Foods Are High in Polyamines? 

If you are looking to begin a diet that is full of polyamine-rich food, you need food that has large amounts of putrescine, spermidine, or spermine. Keep in mind, the amount of polyamines in food will also depend on the preparation method, storage method, storage period, and serving method. Here is a list of foods high in polyamines you can implement into your diet to increase longevity:

  • Grapefruit
  • Orange juice
  • Soybean
  • Peas
  • Pear
  • Liver
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Lentil soup
  • Broccoli

By combining this diet with a healthy lifestyle, you can live a longer, happier, and healthier life. Many of these foods are also rich in other nutrients that provide added health benefits. 

What is Spermidine Used For?

There are many spermidine uses in the body. As mentioned earlier, spermidine is a longevity agent in mammals, mainly due to how it impacts the induction of autophagy. Autophagy is the body’s process of replacing old, damaged cells with newer, healthier cells. 

Research has found that it can also reduce inflammation, lipid metabolism, regulate cell growth, proliferation, and death. Many researchers and scientists believe that a diet high in spermidine can help increase longevity and overall health. You can either achieve your recommended daily spermidine intake by eating foods rich in spermidine or taking supplements. 

Spermidine Benefits

It’s important to note that there is still plenty of research that needs to be done in order to fully grasp how spermidine impacts our health. However, the research that has been done, both on humans and on mice, has shown remarkable results. Here are three ways spermidine can be beneficial to the human body:

Anti-Aging and Longevity

In humans, it has been found that diets high in spermidine correlate with reduced mortality and an overall 5-year increase in life expectancy. Studies of mice have found that spermidine supplementation can replenish the spermidine pool, inducing autophagy in the cells. Beyond increasing your lifespan, spermidine also helps with some of the side effects of aging. 

For example, spermidine has been shown to help with hair loss. It can encourage hair shaft elongation and lengthen hair growth. The process of autophagy, which spermidine helps induce, can also protect your body from age-related diseases. With a spermidine-rich diet, you will look younger, feel younger, and live longer. 

Immune System

As we grow older, it becomes more and more important to take care of our immune systems. This is especially true for spermidine intake, as the older we get the more depleted our spermidine pool becomes. This means our body will have a harder time inducing autophagy and generating new, healthy cells. 

When your immune system senses antigens in the body it works hard to get rid of them to protect the rest of the body from the foreign invaders. One of the main ways our body fights off these antigens is by producing macrophages that use a process called autophagy to destroy the antigens. Studies have found that spermidine can help trigger cellular autophagy, which can help build your body a more robust immune defense through healthier cells. 

Brain Health

On top of your physical health and physical appearance, spermidine can help support the health of our brains as the body ages. Autophagy renews the brain cells to function at their highest efficiency. This process can also help offset the cognitive decline, which is unfortunately all too common the older we get. 

The best ways to reduce cognitive decline include staying mentally and socially active while exercising and staying physically active. Implementing a healthy diet, one that preferably implements polyamines such as spermidine, will also go a long way in ensuring your brain’s health. Since it can be difficult to get the key compounds and nutrients in your diet, supplements are a recommended alternative. 

Where is Spermidine Found?

Spermine, which is a derivation of spermidine caused by spermine synthase, is normally found in millimolar concentrations in the nucleus. It functions directly as a free radical scavenger and forms a variety of adducts that prevent oxidative damage to DNA. The spermine synthase process is very important in the autophagy process. Here are some examples of foods high in spermidine:

  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Soybeans
  • Chicken
  • Lentil soup

These foods will help replenish your body’s spermidine pool. As mentioned earlier, without a proper amount of spermidine, it becomes increasingly difficult for your body to initiate the autophagy process. Also as mentioned earlier, you can also get your recommended daily intake of spermidine by taking supplements. 

How do You Store Spermidine? 

Spermidine deaminates with time which means solutions should be stored frozen and new solutions should be prepared frequently. If you choose a supplement, the difficult parts of the storage process have already been handled for you. All you need to do is store your supplements the same way you store any other supplement. 

Keep in mind, there may be a recommended ‘consume by’ date on your supplement bottle. You should try to follow these recommended dates. If you don’t, you may fall ill if you consume an out-of-date supplement. 

Supplements that Can Help

It can be difficult to reach your recommended daily intake of spermidine simply by just consuming it in your diet. That’s why spermidine capsules and other supplements can help you do all you can to induce autophagy and reduce the unwanted effects of aging. Our team here at Spermidine Life offers spermidine-rich capsules designed to promote cellular renewal. 

We highly recommend taking your daily dose of spermidine supplements at the same time every day, preferably after you eat dinner. This makes it easy to remember to take your capsules so that you never miss a daily dose. These capsules are designed to promote autophagy, which gives your cells the ability to regenerate and rejuvenate.

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  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.