Does Cooking Destroy Spermidine?


Cooking nutritional food is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness. Many foods are high in essential vitamins and nutrients that promote longevity by boosting cellular health. Spermidine is one of those important molecules found in several foods. Some people wonder if they should eat these foods raw or cook them first. Let’s look at spermidine and how cooking affects certain health benefits. 

What Is Spermidine?

Although it has a strange name, spermidine is an essential molecule in your body that has many health benefits. Spermidine naturally occurs in the living cells of humans, animals, and plants. In humans, it works throughout our cellular structure to promote longevity through cellular health through a process known as autophagy.

Autophagy is the body's natural process of cleaning your cells of accumulated cellular debris. As we age we accumulate toxic matter in our cells, leading to damaged organelles. Through autophagy these damaged cells are targeted and the damaged material is recycled and used as energy. This allows the cell to continue to operate unimpaired.

What Are the Benefits of Spermidine?

Exercising and eating healthy foods are vital to increasing immunity and longevity. Many people also include supplements in their diet that can help extend lifespan and boost vitality. Spermidine benefits cover all these areas and more. Spermidine is a polyamine that has a big impact on health and your lifespan. It works in the body’s cellular structure to remove waste and promote cellular growth. 

The more healthy cells your body supplies, the less likely you are to fight illness and disease. Here are a few other benefits of spermidine. 

Helps Promote Longevity

Fine lines and wrinkles aren’t the only place where the effects of aging appear. As the body ages, cells also age and break down. Cellular breakdown affects other body systems, including the immune system, neurological system, and others. 

Spermidine can help improve the appearance of aging on the outside and slow down its effects on the inside. Studies show that it can strengthen the collagen and elastin skin needed to maintain health and firmness. Spermidine helps balance the bacteria in your skin’s biome to improve its function and health.  

Protects Against Neurological Damage

During the aging process, the brain cells decline along with other cells in the body. Many people suffer from cognitive impairment as they age, which can also lead to neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer Disease and Parkinson Disease are two common conditions that occur during the aging process. 

Increasing spermidine levels can reduce the risk of these neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic disease, and even cancer. Some studies show that increasing spermidine through food or supplements can help prevent memory loss in some cases. 

Increases Fertility

Nutrition, environmental factors, genetic conditions, and other medical issues are factors that play a part in infertility today. Both men and women over age 40 can struggle with fertility issues that accompany aging. Taking spermidine supplements can help reduce fertility issues by stimulating cellular renewal. 

What Foods Contain Spermidine?

We’ve learned that supplements and certain foods contain spermidine, and are very beneficial for your health. The best way to increase your spermidine levels is through through these spermidine rich foods you probably eat every day. Some foods that contain spermidine include:

  • Mushrooms - oyster and snow mushrooms have higher levels
  • Soybeans and other soy products
  • Green peas and lentils - include at least 1 cup for high fiber and protein
  • Aged cheeses - cheeses like brie or cheddar have high calcium and spermidine
  • Whole grains and wheat - these products contain some of the highest levels
  • Chickpeas
  • Rice and rice bran
  • Mangos - high in spermidine, Vitamin C, and fiber
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower

Chances are most of these foods are in your pantry or refrigerator. If you eat more of these foods in your diet, then you’ll increase your spermidine levels and start reaping health benefits. 

What Food Has the Most Spermidine?

There are several food groups that contain high levels of spermidine. However, some of them have higher levels than others. Grapefruit is among those that contain the highest levels of spermidine. Research shows that certain fruits and cheese contain high polyamine levels, which also contain spermidine. Grapefruit, as well as oranges, rank high on the list for spermidine rich foods..

Spermidine Rich Diets

Have you tried different methods, hoping to increase your health and wellness benefits? Different diets offer unique benefits depending on their nutritional makeup. The Blue Zone Diet refers to several diets from various regions around the world. These regions comprise groups of people that have longer lifespans compared to other parts of the world. Studies show these longer lifespans may result from their diets. Some of these regions are:

  • Japan
  • Greece
  • California
  • Italy
  • Costa Rica

Although these are widespread regions around the world, their diets have common food groups that offer essential nutrients for longevity, and many of these foods are high in spermidine. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes are a few examples of these food groups. 

Can Cooking Destroy Spermidine?

If you are looking to incorporate more spermidine in your diet you may be worried that cooking will affect the spermidine stability. Food groups not only contain essential vitamins and minerals for health, but they also contain polyamines, which support immunity and development. Polyamines such as spermidine and putrescine work together to reduce inflammation by releasing antioxidant properties into your system. Eating foods that are high in spermidine can boost your health by preventing illness. 

Cooking and Spermidine Levels

While there is no recommended amount of biogenic polyamine intake, including more in your diet will increase your benefits. Cooking certain foods can affect the spermidine levels in the food. Cooking at higher temperatures may destroy spermidine and other nutrients in the food. This usually happens in water-soluble foods such as vegetables and some legumes. 

Can Cooking Influence Polyamines in Food?

If you’re used to cooking your food at high temperatures, you may want to think twice before you fire up your stove. Cooking your food can influence biogenic polyamines, such as spermidine, in certain foods. Plant-based foods and foods of animal origin also contain high levels of polyamine, and cooking them can lower the polyamine levels. During the cooking process, most of the polyamines transfer to the cooking water or roasting heat. This may be the reason Blue Zone regions eat a heavily plant-based diet. Cooking less of your food allows you to keep more spermidine and polyamines in your food..   

Supplements May Help

Most people aren’t interested in eating a lot of raw foods to increase their spermidine intake. We cook many foods and enjoy the taste and the health benefits. This means that we need to eat more food than we need to increase our spermidine levels. Spermidine supplements may be the answer for you!

Spermidine supplements are a great way to extend lifespans and boost immune health. You can find it in powder or capsule form. Increasing spermidine levels in the body promotes richer health and wellness by breaking down old cells and rebuilding healthier ones. Through learning about the components and benefits of spermidine in this blog, you now no longer have to what wonder what is spermidine, and how can it be implemented in my own daily routine.


  • 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.