Spermidine is considered the “miracle miracle” in anti-aging medicine: the substance naturally present in the body activates cell regeneration and ensures the maintenance of healthy cells. But: With age, the spermidine content in the body decreases. Spermidine supplements extend the life and health of many species, including yeast, nematodes, flies, and mice. Researchers in China have now shown that fertility also benefits from spermidine administration – at least in mice.
Researchers from Nanjing Agricultural University in China compared ovarian metabolites in young mice with those in older female mice. They discovered the differences in spermidine levels. This was less in older animals and was accompanied by deterioration in oocyte quality and other signs of ovarian aging. When the researchers injected older mice with spermidine to compensate, this resulted in enhanced follicle growth, egg cell maturation, embryonic development, and fertility in these mice. This was the realization Published today in Nature Aging..
Of mice and men
Experts such as Verena Nordhoff from the Center for Reproductive and Andrology at the University Hospital Münster classify the study as “very good and robust”, but caution must be taken when transferring the results from mice to humans. Nordhoff: “Female mice live for about two years and are fertile for most of their lives. In contrast, humans have very long lives, and the decline in female fertility with age is associated with other complications that are not found in mice.”
There is still a long way to go before routine use in humans, and it is still not entirely clear at what dose and for how long spermidine should be given to enhance a woman’s fertility.
Sandra Laurentino, also from the University Hospital Münster, points out that excessive doses of spermidine can also have negative effects: a previous study in mice showed that treatment with very high doses causes “damage to the ovaries.” “This suggests that the correct dosage seems to be a very important factor and probably should not be taken in large quantities in this way,” says Laurentino.
More research is necessary
Laura Wester from the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging in Cologne emphasizes that spermidine is an interesting candidate for further research on fertility: “The positive effects of spermidine need to be investigated in other models, especially in relation to menopause so that we can consider its use in reproductive aging in women.” According to Wooster, spermidine can also be useful in growing eggs in the laboratory, which are used in artificial insemination.
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