Spermidine, derived from wheat germ belongs to a class of molecules called polyamines which are important for cell growth, cell repair, maintenance of transport channels called ion channels, and inducing autophagy the process of cellular cleanup. Polyamine levels decrease with age. Supplementing with spermidine has been shown to have healthy aging effects, by improving the health of cells and prolonging their lifespan. It has also been linked to improved heart health and reduced inflammation.
Wheat germ has the highest spermidine content at a level of 243 mg/kg followed by legumes, such as soybeans with 207 mg/kg of spermidine. Spermidine can also be found in cheese (depending on the length of the ripening period), mushrooms, mangos, semen and chicken liver. Spermidine is of interest because pre-clinical studies in yeast, nematodes, fruit flies and mice have shown spermidine extends life span in all of these species. Hence the interest in humans.
- Triticum aestivum seed (Wheat germ) extract standardized through enzymatic processes to 1% spermidine is manufactured in China
- Understanding how enzymatic processes extract spermidine
- Given that wheat germ contains the highest levels of spermidine per kg of any other food source this offers a sustainable source for manufacturers. This of course presents an issue for individuals who are sensitive to wheat proteins such as those in the gluten family. The gluten family of proteins includes gliadin and glutenin. While these levels are typically lower in the wheat germ individuals with celiac disease may have valid concerns. AOR’s suppliers have confirmed that wheat germ -providing spermidine is confirmed to be gluten free. The wheat germ undergoes proprietary enzymatic processes to standardize the amount of spermidine (to 1mg from 100mg of wheat germ extract.) This further mitigates the risk of gluten contamination. However, because this is derived from wheat, anyone with non-gluten wheat sensitivities should not use or consult their healthcare practitioner prior to use.