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Spermidine Promotes Cardiovascular Health in Rodents
The dietary compound spermidine exhibited potent cardioprotective properties in a recent study conducted in rodent models of physiological cardiac aging and high salt–induced congestive heart failure.
The Nature Medicine study builds on previous research indicating that spermidine extends longevity and health span in yeast, flies, and worms by inducing autophagy, which is thought to help minimize the functional decline of aging cardiomyocytes by degrading and recycling cellular components.
A team led by investigators in Austria reports that when middle-aged mice were given drinking water supplemented with spermidine, which is synthesized by the body but is also present in foods such as aged cheese, legumes, and whole grains, the animals’ median lifespan was prolonged by ≈10%, with no effects on body weight and lean or fat mass composition.
Structural and functional cardiac tests revealed that the spermidine-fed mice exhibited improvements in diastolic function and cardiomyocyte composition. Such benefits were not seen in spermidine-fed mice with a cardiomyocyte-specific autophagy defect, however.
In Dahl salt-sensitive rats fed a high-salt diet, which represents a clinically relevant animal …