Spermidine is found naturally in the body and in foods with high levels of antioxidants such as broccoli and whole grains.
An anti-aging supplement sold in retail stores nationwide could improve fertility and increase women’s fertile years, a study suggests.
Researchers in China and Austria administered spermidine, a compound found naturally in antioxidant-rich foods and sold over the counter as a supplement, to aged mice.
They then measured changes in the mice’s ovaries and compared them to younger mice.
The team found that mice given spermidine had healthier oocytes, immature eggs in the ovaries that can mature, leading to greater fertility. This suggests that spermidine could allow mice to have children later in life.
The researchers wrote: ‘Taken together, our findings suggest that spermidine supplementation could represent a therapeutic strategy to improve oocyte quality and reproductive outcome in cisgender women and others trying to conceive at an older age.
The findings come at a time when more women are having children later in life, with some giving birth after age 50.
The researchers found that giving spermidine to older mice improved the quality of ovarian cells and promoted the growth of follicles, which are markers of fertility.
The graph above shows birth rates by different age groups. It shows that while there has been a slowdown in younger age groups, older ones have seen a persistent rebound.
The study involved elderly female mice, which were about a year old, and a younger group, which was six to eight weeks old. Older mice were given spermidine in their drinking water for 30 days or injected for 10 days.
These mice had lower quality oocytes, which are formed within follicles. They are fluid-filled sacs that release mature eggs. During each menstrual cycle, several follicles begin to develop, but normally only one will produce an egg. Women produce fewer and lower quality follicles as they age.
Older mice also had lower levels of spermidine naturally occurring in their ovaries than young mice. However, the researchers found that giving spermidine to older mice increased these levels, promoted follicle development, and improved oocyte quality.
The researchers also found that spermidine supplementation rejuvenated oocytes during in vitro maturation, which is when a woman’s eggs are collected and mature outside the body. This is usually done during in vitro fertilization (IVF), suggesting that spermidine could make IVF more effective.
Spermidine had these fertility-boosting effects by eliminating damaged mitochondria, which serve as the “powerhouse” of cells and provide needed energy.
The team said more research is needed to see if the results can be replicated in humans.
Spermidine is found naturally in the body and in foods with high levels of antioxidants, compounds that neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and increase the risk of chronic diseases.
Foods with the highest levels of spermidine include whole grains, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, peas, mangoes, soybeans, and chicken.
Spermidine works to suppress inflammation, but it naturally decreases with age. However, previous research has suggested that spermidine supplements may lower the risk of age-related diseases such as dementia.
A 2018 review in the magazine. ScienceFor example, it found that the supplement can protect against cancer, metabolic diseases, heart disease, and cognitive decline.
The findings come as more women have children at an older age. In 2021, there were 1,041 births to women aged 50 and older in the United States, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The figure is ten times higher than in 1997, when only 144 births were reported to women in this age group. When surrogate mothers are included, the numbers are likely to be thousands more.
The rising cost of living is leaving some mothers unable to have children at a younger age. Others are delaying motherhood to focus on their careers or have not found a suitable partner.
Hollywood has normalized older moms, with celebrities like supermodel Naomi Campbell, who became a mother for the first time at age 50 and welcomed her second child at age 53. Actress Halle Berry gave birth to a son 47 years old, while the singer Gwen Stefani had her youngest son. in 44.
But being an older mother is not without risks. Studies show that the chance of miscarriage for women between 35 and 40 years old is between 20 and 30 percent, and rates increase significantly for people 40 years old and older.
The risk of babies being born with conditions such as Down syndrome also increases as women age. The risk of having a baby with Down syndrome increases with the mother’s age, from one in 1,250 for a 25-year-old mother to one in 1,000 at age 31, one in 400 at age 35, and one in 100 at age 31. 40 years.
The new study was published Monday in the journal Nature aging.