It is hard to know where to draw the line when it comes to alcohol consumption. Some studies show that a glass of wine a day is good for the heart. But then other studies show too much wine can lead to heart problems. Some studies show that a beer a day is relaxing enough, but then other studies show two or more beers a day is dangerous for the liver.
Yes, it seems like moderation is the key, but many doctors will tell you that one drink a day every day is still too much.
Fortunately, there might be a cure that allows us to drink an “appropriate” amount of the nectar of the gods while maintaining our health.
Researchers have been studying spermidine, a polyamine- a compound with two amino groups- to see if it has anti-cancer properties.
In the past, spermidine has been linked to lower blood pressure, better heart health, and longer life.
In the most recent research related to the polyamine, scientists have discovered spermidine has reduced the development of liver fibroisis.
In this study, the researchers found that the benefits of spermidine diminished in the absence of a protein called MAP1S, which is known to trigger autophagy. As such, the team speculates that the cancer-protective effects of the compound are down to its enhancement of MAP1S-related autophagy.
Further studies are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of spermidine supplementation in humans, but the team believes that it could offer significant health benefits.
“Just think: if we added spermidine to every bottle of beer, it might balance out the alcohol and help protect the liver,” says Liu.
Currently, throughout the US, more than 38,000 people annually die from cirrhosis. Isolating spermidine and getting it into the mainstream could protect the lives of thousands. This doesn’t even include the longevity of life that Spermidine could bless people with
Not only were the mice less likely to develop HCC or liver fibrosis than rodents that were not given the spermidine supplement, but they were also found to live much longer.
“It’s a dramatic increase in lifespan of animal models, as much as 25 percent,” says Liu. “In human terms, that would mean that instead of living to about 81 years old, the average American could live to be over 100.”
A 20-25% increase in duration of life would be something millions around the world would pay handsomely for. And right now, you don’t have to shell out as much as you might expect. Spermidine can be found in a host of foods including mushrooms, soy, whole grains, and aged cheese. Aged cheese is a little more difficult to come by than the other two. Your regular grocery store might not carry it, but high-end grocery stores such as Whole Foods have a wide selection for you to sample.