Some things feel like you can rule them out just from the name alone. Like kale, for example. It just doesn’t sound at all appealing, does it? (For the record, I actually love the stuff.)
Eggplant could probably use a better moniker too. And I like pumpkins and squash as much as the next gal… especially this time of year. But when you call it a “gourd,” I want nothing to do with it.
However, there’s one natural compound found inside a handful of foods that’s definitely got a name problem. I mean, it’s worse than what Corona beer battled last year.
This extract could seriously use some better marketing. Even saying it out loud is enough to make many of us snicker like a 10-year child. This helps explain why despite its incredible benefits, few folks have ever even heard of it.
And for those that have, the name alone might keep some from seeking it out.
But that would be a mistake. Because there’s a reason, you don’t want to pass on this compound no matter what it’s called. New research reveals this anti-aging alloy could enhance your brainpower.
Boost brainpower with this potent extract
OK, I’ve avoided it long enough. The extract is called spermidine. And that wasn’t an accident. Scientists first isolated it, strangely enough, in precisely the place the name implies… sperm.
But spermidine is found throughout nature in seemingly unrelated places. Food sources include wheat germ… aged cheese… mangos… and mushrooms, especially shitake (another food with a name handicap).
What spermidine does is far more important than the origin of its name, however. Because the latest research reveals, it could enhance your brainpower.
And incredibly, it appears to work best in the folks who need it the most. And that is, of course, seniors who are already struggling with some degree of cognitive decline.
In the new study, volunteers from 60 to 96 living in nursing homes were given either a low dose or a higher dose of spermidine every day.
Some got dinner rolls made with wheat germ, which delivered 3.3 mg of spermidine per day, while the others got a roll made with wheat bran, which gave them 1.9 mg of spermidine per day.
Spermidine measurably improved memory
It wasn’t long before crucial differences between the groups emerged. After just three months, blood tests found spermidine levels in the folks who got the wheat germ rolls jumped by nearly 50 percent. While the folks who got the other rolls saw no significant change in their levels.
More important, of course, was what it did for their brains. The folks who got more spermidine saw significant improvements on memory tests.
The volunteers completed the standard Mini-Mental Status tests both before and after supplementing with the compound-enriched rolls. And the volunteers whose levels shot up saw measurable improvements in key categories of verbal fluidity and phonematic fluidity.
But I’ve saved the best for last.
As I said, the participants in the study were folks living in nursing homes. And, of course, you make a move into a care facility like that because you need some extra help and attention.
Some of the folks in this study even had mild to moderate dementia. And the spermidine seemed to have the BIGGEST effect on them.
Anti-aging benefits could increase lifespan
Earlier animal research hints that this isn’t the only trick spermidine has up its sleeve. In one study, the compound increased the lifespan of mice by as much as 25 percent.
When spermidine was given to mice predisposed to developing scar tissue in the liver that leads to liver cancer, they were far less likely to develop that fibrosis. Plus, the mice lived much longer.
According to one researcher on the team, in human terms, that 25 percent increase in lifespan would mean that instead of living to about 81, the average American could live to be over 100.
Now, of course, that doesn’t mean we can pop some spermidine and automatically add 20 years to our lifespan. But the potential benefits are certainly intriguing enough to ignore that terrible name.
Spermidine is available as a supplement, and you can certainly get it that way. Or you can raise your levels with food alone, and not just from the wheat germ used in the new study. As I mentioned, mushrooms are also a terrific source.
And this new research may help explain a 2019 study that found eating mushrooms regularly can cut the risk of cognitive decline in half. Read more about that one for free right here.