FAQ's: Oxford Healthspan

What is the best spermidine to take?

The US FDA has not ruled on a safe upper limit for food-derived spermidine, but the European Union's European Food Safety Authority has deemed 6mg of supplemental food-derived spermidine to be the safe upper limit.

To date, most studies have been conducted using a daily dose of 1mg of food-derived spermidine, together with the naturally co-occurring spermine and putrescine that are not found in synthetic spermidine. 

Synthetic spermidine has not been tested for safety or efficacy in humans.

What is spermidine?

Spermidine is a naturally-occurring and potent polyamine (a kind of protein) known for inducing autophagy, the body's cellular renewal and recycling process. It also inhibits 9 of the 12 aging pathways, which are known as the "Hallmarks of Aging".

2/3 of the spermidine found in the human body is produced endogenously, or in the body, by the gut microbiota and various tissues. The final 1/3 is found exogenously, or externally, in the food that we eat. 

As we age, our body's ability to produce it declines. To restore youthful levels of spermidine, we have to look externally. Otherwise, our cells' ability to trigger autophagy will continue to decline and the aging pathways will progress.

Why is your spermidine supplement more expensive compared to other products I see on the internet?

  • We take great care to use the highest quality ingredients available and to keep out the 'nasties' commonly found in the supplement manufacturing process. We take the same approach that we do when baking a birthday cake for our children: we use the highest quality ingredients - no industrial seed oils such as wheat germ oil that oxidizes rapidly and wreaks havoc in our cells, no magnesium stearate to make the powder flow faster through automated encapsulation equipment (approximately 80% of all magnesium stearate used as 'flow agents' contain hydrogenated industrial seed oils), and no talc to make the powder denser and fit more compactly into fewer capsules. 
  • We also do not use synthetic spermidine, which is very cheap and often 'cut' into products stating they contain 'wheat germ with spermidine.'  
  • We choose food-derived spermidine, sourced and manufactured in Japan, which has one of the strictest food and supplement regulatory regimens in the world. Our products undergo rigorous third party lab testing to ensure they are of the purest and most effective quality. Yes, it is more costly, just as the best cake ingredients for your child's birthday cake would be too. It's a choice and philosophy we wholeheartedly believe in and follow every step of the way.

 Why does it matter if spermidine is synthetic or not?

Synthetic spermidine is a 2-dimensional chemical mimic, but we should never forget that molecules are 3-dimensional. Humans have co-evolved with plants over millenia and our bodies recognize the 3-dimensional molecules made by plants. Our bodies can recognize some elements of 2-dimensional mimics, but they are akin to the mirror images of your hands when you put your palms together - 2-dimensionally identical, and yet your right hand cannot wear a left-handed glove. 

We have tested other spermidine products whose labels state they contain 'wheat germ with spermidine' and noticed that they have a small amount of wheat germ 'cut in' with high amounts of synthetic spermidine. Often, these are high dose, low cost options with no guarantee that they will work, or that they are safe. Synthetic spermidine has not been tested for safety or efficacy in humans, only food-derived spermidine has. 

Synthetic spermidine does not contain the naturally co-occurring and beneficial polyamines, spermine and putrescine, which are present in food-derived spermidine and contribute to the good results found in studies. There is no evidence that synthetic spermidine alone would have the same benefits.

The presence of these extra polyamines make food-derived spermidine highly bioavailable as putrescine is the precursor to spermidine and spermine, creating a virtuous recycling loop that improves your body's natural spermidine production. For this reason, there is no need for the high doses featured in synthetic spermidine since wholly plant-derived products, like Primeadine®, help your body make more on its own.

What makes Primeadine® the best spermidine supplement?

While we can’t speak directly about the formulation of other spermidine products, here are some of the main differentiators of Primeadine®/Oxford Healthspan.

  • We source our raw materials from Japan, which is known for its Nobel Prize winning scientific leadership on autophagy, or cell renewal. Japan has one of the most rigorous quality control and testing policies in the world, meaning our ingredients have the most advanced extraction process and meet the incredibly high standards of the Japan Health Food and Nutrition Food Association. They are tested for heavy metals, mold, fungi, and bacteria at the Japan Food Research Lab (JFRL), a third party independent testing lab.
  • Every single batch is tested for its amount of food-derived spermidine so we ensure it contains the minimum effective dose of 1mg stated on our labels.
  • Primeadine®is manufactured in Japan in an FDA-registered and -inspected facility with ISO22000 standards, the highest in food quality control. It is then encapsulated in an FDA cGMP facility in the USA and undergoes purity testing there as well at Eurofins or Delta.
  • Our capsules and tablets do not contain any synthetic ingredients, whereas other supplements typically contain magnesium stearate (of which circa 80% has hydrogenated fats in it; the supplement industry is not legally required to get rid of hydrogenated oils the way the processed food industry has been mandated by law to), shellac, talc and glycerin. Our products are all suitable for vegans.
  • The Primeadine® Original formulation includes a special type of prebiotic fiber, called FOS (fructooligosaccharide), that selectively feeds the friendly, spermidine-producing bacteria in the gut biome. The idea is to increase both supplemental, or 'exogenous' spermidine, as well as encourage your own body's natural ability to produce 'endogenous' spermidine in your gut biome.
  • Primeadine® GF comes from a sub-strain of chlorella singled out from over 100 others because it alone contains a high level of spermidine and also contains putrescine, the precursor polyamine to both spermine and spermidine. Our chlorella is grown in the nutrient-abundant longevity islands of Okinawa, Japan, and exposed to sunlight to increase the chlorophyll and other nutrient content, such as vitamins D and K, which together help drive calcium to the bones. We combine the chlorella with two other anti-inflammatories and autophagy inducers, Okinawan turmeric and nobiletin (from Okinawan "Shikuwasa" citrus lime peel).
  • We do not use liposomes in Primeadine®because this is unnecessary for absorption and would prevent the benefits that happen when spermidine is exposed directly to the gut lining. There is no evidence that spermidine cannot be taken up by the cells on its own. Similar to amino acids, polyamines do not need a liposome to cross into the cell or to be taken up with epithelial cells. The process of creating a liposomal version also creates unnecessary expense.
  • We do not synthetically enrich our product with synthetic spermidine. Be wary of labels that say "wheat germ with spermidine" as this indicates that the wheat germ has been soaked in synthetic spermidine, thereby increasing the overall amount of spermidine but meaning it is no longer a natural source.
  • We do not use doses beyond what the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has mandated as safe for human consumption, which is 6mg daily. Please note that this is related to food-derived spermidine. Synthetic spermidine and synthetically enriched spermidine have never been tested in humans for safety or efficacy and are being sold without regulatory oversight. 
  • We work closely with our scientific and clinical advisers at the University of Oxford and abroad, all of whom take our product and share it with their loved ones. Learn more about our scientific advisory board 
  • We are also the only non-Japanese member of the Japan Autophagy Consortium, whose Senior Adviser is the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine or Physiology, Prof Yoshimori Ohsumi, and whose Director is Prof Tamotsu Yoshimori, Osaka University. Prof Yoshimori conducted all of the mammalian research in autophagy that helped underpin Prof Ohsumi's work in yeast cells.

What should I feel like when taking Primeadine® for the first time?

Primeadine® works at a cellular level, so we recommend taking it for at least 12 weeks to experience its full effects. That said, some of our customers have reported deeper sleep, as measured by their wearable sleep tracking devices, as early as the first night.

What are the benefits of plant-derived spermidine supplements?

Epidemiological studies have correlated higher plant-derived spermidine levels with a longer life.

Supplementation with food-derived spermidine in humans has been shown to support cognition and heart health, promote hormonal balance, improve hair growth and fullness (including eyelashes and brows), and strengthen nails.

This is thought to be because spermidine induces autophagy, the body’s cellular renewal and "clean up" process. It also inhibits 9 of the 12 aging pathways, known as the "Hallmarks of Aging". Some of the hallmarks spermidine acts upon include inflammation, stem cell and mitochondrial dysfunction, and gut dysbiosis.

Inhibiting the aging pathways and inducing autophagy have a whole-body effect and are responsible for the many benefits experienced when consuming plant-derived spermidine.

Other benefits noticed by our clients include deeper, sounder sleep, hair color repigmentation, enhanced energy levels, brighter, more supple skin, and improved gut health.

Which foods are highest in spermidine?

With respect to food sources, spermidine is found in the greatest amounts in concentrated wheat germ and the Japanese fermented soybean dish known as natto. It is also found in the endosperm of all seeds and legumes, signaling its importance to the survival of the next generation of the plant. A unique sub-strain of the algae chlorella, found in the longevity islands of Okinawa, Japan, is also rich in spermidine and what we use in Primeadine® GF.

Shiitake mushrooms, peas and long matured cheeses, including Cheddar and Parmesean, also contain spermidine, but the amounts will vary from batch to batch and depend on growing, soil and harvesting conditions. 

Every batch of Primeadine® Original and Primeadine® GF are independently tested by the Japan Food Research Laboratory to ensure the amount of spermidine in each dose is the amount on the label (1mg), which is the dose used in human clinical trials.

The concentrated and defatted wheat germ in Primeadine® Original has a beneficial ratio of spermidine to the other naturally co-occurring polyamines, spermine and putrescine. Together, they form a virtuous polyamine recycling loop, with putrescine being a precursor polyamine needed by the body to make more spermine and spermidine. 

Concentrated and defatted wheat germ derived spermidine is also well absorbed in the GI tract due to its high molecular mass. Defatting the wheat germ also means that the volatile, oxygen-seeking bonds in the wheat germ oil, which are Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) like industrial seed oils, are not ingested and made part of your cell membranes. 

Primeadine® GF comes from a sub-strain of chlorella singled out from over 100 others because it alone contains a high level of spermidine and also contains putrescine, the precursor polyamine to both spermine and spermidine. Our chlorella is grown in the nutrient-abundant longevity islands of Okinawa, Japan, and exposed to sunlight to increase the chlorophyll and other nutrient content, such as vitamins D and K, which together help drive calcium to the bones. We combine the chlorella with two other anti-inflammatories and autophagy inducers, Okinawan turmeric and nobiletin (from Okinawan "Shikuwasa" citrus lime peel).

Are Primeadine® bottles recyclable?

Yes, all of our Primeadine® bottles are made of grade 1 Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE).

Is spermidine a medical treatment?

No. Primeadine® spermidine is a naturally-occurring compound that is wholly derived from food sources. It is not classed as medical treatment.

Does Primeadine® contain FODMAPs?

  • Primeadine® GF does not contain any FODMAPs and is appropriate for those on a low FODMAP diet. 
  • Primeadine® Original is a concentrated wheat germ supplement and, like all wheat germ, contains FODMAPs.

I have been diagnosed with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). Is this suitable for me?

  • Primeadine® GF does not contain any FODMAPs that might make SIBO worse. However, we recommend checking with your healthcare practitioner if you are on a special diet.
  • Primeadine® Original is a source of FODMAPs and may not be suitable for individuals with SIBO. 

I am celiac. Is this safe for me?                                                          

  •  Primeadine® GF  is suitable for celiacs as it does not contain any wheat, barley, rye or gluten.
  • Primeadine® Original is not suitable for celiacs. It contains wheat and gluten. 

Does Primeadine® contain wheat, gluten, or soy?

  • Primeadine® GF does not contain any wheat, gluten or soy.
  • Primeadine® Original contains wheat and gluten, but no soy. The amount of gluten per serving size is <40mgs. A standard slice of American bread will have between 1,000 - 2,000mgs of gluten. Primeadine® Original contains 1/50th to 1/100th the amount of gluten in a single slice of bread.

Where can I buy this product?

Orders are available from our website which offers secure payment through Shopify.

How clean is your product?

We manufacture our Primeadine® spermidine in Japan in a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliant facility practicing ISO22000 food grade standards, the highest quality control for food manufacturing. The facilities are also registered and regularly inspected by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Quality, purity and other assurance tests are conducted by the Japan Food Research Lab (JFRL) an independent food and compound testing laboratory. Once our product arrives in the United States, it must undergo another round of quality assurance tests to ensure there are no heavy metals, molds, yeasts, or other impurities present. It is then encapsulated and bottled in a US GMP compliant and FDA-registered and inspected manufacturing facility.

How will I know Primeadine® is working for me?

Individual results will vary. The first thing many of our clients notice is a positive difference in their sleep quality, as noticed on their wearable sleep tracking devices. Your nails might need to be trimmed more frequently (a sign of increased cell turnover) and this will be happening in your skin and hair (which typically shows changes around 8 weeks). We recommend trying Primeadine® for at least 12 weeks continously to experience the full effect of cell renewal and regeneration.

What if I have a negative reaction?

Please stop taking Primeadine® immediately if you have a negative reaction. We would also appreciate if you let us know so we are aware.

Primeadine Original:

Primeadine Original contains wheat and gluten. Please opt for Primeadine® GF if you are gluten intolerant, Celiac, or avoid gluten.

It also contains a small amount of a prebiotic fiber, FOS (fructooligosaccharide), from a special resistant starch, maltodextrin (beetroot). If your stomach is sensitive to legumes, or you have SIBO (Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth) or leaky gut, Primeadine® GF may be a better option for you.

For first time users, please taper up to the full dose over 3 consecutive days and take with liquid at mealtime.

Day 1: Take 1 capsule with liquid at mealtime.    

Day 2: Take 2 capsules with liquid at mealtime.

Day 3: Take 3 capsules with liquid at mealtime.

Primeadine® GF:

While it is rare, some people are allergic or intolerant to chlorella, citrus, or turmeric.

Due to the naturally-occurring iron content in chlorella, we recommend consulting with your doctor before taking if you suffer from iron overload (hemochromatosis).

For first time use, we recommend tapering up to the full dose over 2 consecutive days and taking with liquid at mealtime.

Day 1:

Take 1 tablet with a liquid at mealtime.

Day 2:

Take 2 tablets with liquid at mealtime. If tolerated, you can continue at this dose and take away from mealtime if you wish.

Can I double/triple/quadruple my dosage?

While Primeadine® is a botanical compound, found in the food supply and also made in our bodies, please consult your practitioner if you would like to consume more than the daily recommended dosage of 1mg. There are no FDA guidelines regarding spermidine consumption, but, the European Food Safety Agency has stated that dosages of up to 6mg of spermidine from concentrated wheat germ are considered safe in humans.

Can I take Primeadine® if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

We have not specifically tested Primeadine® in pregnant women to determine safety in this group, so we recommend consulting with your ob/gyn or medical practitioner before taking.

It is worth noting that spermidine is found in high concentrations in babies to ensure growth. This is also why it is naturally abundant in breast milk where it also has the function of helping seal the gut lining of the infant. 

Primeadine® is also wholly food-derived and undergoes rigorous third party lab testing for purity. We also remove the fat content from our wheat germ to ensure there are no potentially rancid PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) present.

When is the best time to take Primeadine®?  

We recommend taking it just before bed to enhance its sleep benefits or first thing in the morning to extend the benefits of your overnight fast. Please take it with liquid.

For first time users, we advise tapering the dose up over consecutive days and taking it with liquid at mealtime.

Where should I store my Primeadine® bottles?                         

Please store your bottles in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

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