Spermidine prevents dementia in fruit flies
1 September 2013
Feeding fruit flies with the natural cell component spermidine
prevents memory impairment, according to research conducted by Freie
Universität Berlin and the University of Graz. The study has been
published in Nature Neuroscience .
The study showed that feeding the fruit flies spermidine
triggered a cellular cleansing process that significantly reduced
the amount of protein aggregates in the fruit fly brains. This was
followed by an improvement in the memory performance of older fruit
flies to juvenile levels.
As memory processes in animals such as fruit flies and mice are
similar to those in humans, the research shows there is potential
for developing substances for treating age-related memory impairment
in humans also.
Spermidine is a polyamine compound, C7H19N3, that is found in living
tissues of animals and plants and has various metabolic functions.
It was originally isolated from semen, hence the name. In previous
laboratory studies it has been found to delay aging in yeast, flies,
worms and some human cells.
Model of the chemical structure of Spermidine
Blue balls are nitrogen, black carbon, white
The researchers plan to conduct further studies with human
1. Gupta VK, et al. Restoring polyamines protects from
age-induced memory impairment in an autophagy-dependent manner,
Nature Neuroscience, Advance Online Publication, 1 September 2013,