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Experts note that cheese has a life-prolonging effect in animal experiments
Most of the so-called old cheeses are known for their extremely distinctive taste. Researchers have now found that cheeses such as cheddar, brie and parmesan can also have positive effects on human health. Consuming these cheeses can therefore protect against cancer and even improve overall life expectancy.
The researchers at Texas A&M University found that eating certain types of cheese can lead to longer lives, and this type of cheese also appears to protect against the most common form of liver cancer. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Spermidine reduces the risk of liver cancer in animals
In their investigation, the researchers gave animals so-called spermidine. The experts found that animals treated with spermidine lived longer. In addition, these animals were less likely to develop liver fibrosis and liver tumors.
Animals lived about 25 percent longer
A significant increase in lifespan was observed in the animal model, the researchers report. This was around 25 percent, according to author Dr. Leyuan Liu from Texas A&M University. In terms of humans, the results would mean that instead of, say, living around 81 years, people would live on average over 100 years, the experts explain.
Spermidine should start as early as possible
According to the researchers, people should best start consuming spermidine when they start consuming solid foods. This is the only way to achieve this significant improvement in life expectancy, the authors explain. In the experiments, animals that were treated later with spermidine only showed an increase in longevity by ten percent.
What other factors affect lifespan?
There are other factors that can have a significant impact. The experts explain that the amount of methionine consumed (a type of amino acid e.g. in meat) influences life expectancy, as does the drug rapamycin. The drug appears to suppress the human health system. But the amount of calories you generally consume could also affect our lifespan.
Will there be spermidine as a dietary supplement in the future?
An increased intake of spermidine could be possible if it were available as a kind of dietary supplement, the authors say. Of course, regular intake must also be safe for health. Spermidine is a product that occurs naturally in food. So we hope that the side effects will be minimal, explains Dr. Liu. The next steps are human clinical trials to check safety and effectiveness.
Spermidine as an additive in beer?
Even if people only start taking spermidine in late life, this can lead to health benefits for the liver and heart, the scientists say. There is even some evidence that taking it can improve cardiovascular health. So how can we get the population to consume spermidine regularly? Dr. Liu has developed a special idea for this. For example, imagine we would add spermidine to every bottle of beer. It could balance alcohol and protect the human liver at the same time, explains Dr. Liu on.
More research is needed
The current results have so far only been confirmed in animal models, but perhaps this approach will one day lead to a new strategy for extending the lifespan, the experts speculate. Spermidine can then also be used to prevent or reverse liver fibrosis and to prevent, delay or cure hepatocellular carcinomas. Until then, however, some more research is needed. (as)