Spermidine and Taurine: Why Are They Game-Changers? A Q+A with MD Longevity Dr. Neil Paulvin

Spermidine and Taurine: Why Are They Game-Changers? A Q+A with MD Longevity Dr. Neil Paulvin

By Kerry Pieri

Agent Nateur’s founder Jena Covello was introduced to the supplements taurine and spermidine through different practitioners, and found quick improvements in her sleep, skin, and lessening of anxiety. In short, these each worked fast and well for her.  Both ingredient's are found in Agent Nateur's formulation called calm (beauty). We wanted to turn to a pro, functional medicine doctor, NYC-based Dr. Neil Paulvin, to dig deep on what exactly taurine and spermidine are, where they occur naturally, and the benefits in integrating them into your already healthy lifestyle. When starting a patient on any supplement, Dr. Paulvin often does a series of panels, “We're going to look at the patient’s hormones, male or female, we're going to look at their electrolytes. We are going to look at what's called oxidative stress and their inflammation markers, because that's a huge deal in terms of overall health and also relative to skin health,” he explains. Delve in below. 

Will you start by telling me who you are and what you do?

I'm a physician based in Manhattan, I treat patients all over the world for family medicine, anti-aging, and regenerative medicine.

Let's get right into these buzzy supplements. What is taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid that has many functions. It can help in terms of mitochondrial function. It may have an anti-aging benefit and potentially increase lifespan. It can act as an antioxidant and it helps with brain health as well.

Agent Nateur’s founder Jena has mentioned that she thought it helped with her anxiety. What could the reason be for that benefit?

It could be because of the anti-inflammatory antioxidant benefit. Some people think it may work on GABA or some of the other neurotransmitters. That's something that's been more hypothesized, but nothing has been proven or set in stone.

So it's more anecdotal evidence?

Exactly.

What is your recommended dose overall? With the caveat that people need to talk to their doctors.

I'd only recommend 500 milligrams to one gram.

Overall, who do you recommend to take taurine? Is this a supplement that you think could benefit everybody? Are there specific people that it's best for?

It's good for everybody. It's especially good for patients with a problem with their immune system. It can definitely help in terms of, like I said, inflammation. It can help patients with fatigue. Those are the people that would most benefit. But since there's so many benefits to it, it usually will help everybody. And then there's also a study, done only on mice as of now, that showed that it may increase longevity by up to 10%—which is hypothesized. Again, it's something that everybody should consider taking.

 

Are there any supplements that you should take with taurine that might increase the benefits? 

Not really. The more important part with other supplements in general, is that it depends on what you're using it for. So if you're using it as an anti-inflammatory, you can use another anti-inflammatory prescription with it. If you're using it for brain health, then again, you could combine it with something like fish oil. It's about flexibility more than an, "Okay, you must take A with B and that's it," type of situation.

Perfect, and let’s talk about spermidine, to start, what is it exactly?

Spermidine is what's called a polyamine, it is derived from food such as natto, mushrooms, and wheat germ.

And what are its major benefits?

It has numerous benefits, the main one is what's called autophagy, which is the recycling of cells in general. It also has been shown to heal the gut lining. It may have some benefits with fertility. And it also has now been used as a skincare cream, which is a good fit because autophagy helps to clean out old cells and replace them with new cells. It helps decrease skin inflammation and boosts collagen. It also works well with peptides and other skin creams. And it may help with brain health, particularly with patients who have brain fog—we're starting to potentially use it for that. 

And so can it be used topically or ingested?

Yes.

We've heard that it has the potential to reverse gray hair. Is there any truth to this?

Yes. And it also potentially helps grow hair and eyelashes. 

You spoke a little bit about how there was a study for taurine for longevity in mice. Has there been anything similar with spermidine in longevity? Are people looking into that?

There have been.There's nothing specific yet. It helps numerous aging factors, which are called the hallmarks of aging. It's one of the supplements that interacts with the most hallmarks of aging of any supplement out there. But, there's not a study that shows, "Okay, it may increase your lifespan by 15%," or something like that.

And do you recommend these two supplements together?

Spermidine and taurine? Yes. 

 And what's the dosage that you usually recommend for spermidine?

That depends on the person. It could be anywhere from one to 10 milligrams, some people can do 15. Again, that's something that they should talk to their doctor about—but there's different dosing. We start patients lower and then we increase it as time goes on. 

Is there anything else we should know about spermidine?
(Agent Nateur's spermidine is gluten free and made from amino acids) Spermidine has a little more of a side effect to it potentially, especially if you're sensitive to gluten. If you’re celiac or severely gluten sensitive people should not take it or at least try really low doses initially. There is a company in Europe that does have a gluten-free formulation. But I'd recommend, again, more of an understanding with your doctor. Also overall it depends on what your goals are in taking it, for certain goals you need a higher dose.

Overall, if you are supplementing, are there other lifestyle components that you should keep in mind?

Well, you can get taurine from food— if you have a healthy diet, you eat a lot of fish. Oysters do have some taurine in them, but you may not get all the taurine you need from that.

In terms of spermidine, you can get it from mushrooms and natto and wheat germ and other foods, but a lot of times you can't achieve the dose. That's kind of what I would say in terms of getting these naturally. Otherwise, because I say this in almost every interview I do, it starts with exercise, sleep, and diet, and then everything else comes after those. Supplements aren't going to fix that. They're going to help fill in the blanks, but they're not going to be the only thing you do.

You can shop for our spermidine and taurine supplement here

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, SO MAKE SURE YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR RESEARCHING FURTHER IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS SUBJECT***