The authors studied polyamine levels in mice at different ages to learn more about the changes that occur with natural aging. Polyamines stimulate the production of proteins and are necessary for proper organ function and include cadaverine, agmatine, spermine, spermidine, norspermidine and putrescine. The normal human polyamine synthesis is reduced with aging, therefore oral intake of polyamines becomes more important in older people.
Previously reported foods rich in polyamines include soybeans, natto, mushrooms and orange and green tea leaves. Polyamines can, also, be consumed in the following foods: wheat germ, rice bran, black rice, Philippine mango, green pepper, Japanese pumpkin, nuts, fermented pickles, pond smelt, turban shell viscera, whelk viscera, salted salmon roe, salted cod roe, boiled beef intestine and livers of eel, beef, pork and chicken.
Foods containing three different polyamines include wheat germ, rice bran, black rice, corn, green peppers and beans. Cadaverine is found in Gorgonzola cheese and norspermidine is found in eggplant, tomato, Gorgonzola cheese, shibazuke, soy sauce (tamari) and fish sauce (nam pla).
Polyamine levels are maintained at the same levels in pancreas, brain and uterus in spite of low oral intake.
Levels of spermidine were slightly decreased in the intestine and was significantly decreased in thymus, spleen, ovary, liver, stomach, lung, kidney, heart and muscle with aging.
Inhibitors of polyamine synthesis block the growth of some tumors. Therefore, cancer patients should avoid the intake of excessive polyamines. Spermine in human milk in the first three months of life helps infants avoid allergies.
CONCLUSION: Polyamine levels may be important in functioning of pancreas, brain and uterus and for protein synthesis. Cancer patients should avoid excessive polyamine foods.
NOTE: Read more about polyamines and biogenic amines.
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