On the weekend, I finished reading Life Science Nagaikisezaruwoenaijidai no Seimeikagakukogi, Life Science: A Life Science Lecture for the Age When We All Have to Live Long by Dr. Tamotsu Yoshimori.
I read it while I was doing some weeding in the garden.
It was a comprehensive book on autophagy. There were some episodes from the laboratory of Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, the 2016 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine by discovering and elucidating the mechanism of autophagy, since Dr. Tamotsu Yoshimori worked in the lab as an assistant. There even was an episode of the time when Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi first visually observe the function of autophagy. Dr. Tamotsu Yoshimori was right in the center of the cutting-edge research, and it was fabulous learning about autophagy from him.
One thing he discussed in the book which I hadn’t seen in other books on autophagy is spermidine. Spermidine is a polyamine that can activate autophagy. It is found a lot in fermented foods such as miso, soy sauce, and natto.
As for the amount we need, there needs to be further research he says, but this can explain why Japanese people on average live longer and there is very little obesity in Japan. Most people consume miso and soy sauce on a regular basis, and many of us eat natto, too.
Natto has the highest amount of spermidine among the three fermented foods I mentioned, and therefore again I can’t stress enough that natto is the king of superfoods and we all must have it. I haven’t come across any other food that has such significance.
Other foods that contain spermidine are cheese and mushrooms. That is good news for you. Cheese is very much part of the European diet, isn’t it? Cheese also contains vitamin K, which is supposed to help you fight against COVID.
On the other hand, cheese is a dairy product and according to David Sinclair, animal-based protein including the one from dairy can accelerate aging. I don’t think it affects so much if you have it moderately, but it looks like natto is a safer choice.
The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity