Eating a well aged cheese could help you live longer

Rounds of Beaufort cheese are set out to ripen in a cellar in Moutiers, France. AFP/Jean-Pierre Clatot

A common dietary compound called spermidine found in many foods including aged cheese has been found to extend the lifespan of mice.

A companion to cheese, red wine, is also said to have health benefits. Resveratrol, which occurs naturally in grape skins and consequently in red wine, has been shown to increase the life span of mice and slow the onset of diabetes.

The latest research published in the journal Nature Medicine says the compound spermidine, also found in legumes and whole grains, improves cardiovascular health.

The study, of 800 Italians, found that eating more spermidine foods was associated with a lower risk of heart failure and cardiovascular diseases, especially in men, along with lowered blood pressures.

The compound has previously been known to extend the lifespans of simple organisms such as fruit flies and roundworms.

The study authors called for rigorous clinical studies on the benefits of spermidine.