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Taurine May Be Key for Longevity and Healthier Lifespan

Taurine May Be Key for Longevity and Healthier Lifespan

STORY AT-A-GLANCE According to research published in the June 2023 issue of the journal Science, the semi-essential amino acid taurine appears to play an important role in longevity and healthy aging. In the video above, biohacker and author Siim Land reviews these findings. Taurine has long been known to benefit brain and heart health. It's also needed for healthy muscle function, bile salt formation and antioxidant defenses. It protects your antioxidant status by:


Neutralizing hypochlorous acid, a neutrophil oxidant Diminishing the generation of superoxide by the mitochondria Minimizing oxidative stress, including mitochondrial oxidative stress induced by toxins Taurine also helps rebuild damaged collagen fibers and can help ease anxiety by increasing glycine and GABA. Taurine is a byproduct of the sulphurous amino acids cysteine and methionine (technically a sulfonic acid), and is only found in animal foods. Examples of taurine-rich foods include seafood, red meat, poultry and dairy products. It's also available in supplement form.

Taurine Impacts Longevity

In the featured study, an international research team found that oral supplementation with taurine increased the healthy lifespan of a variety of animals. In mice, the median lifespan increased by 10% to 12%. Life expectancy at 28 months was raised by 18% to 25%.

This study suggests that taurine could be an elixirof life within us that helps us live longer and healthierlives. ~ Vijay Yadav

As reported by Science Alert:

“Scientists have discovered not only that animals age more quickly when theydon't have enough of the amino acid taurine in the body, but that oral taurinesupplements can delay aging and increase a healthy lifespan ...‘For the last 25 years, scientists have been trying to find factors that not only letus live longer, but also increase health span, the time we remain healthy in ourold age,' says biologist Vijay Yadav from Columbia University, senior author on
the study. ‘This study suggests that taurine could be an elixir of life within usthat helps us live longer and healthier lives.'”

Taurine levels decrease by an estimated 80% over the course of the average lifetime, and this decline is in part related to a loss of endogenous synthesis capacity over time. Still, the amount of taurine you get from your diet also plays a role. Young healthy vegans, for example, have approximately 20% lower taurine levels than their meat-eating counterparts.

Taurine Protects Against Hallmarks of Aging

Animals given supplemental taurine didn't just live longer, they were also healthier overall. In mice, taurine improved: Strength, coordination and endurance Bone mass and bone quality Glucose homeostasis and glucose tolerance Age-related infiammation Immune function Gut health Memory Function of all organs Mitochondrial function and health Interestingly, according to the authors, taurine “cured” osteoporosis. It's not often you see the word “cure” being used in medical literature. Taurine also “suppressed ovariectomy-induced body-weight gain in a rodent model of menopause,” and reduced anxiety and depression-like behavior in the mice. Treated mice also had less body fat (approximately 10% less at 1,000 milligrams of taurine per day) and higher energy levels. According to the authors, “Fat-pad weight divided by body weight percentage was dose-dependently reduced in taurine-treated mice.” Taurine supplementation also improved several markers of aging, including:


Senescence Intercellular communication Telomere length Epigenetic changes Genomic stability Mitochondrial function Stem cell populations Nutrient sensing

Taurine Effects in Monkeys

Similar effects were observed when feeding taurine to rhesus monkeys. Fifteen-year-old monkeys (equivalent to 45 to 50 years old in humans) were given 250 mg per kg of bodyweight (equivalent to the 1,000 mg/kg given to mice) once a day for six months. As reported by the authors:

“Before the start of taurine supplementation, body weight and bone densitywere not significantly different in the two groups of aged monkeys. Three hoursafter oral feeding, serum taurine concentrations in taurine-fed monkeys wereabout twice (65.4 ± 10.1 ng/ml) that in controls (35.1 ± 7.3 ng/ml).Monkeys that received taurine gained 0.75 kg less body weight, and their fatpercentage tended to be lower compared with that of controls. In-life dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) analysis after 6 months of taurinetreatment showed that taurine increased bone density and content in thelumbar spine (L1 to L4) and legs ... in taurine-treated monkeys compared withcontrol monkeys.Serum markers of bone formation (osteocalcin) increased, whereas those ofresorption ... decreased about 16 weeks after the start of treatment; theselevels were maintained until the end of the dosing period.Taurine treatment reduced fasting blood glucose concentrations by 19%.Taurine also reduced the serum concentrations of liver damage markers AST
and alanine transaminase (ALT) by ~36 and 20%, respectively. Numbers ofWBCs, monocytes, and granulocytes, which increase with age, were decreasedby ~50% in taurine-treated monkeys compared with control monkeys.Consistent with the beneficial effect of taurine on the mitochondrial healthobserved in worms and mice, indirect markers of ROS-induced moleculardamage ... were decreased by ~36, 11, and 20%, respectively, in the sera oftaurine-supplemented monkeys. Thus, taurine has beneficial effects on mosttested health parameters (body weight, bone, glucose, liver, andimmunophenotype) in nonhuman primates.”

Taurine Deficiency Associated With Chronic Disease

In humans, data suggest people with lower blood levels of taurine have increased risk of several chronic and/or degenerative diseases, including: Obesity Diabetes Insulin resistance Liver disease High blood pressure Systemic infiammation Retinal degeneration Heart disease Immune dysfunction Muscle wasting

Taurine in the Treatment of Heart Disease and Stroke

Importantly, patients suffering from heart failure tend to be deficient in taurine, which is thought to be related to its ability to improve mitochondrial function and energy metabolism. Restoring taurine levels in these patients has been shown to improve the contractile function of their hearts.


Stroke victims may also benefit from taurine. As explained in a 2013 paper titled “Neuroprotective Mechanisms of Taurine Against Ischemic Stroke”:

“Taurine, an endogenous amino acid, exhibits a plethora of physiologicalfunctions. It exhibits antioxidative properties, stabilizes membrane, functionsas an osmoregulator, modulates ionic movements, reduces the level of pro-infiammators, regulates intracellular calcium concentration; all of whichcontributes to its neuroprotective effect ...Ischemic stroke (cerebral ischemia) is due to a partial or complete reduction inblood fiow to the brain ... Insuficient oxygen and glucose supply in cerebralischemia leads to unsustainable cellular homeostasis which initiates cell injury.Cellular injury progresses as a result of excitotoxicity, ionic imbalance, oxidativeand nitrosative stresses, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and mitochondrialdisturbances, ultimately resulting in programmed cell death and necrosis ...Due to the multiple pathophysiological mechanisms observed in ischemicstroke/cerebral ischemia, current treatments remain mostly ineffective apartfrom thrombolytic therapy which uses thrombolytic recombinant tissueplasminogen activators (rt-PA) such as alteplase. This therapy allows only a 3-4.5 h window for effective treatment.It therefore becomes critical to develop other compounds that aremultipotential in addressing the diverse pathological mechanisms in ischemicstroke/cerebral ischemia ...Taurine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and displays a plethora offunctions in the central nervous system (CNS) ... Although taurine is notdefinitively classified as a neurotransmitter it fulfills most of the necessarycriteria ...It modulates neurotransmission by eliciting inhibitory neuronal transmissionthrough GABAA receptors, glycine receptors and putative taurine receptors
...The fundamental pathophysiological mechanisms involved in ischemic strokeare glutamate excitotoxicity, calcium imbalance and oxidative stress whichindividually or collectively results in cell death.Therefore, taurine's role as an inducer of inhibitory neurotransmission, an anti-oxidant, neuromodulator, regulator of calcium homeostasis and neuroprotector,potentially makes it an ideal therapeutic agent for ischemic stroke.”

Taurine Involved in Wide Variety of Protective Processes

Taurine may also be an important aid in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The reason for this is because taurine deficiency is associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress, a major contributor to prion diseases. Taurine is also thought to be important for proper protein folding. Disturbingly, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein — introduced by natural infection or the mRNA COVID jabs — can pass through the blood-brain-barrier and cause damage resulting in everything from brain fog and dementia to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (human mad-cow disease), so taurine may also be valuable in the treatment of COVID, long-COVID and/or post-jab injuries. Previous animal research on mice lacking the taurine transporter also suggests taurine is involved in a wide variety of biologically protective processes, as these mice ended up developing multiorgan dysfunction. This too supports the notion that taurine is a key player in longevity and healthy lifespan.

Taurine Is Important From Cradle to Grave

As noted by the authors of the featured Science study, taurine appears to affect all established hallmarks of aging, making it a veritable fountain of youth:

“Although we do not yet know the initial events that taurine elicits, we provideevidence for the suppressed taurinylation of mitochondrial tRNAs during aging
in mitochondrial dysfunction, a prominent feature of aging.It is also possible that other taurine-derived biomolecules besides τm5U-tRNAmay directly or indirectly affect mitochondrial homeostasis or other agingfeatures.Indeed, taurine contributes to the production of several other biomolecules,depending on the cell type or types that affect, or can potentially affect, aging ...We propose that a combination of taurine and taurine-derived biomoleculesmay delay aging by affecting various aging hallmarks in distinct cells andtissues ...[D]uring early life, taurine appears to be essential for homeostasis in severalorgan systems, and its deficiency during development may compromise thesefunctions postnatally.Consistent with this hypothesis, organisms have a three- to fourfold highertaurine concentration in embryonic tissues than in adult tissues; moreover,taurine deficiency during development leads to growth retardation, blindness,and osteoporosis, and its supplementation during gestation increased bonemass postnatally ...It is possible that developmental or postnatal changes in taurine metabolismmight affect the rate of aging during late life, and adjusting this endogenousmachinery might extend healthy life span.”

As mentioned earlier, taurine is found in animal foods such as seafood, red meat, poultry and dairy products, and it's always best to get your nutrients from your diet. If you're a vegan, however, you may want to consider a high-quality taurine supplement, as you're not getting any from the foods you eat. While your body can synthesize some taurine, it's not going to be suficient in the long run, especially as you get older and your body's ability to synthesize it diminishes.

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