A deficiency of taurine—a nutrient produced in the body and found in many foods—is a driver of aging in animals, according to a new study led by Columbia researchers and involving dozens of aging researchers around the world.
The same study also found that taurine supplements can slow down the aging process in worms, mice, and monkeys and can even extend the healthy lifespans of middle-aged mice by up to 12%.
Was this the possible reason/thinking of the company overseas that was selling 4mg capsules of rapamycin with the only filler/dilution material was taurine?
Aging is associated with physiological changes that range in scale from organelles to organ systems, but we are still working to understand the molecular basis for these changes. Studying various animals, Singh et al . found that the amount of the semi-essential amino acid taurine in circulation decreased with age (see the Perspective by McGaunn and Baur). Supplementation with taurine slowed key markers of aging such as increased DNA damage, telomerase deficiency, impaired mitochondrial function, and cellular senescence. Loss of taurine in humans was associated with aging-related diseases, and concentrations of taurine and its metabolites increased in response to exercise. Taurine supplementation improved life span in mice and health span in monkeys. —L. Bryan Ray
Taurine-fed mice of both sexes survived longer than the control mice. The median life span of taurine-treated mice increased by 10 to 12%, and life expectancy at 28 months increased by about 18 to 25%. A meaningful antiaging therapy should not only improve life span but also health span, the period of healthy living. We, therefore, investigated the health of taurine-fed middle-aged mice and found an improved functioning of bone, muscle, pancreas, brain, fat, gut, and immune system, indicating an overall increase in health span.
Taurine supplementation increases the life span of mice
To determine whether the observed drop in taurine concentration contributes to aging, we orally administered control solution or taurine at 1000 mg per kg body weight (T1000), once daily at 10:00 am, to 14-month-old (middle-aged) C57Bl/6J WT female and male mice until the end of life. The dose and frequency of taurine administration was selected based on a pilot study, which showed that when given once daily to middle-aged WT mice, this regimen increased the peak blood taurine concentrations to baseline concentrations in young (4-week-old) mice (see materials and methods and fig. S1, A to D, for a description of these studies). Regardless of their sex, taurine-fed mice survived longer than control mice (Fig. 1, D and E). The median life-span increase was 10 to 12%, and life expectancy at 28 months increased by 18 to 25% (Fig. 1, D and E). Median life-span estimates for control female and male mice were consistent in two independent cohorts (females: 871 to 885 days; males: 785 to 815 days). In these experiments, both control and taurine-fed mice had ad libitum access to the same chow (Teklad Irradiated 18% protein and 6% fat diet-2918). Thus, the improved survival of taurine-fed mice was not a consequence of low survival of control animals or differences in diet. Collectively, these results indicate that taurine deficiency is a driver of aging in mice because its reversal increases life span.
One person’s estimate and a comment by Pankaj Kapahi who’s postdoc at the Buck Institute was one of the authors…
If I did the arithmetic right, the human equivalent dose of taurine used in the study is about 2.8-5.7g for a 70kg human:
Study used 500-1000mg/kg in mice. Divide by 12.3 to allometrically scale to get 40.7-81.3mg/kg. Multiply by 70kg to get 2.8-5.7g.
This 2.8-5.7g dose range is in line with safe dose ranges used in previous human studies. And in the range of what people actually take (e.g. athletes) when they supplement taurine (maybe on the high end).
I have been taking about 2-3 g/ day since I learnt about it from him
From Energy Drinks to Extending Life? Supplement Slows Aging in Mice and Monkeys
Taurine helped stave off death in laboratory animals, but researchers cautioned that the supplement is not a magic elixir.
“There’s something here, and if it works in humans it’s going to be a terrific thing,” said Dr. Nir Barzilai, the director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.
The mice gained less weight, had stronger muscles, were less anxious and showcased multiple improvements on a cellular level, including a reduction in the number of so-called zombie cells, old cells that stop dividing but continue to wreak havoc on neighboring tissues. Taurine also increased the average life span of the mice by 12 percent for females and 10 percent for males. The supplement had a similar impact on worm longevity.
The researchers also found supporting evidence for the anti-aging potential of taurine in people by analyzing two data sets. One, involving nearly 12,000 middle-aged individuals living in eastern England, showed a connection between low taurine levels and diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The other, involving athletes from Germany, found that high-intensity exercise could naturally enhance taurine levels — which could account for some of the anti-aging benefits of physical activity.
What taurine does inside the body isn’t yet clear. Experiments in mice and worms point to a role for taurine in maintaining the health of mitochondria, energy-producing factories inside each cell. But more work is needed, noted Christy Carter, a health scientist administrator at the National Institute on Aging. “We are not sure how it’s working,” she said.
Biohackers and longevity seekers aren’t likely to wait for those scientific insights before adding taurine to their supplement stacks.
“This paper is very thorough and convincing,” said Nick Engerer, the founder of the Longevity Blog, who is based in Byron Bay, Australia. “This makes taurine a lead contender for something you might try at home for your own longevity.”
Not only lifespan extension of 10-12%, but also improvements in bone, gut , pancreas, brain, and immunity. These improvements were also seen in monkeys.
Incredible how levels of taurine drop by 80-85% in elderly monkeys and humans.
I have used it for over 10 years. In grams. I don’t think it works in milligram doses. I take 4-5 g before bed, 1 teaspoon of the powder. It’s supposed to be a mild GABA agonist, it also alleviates cramps. I have read that it balances out calcium and magnesium… it definitely seems to calm the mood rapidly. It also doesn’t seem to develop a tolerance, I’ve barely missed a day in 10 years. I like it a lot.
I use taurine powder from Now Foods and I am happy with that brand. I use 2-3 gr before bed and sometimes before exercise. Please note that there are antagonistic effects between Beta alanine and Taurine. So if you want the benefits from Taurine, Then it might be a good idea to stay away from prolonged supplementation with Beta Alanine.
Due to taurine and beta-alanine sharing the same transporter, a taurine deficiency can be experimentally induced by beta-alanine overfeeding. One study on rats showed that this deficiency may lead to a greater susceptibility to alcohol-induced liver fat buildup (something taurine normally protects against) by coupling a large dose of alcohol (36% of caloric intake) with a fairly small dose of beta-alanine (3% of drinking water). This dose of beta-alanine has also been noted to induce cardiac effects in mice, including remodelling and lipid peroxidation.
In animals, this 3% intake of beta-alanine in water may reduce circulating levels of taurine by 50% to 77% and cardiac levels of taurine by 16.6% to 22.7%.
Prolonged cellular exposure to beta-alanine appears to reliably induce taurine deficiency. In animal studies, cellular taurine can be reduced by up to 77% with continual administration of beta-alanine via the drinking water.
None of the human studies indexed on Examine.com (with beta-alanine doses ranging from 2.6 to 6.4 g/day) suggests a resulting taurine deficiency, but this parameter has not been assesed directly.
Taurine deficiency is probably not a practical concern with conservative beta-alanine supplementation (with breaks, to let cells accumulate taurine). Excessive usage of beta-alanine over a long period of time has not been studied in humans, however, so the possibility that it could lead to taurine deficiency cannot be ruled out. Severe muscle cramps can be a symptom of taurine deficiency and could serve as an indicator. "
I started taurine a few months ago in an attempt to reduce cardiac fibrosis and, by extension, atrial fibrillation. Starting taurine coincided with a reduction in the frequency of “irregular” heartbeats recorded by my BP/HR recorder. However, since my ablation my electro cardiologist told me to stop using the taurine as he wants to see any AF if it occurs. If I get the “all clear” after 12 months I’ll resume taking it.