October 28

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Taurine for living longer

By Craige Williams

October 28, 2020


Anti-Aging Benefits of Taurine

High dietary intake of taurine is one of the factors responsible for the remarkable longevity of Okinawans. Taurine plays an important role in restoring insulin sensitivity, preventing obesity, and inhibiting arterial thickening. Many Americans, however, are deficient in this low-cost amino acid.

The Japanese have a life expectancy that is among the highest in the world. In fact, Okinawa, Japan’s famous “Island of Longevity,” likely has the world’s highest percentage of people over 100 years old.

Undoubtedly, there are many factors that play into the life spans of the longest-living populations, but evidence shows that they all have one thing in common: high dietary intake of an amino acid called taurine.

The connection between taurine and a long life is so strong that researchers have dubbed taurine, “The nutritional factor for the longevity of the Japanese.”3

Taurine promotes cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, electrolyte balance, hearing function, and immune modulation. In animal research, taurine protected against heart failure, reducing mortality by nearly 80%.

Its benefits are so broad and extensive that scientists have described taurine as “a wonder molecule.”

Taurine is found abundantly in healthy bodies. However, certain diets, particularly vegetarian or vegan diets, lack adequate amounts of taurine.7,8 Disease states—including liver, kidney, or heart failure, diabetes, and cancer—can all cause a deficiency in taurine. And aging bodies often cannot internally produce an optimal amount of taurine, making supplementation vital.

That’s why those interested in longevity should consider this vital and super low-cost nutrient. In this article, you’ll learn how boosting taurine levels can contribute to better cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurologic health.

Taurine: One of the Most Essential Substances in the Body!

  • It increases the action of insulin, improving glucose tolerance, and acting as an antioxidant.
  • It is vital for the proper function of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
  • Taurine regulates heart rhythm, cardiac contraction, blood pressure, and platelet aggregation, and regulates the excitability of neurons.
  • It detoxifies liver cells of various toxins.
  • It helps form bile acids and maintains cell membrane stability.
  • It reduces the synthesis of lipids and cholesterol that are associated with atherosclerosis.

Consider Supplementing with Taurine

  • Taurine is the most abundant amino acid you’ve never heard of; it is found throughout the body, but especially in tissues containing excitable cells, like nerves and heart muscle.

  • Strong epidemiological evidence suggests that certain groups with the longest life spans consume higher amounts of taurine than those of us in the rest of the world.

  • Taurine supplementation can prevent diabetes and obesity in animal models, and can mitigate the effects of both conditions in humans.

  • Taurine supplementation strengthens heart muscle cells, extends their life spans, and protects them from damage, while reducing many of the factors that produce atherosclerosis and its deadly consequences.

  • Taurine protects retinal and inner ear cells from damage, normalizing the flow of calcium ions they require for proper function.

  • Evidence is growing for taurine’s role in preventing epileptic seizures and liver disease, two conditions that can be attributed to toxic effects on delicate tissue.

  • If you are interested in a longer, healthier, and more active life, consider supplementing with taurine.

Why We Need Supplemental Taurine

In the enthusiasm to investigate new longevity compounds, sometimes the importance of venerable ones that have been around for decades is forgotten. Such is the case of taurine. Foundation members used to get taurine as part of multi-nutrient formula, but this product is not as popular as it once was.

A study released in November 2012 made the bold statement that taurine is one of the most essential substances in the body. The authors wrote:8“Considering its broad distribution, its many cytoprotective attributes, and its functional significance in cell development, nutrition, and survival, taurine is undoubtedly one of the most essential substances in the body.”

Although it’s possible for your body to produce taurine on its own, you still need to obtain taurine through diet and supplementation in order to achieve optimal amounts of this essential nutrient.

Because of taurine’s essential role in the body, supplementing with taurine can provide numerous health benefits, including restoring insulin sensitivity, mitigating diabetic complications, reversing cardiovascular disease factors, preventing and treating fatty liver disease, alleviating seizures, reversing tinnitus, and more.

Dietary Sources of Taurine

 Taurine occurs naturally in food, especially in seafood and meat. The amount consumed in most societies, however, is quite low. The mean daily intake from omnivore diets was determined to be around 58 mg (range of 9 to 372 mg). In another study, taurine intake was estimated to be generally less than 200 mg a day, even in individuals eating a high-meat diet. According to another study, taurine consumption was estimated to vary between 40 and 400 mg a day.

Successful clinical studies with taurine have used daily doses of 1,500 to 3,000 mgIt is challenging to obtain this amount of taurine from traditional dietary sources.

Taurine is made by the body from the metabolism of the amino acid cysteine. Aging can reduce the amount of taurine made from cysteine, thus making taurine supplementation desirable in maturing individuals.

Taurine is not abundant in most plant foods.On average, non-vegetarians typically eat around 43-76 mg of taurine per day. Vegans have been shown to have lower blood levels of taurine.

Summary

Taurine is the most abundant amino acid you’ve never heard of. Strong evidence suggests that groups with the longest life spans consume higher amounts of taurine than those of us in the rest of the world. High intakes of taurine could be the underlying factor in the world’s longest-living populations—and for good reason.

Taurine supplementation can mitigate the damaging effects of fat, glucose, and excess insulin. Taurine strengthens and protects heart muscle cells and the system of blood vessels that supplies blood throughout the body, helping to protect against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

And taurine protects vision and hearing. It can prevent and alleviate seizures, and it has been shown to treat the most common cause of liver disease in the the world.

With epidemiological evidence that it contributes to the longevity of famously long-lived groups, taurine belongs on the short-list of supplements necessary for maintaining optimal health in the face of aging.

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