Taurine deficiency may speed up aging process, scientists say UK News

Scientists believe that a lack of a molecule called taurine may speed up the aging process.

Researchers who analyzed amino acids in mice and monkeys found that the supplement slowed aging.

For the study, an international team of researchers looked at blood samples and measured taurine concentrations in mice, monkeys and humans at different ages.

The study used nearly 250 female and male mice aged around 14 months — the human equivalent of around 45 years. The researchers gave half of them taurine supplements and the other half a control solution.

Mice consuming the supplement lived an average of 12 percent longer, with females seeing a 10 percent increase.

That meant an extra three to four months for the mice, the equivalent of seven or eight years for humans, the researchers said.

Taurine — commonly found in meat, fish, eggs, and some energy drinks — supports immune health and nervous system function.

The study also showed that daily taurine supplement intake of 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight was also associated with improvements in strength, coordination and cognitive function in rodents.

“Not only did we find that the animals lived longer, but we also found that they lived healthier lives,” said study leader Vijay Yadav of Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The effects of taurine supplementation were also tested in middle-aged monkeys.

The monkeys took the supplements daily for six months and showed improvements in their immune systems, bone density and overall metabolic health.

research on humans

To understand things from a human perspective, the researchers also looked at data from a study involving 12,000 European adults aged 60 and over.

They found that people with higher taurine levels were healthier.

Fewer cases of type 2 diabetes, lower levels of obesity, lower levels of inflammation.

“These associations do not establish causation, but the results are consistent with the possibility that taurine deficiency contributes to aging in humans,” Professor Yadav said.

The researchers also measured taurine levels in male athletes and those who participated in vigorous cycling before and after exercise.

Taurine levels were “significantly increased” in sprinters and endurance runners, as well as those who participated in cycling, the team said.

“Taurine levels were elevated after exercise regardless of the individual, suggesting that some of the health benefits of exercise may result from an increase in taurine,” added Professor Yadav.

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Taurine could be a promising anti-aging strategy, the team says.

Professor Yadav said: “Taurine levels decline with age, so restoring taurine to youthful levels in old age could be a promising anti-aging strategy.”

He added: “For the past 25 years, scientists have been trying to identify factors that not only allow us to live longer, but also extend our healthspan, the amount of time we remain healthy in later life.

“This study suggests that taurine may be our body’s elixir of life, helping us live longer and healthier lives.”

The study was published in the journal Science.

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