Taurine is an amino acid that participates in immune health and neurological function. Findings from a recent study suggest that taurine influences longevity. Mice that received supplemental taurine lived as much as 12 percent longer than those that didn’t.
Researchers conducted a multi-part experiment in several species. First, they measured blood taurine concentrations in mice, monkeys, and humans at different ages and found that taurine decreased in all three species over time. Notably, taurine concentrations were 80 percent lower in older adult humans than in young children.
Then they gave middle-aged mice either taurine (1,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight) or an inactive substance once daily until their natural deaths. Among mice that received taurine, median lifespan increased by 10 to 12 percent, roughly equivalent to about eight years in humans. They repeated their experiment in monkeys, worms, and yeast and observed similar effects. They also found that taurine reduced several hallmarks of aging in all the species studied, including cellular senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage, and inflammation.
Finally, they measured blood taurine concentrations in humans following an acute bout of exercise. They found that exercise increased the levels of taurine metabolites in the blood, providing a potential mechanism for the anti-aging effects of exercise.
These findings suggest that supplemental taurine reverses age-related taurine declines and extends both healthspan and lifespan in several species. Learn about other nutrients that influence aging in this episode featuring longevity expert Dr. Bruce Ames.