Impact of taurine on health
Previous research with taurine, a semi-essential micronutrient, indicated a correlation between blood taurine levels and health, however its impact on aging remained unknown.

The process of aging involves multifactorial changes leading to diminished organ function and heightened disease susceptibility. Alterations in blood metabolite concentrations accompany aging, but the role of these changes as causal drivers of aging remains largely unexplored.

A recently published study investigated taurine's effects on aging using multiple species. Results showed that blood taurine concentrations decrease with age in mice, monkeys, and humans. To assess taurine's impact on aging, taurine supplementation was administered to middle-aged mice. Taurine-fed mice exhibited extended median life spans by 10-12%, and a notable 18-25% increase in life expectancy at 28 months of age. Furthermore, enhanced health span was also observed, with improved functionality of various organs and systems. These effects were mirrored in monkeys and even worms. Taurine's positive influence on aging hallmarks included mitigation of cellular senescence, protection against telomerase deficiency, suppression of mitochondrial dysfunction, reduction in DNA damage, and attenuation of inflammation. An association analysis in humans linked lower taurine concentrations with adverse health outcomes such as abdominal obesity, hypertension, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, exercise is shown to elevate taurine metabolite levels in blood, potentially contributing to antiaging effects of exercise. However, the underlying mechanism linking taurine to aging remains unknown. Cautious use of taurine supplements is advisable, although taurine generally considered safe according to EFSA’s data, consulting with doctor, especially for those with chronic conditions and taking other medications is strongly recommended. Supplementation of taurine by consuming energy drinks is highly discouraged while these contain other substances. Combination of healthy diet and exercise can maintain adequate taurine levels in the body.

In summary, declining taurine levels are connected to aging. With taurine supplementation enhancing health span and life span in mice, worms, and health span in monkeys were observed. To confirm its role in human aging, long-term, well-controlled taurine supplementation trials measuring health span and life span are necessary. Caution must be made when supplementing taurine. While the information offered in Science holds promise, it is currently uncertain whether taurine can be the newfound fountain of youth.


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