What is taurine and how will it improve your life?

Taurine may be most widely known as an essential ingredient in energy drinks, but in fact, taurine is an amino acid found abundantly in brain, retina, heart, and reproductive organ cells, as well as in meat and seafood. It’s been getting a ton of attention lately, as new research has linked the compound to a longer lifespan in animal studies.

The Mayo Clinic states that taurine is utilized by the body for numerous tasks within its cells, such as energy production. Taurine assists in the processing of bile acid, and helps keep the electrolytes, minerals, and fluids in your body in balance. Though taurine is naturally present in the body, it declines as we age.

Vijay Yadav of the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, India, led a team who conducted experiments spanning 11 years. They initially found that the blood of older mice had lower levels of taurine compared to younger mice. Mice that were given taurine supplements had a lifespan of 10-12% longer than those that did not receive the supplements.

Yadav noted that the animals given taurine supplementation had a longer and healthier lifespan. He saw this effect in mice, worms, and monkeys, the latter being closer to humans.

Above an illustration of red seaweed.

Before you reach for a Red Bull, keep in mind that most energy drinks generally only have small amounts of taurine and way too much sugar, caffeine and other ingredients aren’t going to contribute to a longer lifespan. Fear not; natural sources of taurine include shellfish, fish, beef, and red seaweed. It can be purchased in the form of oral supplements, as well.

The following are the positive effects of taurine supplementation, according to the recent study:

1. Increased bone density in spine and legs.

2. Lower body fat than non-taurine monkeys.

3. Decreased inflammation measures.

4. 10-12% increase in life span.

5. Increased muscle strength in both males and females.

6. Reduction in senescent cells, emitting fewer damaging inflammatory signals.