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Taurine Improves Health and May Slow Aging

Taurine levels drop by as much as 80% in older people, which may contribute to rapid aging and degenerative disorders. Restoring youthful taurine blood levels may enable healthier aging.

Scientifically reviewed by: Gary Gonzalez, MD, in November 2023. Written by: Paul Rankin.

A study on the connection between taurine and longevity made major headlines around the world, from the BBC to the New York Times.1,2

Published in the prestigious medical journal Science, an international collaboration of researchers discovered that older adults suffer a dramatic decrease in levels of taurine. On average, they have levels 80% below those found in younger people.3-6

These declining taurine levels have been tied, in preclinical models, to rapid aging and increased rates of age-related disease.6,7

In clinical trials, taurine has been shown to blunt inflammation as well as improve cardiometabolic health — actions that would be expected to help defer aging.6,7

In humans, lower levels of taurine-related metabolites are associated with age-related conditions such as obesity, chronic inflammation, and metabolic disease such as type II diabetes.6

Clinical intervention studies have demonstrated that taurine supplementation can benefit cholesterol and lipid levels; the stress hormone norepinephrine; and body weight.8

In the June 2023 published study that made headline news worldwide, daily oral taurine intake increased the life expectancy of elderly mice by up to 25% while reducing body weight, improving strength and brain function, lowering inflammation, and boosting function of energy-generating mitochondria.6

Maintaining youthful taurine levels into older age may help to slow aging and promote healthy longevity.

What is Taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid found in the diet.

Most taurine in the human body, however, is synthesized internally from the amino acid cysteine. With age, the enzyme that transforms cysteine into taurine declines.

The result is sharply lower taurine levels as people age.

As far back as the 1990s, taurine was used in Japan to improve heart function and exercise capacity in patients with heart failure.9-12

Scientists have also discovered that cells contain dedicated protein transporters that are specific to taurine.3,4 These transporters actively move taurine into cells where it is required for numerous processes.13

In addition, experimental animals that are missing taurine transporters develop significant health problems and have a shortened lifespan.3,4

Another clue to taurine's importance comes from animals like cats, dogs, and foxes, which cannot synthesize it in sufficient quantities, if they do not get enough taurine from diet, they may develop heart diseases, blindness, impaired immune function, neurological abnormalities, and other disorders.4  

In an animal model, taurine injection into the peritoneum in the abdomen prevented sarcopenia, likely through an anti-inflammatory effect and by preserving the quality of muscle fibers.14

Young humans are able to produce abundant taurine. But as the study in Science found, production rapidly drops in later life, with the elderly having taurine levels that are about 80% lower than in youth.6,7

Human Studies on Taurine and Aging

In animals, taurine deficiency results in health problems and shorter lifespan.

Findings in humans suggest adequate taurine may be essential for optimal health.

One observational study that compared elderly individuals with or without dementia. Those with dementia reported consuming significantly less taurine in their diets. Among all the studied individuals, those with a history of more taurine in their diet had better cognition.4,15

A study in Japanese population found that greater taurine consumption is associated with reduced rates of cardiovascular problems, metabolic disorders including obesity, and other common age-related disorders.6,7

As part of the study published in Science, levels of taurine, its precursor, and its metabolites were measured in large cohort of European adults, and an association analysis was performed.

Higher blood taurine and related compounds were associated with lower body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio, and less abdominal obesity, as well as lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP).

Higher taurine metabolite levels were associated with less chance of type II diabetes as well as with lower glucose levels.6

What You Need to Know

Taurine’s Longevity Benefits

  • A recent study found that elderly humans on average have 80% lower levels of the amino acid taurine than young adults.
  • These lower levels of taurine correlate with higher rates of obesity, chronic inflammation, and type II diabetes.
  • In animals, daily taurine intake extends longevity by as much as 25% while improving muscle and brain health, immune function, and more.
  • Early human studies of taurine have shown that it can improve heart and blood vessel function, reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, boost exercise capacity, and help prevent diabetic complications.

Prolonging Healthy Life

Low taurine levels may contribute to human aging and disease. Some evidence suggests that increasing oral intake of taurine may prevent or reverse these problems.

In the study published in Science, giving mice daily taurine increased median lifespan by 10%-12% and increased life expectancy in elderly mice by 18%-25%, compared to a placebo.6,7

Taurine intake also improved the health and functioning of bone, muscle, brain, the gastrointestinal system, the immune system, and more.6,7 Similar results were observed in monkeys given taurine.

Several human trials have demonstrated positive impacts on health:

  • Daily doses of taurine improved exercise capacity and several markers of heart function in patients with heart failure.9-12
  • In subjects with hypertension (high blood pressure) or prehypertension, taurine intake lowered blood pressure and improved blood vessel function.16,17
  • In obese women, oral taurine reduced markers of harmful inflammation and oxidative stress, which are normally elevated in obesity.18
  • In people with type II diabetes, taurine also reduced inflammation and oxidative stress. Even more impressively, there was a reduction in common diabetic complications, including kidney, eye, and nerve disease.19-21

Although further human studies are warranted to fully explore the benefits of taurine, evidence strongly suggests it can improve health and may increase lifespan.

How It Works

Exactly how taurine promotes longevity is still being studied, but it has benefits at a cellular level.

In animal models, taurine deficiency mimics the aging process.

Factors that are associated with aging—including reduced mitochondrial health, cellular stress, shortening of telomeres (protective caps on the ends of chromosomes), and chronic inflammation—are all accelerated with taurine depletion.5

Preclinical and clinical studies show that increasing taurine intake impacts biological functions that promote longevity and health, including:4-7,22

  • Improving mitochondrial function and cellular energy metabolism,
  • Stabilizing telomeres and reducing DNA damage,
  • Reducing cellular senescence, when cells become old and dysfunctional,
  • Increasing antioxidant capacity and protection against oxidative damage,
  • Reducing dangerous chronic inflammation,
  • Improving neurotransmitter function in the nervous system, and
  • Facilitating absorption of nutrients and improving gastrointestinal health.

Together, these effects may slow the aging process, leading to better health and longer life.


Research has found that the amino acid taurine may impact several distinct aspects of health.

Levels of taurine tend to drop by as much as 80% in older adults. These lower levels are hypothesized to contribute to rapid aging and increased risk for age-related disease.

In animals, daily taurine intake extends lifespan and improves health.

Studies in humans have also shown health benefits from taurine intake, including improved heart and metabolic function, reduced oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, and lower blood pressure.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.


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