Life Extension Magazine®

Man happily flying a kite due to his higher levels of taurine

Remarkable Rejuvenation Effects of Taurine

Oral intake of the amino acid taurine improves markers of health and is associated with longer human lifespans.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in July 2023. Written by: Jackson Williams.

A low-cost amino acid facilitates a diverse range of biological functions.1-5

Taurine has been shown to improve markers of health implicated in rapid-onset aging,3,6-9 along with disorders such as heart disease,1-5,10,11 sarcopenia4 and dementia.12

Normal aging results in a decline in endogenous taurine production that can be overcome by increased oral intake.  

What is Taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid found in nearly all tissues.1,2 Unlike most amino acids in the body, it is not a building block for proteins. Instead, it serves other important functions.

One finding that makes taurine particularly intriguing is that the human body produces transporter proteins specifically targeted to this nutrient. These transporters allow most cells in the body to take up and concentrate taurine within them.1,2

That's because cells need taurine.

Evidence suggests that increasing taurine supply may have potential benefits for cardiovascular disorders, high cholesterol,1,2,5 Alzheimer's, liver conditions,2 and extending lifespan.5

Taurine is produced in small amounts by the body, but production drops with age.2

By adulthood, production of taurine is inadequate to maintain optimal health. The best way to maintain higher taurine levels is through diet or supplementation.2 Dietary sources include seafood like scallops, mussels, and clams. Dark meat turkey and chicken are also a good source of taurine.13

However, most successful clinical studies with taurine have used daily doses of 1,500 mg to 3,000 mg.3,9,11 It is challenging to obtain this amount of taurine from dietary sources.

A Key to Healthy Aging

Evidence from animal and human studies suggests that at every stage of life, adequate levels of taurine are essential.

  • In a rodent study, depletion of taurine resulted in accelerated aging processes, affecting the heart, muscle, liver, skin, brain, and more.14,15 Overall lifespan was significantly shortened.
  • In early developmental stages of the human embryo, taurine deficiency can lead to abnormalities of heart, brain and retina.2,16
  • Taurine is present in the human brain and plays a role in neurotransmission. Perinatal taurine depletion alters learning, memory and neural control of blood pressure in adult life.17
  • In a population study spanning 25 countries and more than 14,000 people, scientists found that residents of Okinawa in Japan had the highest intake of taurine along with the lowest rate of heart disease and the longest average lifespan.10
  • Another study looked at Japanese immigrants living in Brazil, where they eat low amounts of taurine-rich seafood. This population had an average 17-year shorter lifespan than those still living in Japan, where they consume more dietary taurine.18
  • Low taurine intake has also been associated with a higher risk of dementia. One observational study determined that older healthy adults had about 18% greater intake of taurine in the past than those diagnosed with dementia.12 The group with the highest intake of taurine had the highest cognitive scores.
  • In another study, on elderly women, 1,500 mg of taurine daily with a combined exercise training program twice per week helped reduce inflammation, protect the health of the blood-brain barrier, and improve cognitive test scores over 14 weeks.9

Oral taurine intake has been studied in humans, including in many clinical trials. At doses ranging from about 1500 mg to 3000 mg daily, taurine has been found to:

  • Reduce inflammation,9
  • Improve scores on a test of cognitive impairment,12
  • Improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels,1,3,7,19
  • Lower blood pressure,1,11,20
  • Improve insulin sensitivity,7
  • Lower fasting blood glucose,3,7 and
  • Improve control of diabetes and diabetic complications.3,7,19,21,22

These benefits suggest taurine consumption could play a powerful role in the promotion of healthy aging.

What You Need to Know

Taurine’s Role in A Healthier Life

  • Taurine is an amino acid that is vital to overall health.
  • Deficiencies of taurine are associated with multiple diseases in different stages of life.
  • In a human population study, higher intake of taurine correlates with longer life and lower rates of heart disease.
  • In clinical studies, taurine has been shown to support brain function and improve cognitive scores.
  • Oral intake of taurine has been shown in human trials to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, aid in control of diabetes, and more.
  • Preclinical studies show that taurine is needed for the optimal functioning of mitochondria.
  • There is preclinical evidence that taurine is supportive of liver health.

Liver Health and Detoxification

Taurine may help treat one of the most common liver issues in the U.S., nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is a common condition in which excess fat buildup occurs in the liver, not due to excessive alcohol consumption. It can lead to liver cirrhosis, as well as to liver cancer in advanced cases.23

Taurine supports optimal liver health.

In preclinical studies, it has been shown to prevent liver damage by preventing fat buildup in the liver and promoting energy expenditure.24 Animal and lab studies show that taurine defends liver cells against free radicals and toxins, helping to reduce the severity of oxidative stress-induced liver injury.24,25

Taurine bolsters antioxidant defenses in numerous ways. It boosts the production of key antioxidant enzymes in the body.2,8 One of the most important is superoxide dismutase (SOD), which helps neutralize superoxide.26

In a clinical trial, women aged 55–70 years were randomized to receive either 1500 mg of taurine or a placebo for 16 weeks. After week 16 oxidative stress markers were evaluated from plasma samples. Taurine supplementation increased SOD levels.8

In a clinical trial of patients with chronic liver disease, 2 grams per day of oral supplementation with taurine resulted in a clinically significant reduction in the frequency, duration, and intensity of muscle cramps.27

Optimal Mitochondrial Function

Practically all the energy that cells need to grow and thrive comes from the mitochondria, the cellular "powerhouses".

Mitochondrial function diminishes with age.28 Studies show that taurine is needed for the optimal functioning of mitochondria.1,2,6,29,30

In animal models, blocking taurine uptake in cells resulted in mitochondrial dysfunction.2 Taurine prevents oxidative damage by inhibiting enzymes and stabilizing mitochondrial membranes.24


Cells throughout the body require the amino acid taurine to function optimally.

Taurine intake may help prevent age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, and diabetes, and was associated with longer life in a large population study.

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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