Taurine is a sulfur containing amino acid that is found in high concentration in the heart and white blood cells. It plays an important role in regulating glucose, lipid metabolism, and blood pressure but results in human clinical studies have been inconsistent.

According to a review published three weeks ago in the European Journal of Pharmacology, researchers investigated the effects of taurine supplementation on obesity, blood pressure, and lipid profile. Taurine is found in animal food sources such as turkey, chicken, and shellfish and dietary intake has been inversely correlated to mortality rates associated with cardiovascular disease. The average daily intake of taurine is between 40 mg to 400 mg in non-vegetarians, so it makes sense that supplementation can provide a therapeutic effect.

This review included 12 randomized controlled trials including 391 individuals who consumed either taurine supplementation or placebo on cardiovascular biomarkers including blood pressure and lipid profile in patients with obesity as well as anthropometric measurements. Most of these studies were in patient populations with liver or metabolic dysfunction including type II diabetes, hepatitis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The taurine supplementation doses ranged between 500 mg up to 6 grams per day over a duration between a 2-week and 6-month period. The two most common doses used were 1.5 grams or 6 grams per day.

As a result, there was a significant effect of taurine supplementation on systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. There was no effect of taurine supplementation on fasting blood glucose levels, LDL cholesterol, body mass index, or body weight.

Taurine’s effects on hypertension are due to its role of enhancing endothelial function and reduction of oxidative stress. Some of the taurine’s mechanisms on dyslipidemia include promoting cholesterol excretion, impeding bile acid absorption, and suppression of HMG-CoA reductase. The beneficial effects of taurine on obesity are attributed to its role in reducing inflammation of adipocytes and increasing adiponectin levels, which are associated with improved insulin sensitivity and anti-inflammatory actions.

These results demonstrate that taurine supplementation can lower blood pressure and improve dyslipidemia by reducing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Other nutrients to consider include delta and gamma tocotrienols, fish oil, and magnesium.

 By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Guan L, Miao P. The effects of taurine supplementation on obesity, blood pressure and lipid profile: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Pharmacol. 2020 Aug 29;885:173533.

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