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Taurine, found in energy drinks might make you live longer

    Taurine, found in energy drinks might make you live longer

    The journal Science delved into investigating if the amount of taurine, commonly found in energy drinks, present in the blood has any impact on aging. The research team analyzed the amino acid levels in various animals during the aging process and explored the potential benefits of taking supplements.

    Aging is associated with physiological changes that range in scale from organelles to organ systems, but we are still working to understand the molecular basis for these changes. Studying various animals, Singh et al. found that the amount of the semi-essential amino acid taurine in circulation decreased with age. Supplementation with taurine slowed key markers of aging such as increased DNA damage, telomerase deficiency, impaired mitochondrial function, and cellular senescence. Loss of taurine in humans was associated with aging-related diseases, and concentrations of taurine and its metabolites increased in response to exercise. Taurine supplementation improved the life span in mice and the health span in monkeys. —L. Bryan Ray

    taurine

    Like humans, mice and monkeys produce taurine naturally, but their levels decrease with age. The study discovered that older individuals had taurine levels that were 80% lower than those of younger individuals.

    Researchers administered taurine to mice on a daily basis and observed that they lived 10 to 12% longer, which translates to an additional three to four months of life. Similar effects were also observed in worms. Additionally, taurine exhibited positive impacts such as curbing weight gain associated with aging in female mice, enhancing energy levels and bone density, augmenting physical strength, and mitigating behaviors akin to anxiety and depression.

    Supplementation with taurine slowed key markers of aging

    The human diet typically provides 40-400 mg of natural taurine, obtained through the consumption of meat, fish, and dairy products. In contrast, a single can of Red Bull contains 1000 mg of artificially-produced taurine. The FDA recommends a daily intake of 14-16 mg of vitamin B3, with a maximum of 35 mg. However, a can of Monster energy drink contains 40 mg of vitamin B3. While there is currently limited evidence supporting the benefits of taurine and B vitamins in energy drinks, further research is necessary to fully understand any potential long-term side effects. It is important to note that the body only absorbs the necessary amount of these vitamins, excreting any excess through urine.

    Fun Fact: Research suggests a link between higher taurine levels and reduced cholesterol, lower blood pressure levels, and significantly lower rates of death from heart disease.