June 9, 2023 | 11:05
The fountain of youth may be in your refrigerator right now.
A Columbia University study revealed that taurine, a nutrient found in meat, fish, dairy products and some energy drinks like Celsius, Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar, appears to slow down the aging process and extend healthy lifespan.
This study suggests that taurine could be an elixir of life within us that helps us live longer and healthier lives, Vijay Yadav, Ph.D., assistant professor of genetics and development at the University of California, said in a news release. Columbia University.
Yadav and a team of researchers conducted experiments with animals and people to determine what role taurine, which is also produced in the body, plays in health and longevity.
The researchers found that taurine levels in 60-year-olds were about one-third of those found in 5-year-olds.
The study was published in the journal Science.
Studies in mice and monkeys confirmed that taurine levels also decreased significantly over time in the animals. That’s when we started wondering if taurine deficiency was a driver of the aging process and set up a big experiment with mice, Yadav said.
They found that a taurine-supplemented diet increased the average lifespan by 12% in female mice and 10% in males, equivalent to about seven to eight human years.
Further experiments revealed that taurine increased energy expenditure, increased bone mass, improved muscle endurance and strength, reduced depressive and anxious behaviors, reduced insulin resistance, and promoted a younger-looking immune system.
Not only did we find that the animals lived longer, but we also found that they live healthier lives, Yadav said.
And when middle-aged rhesus monkeys were given daily taurine supplements for six months, the monkeys staved off weight gain, reduced fasting blood sugar, increased bone density and improved the health of their immune systems.
But Yadav and other experts warn it’s too early to stock up on taurine supplements in the expectation that you’ll live to be 150.
This doesn’t seem like a story ready for prime time and could be harmful if people start consuming more animal-based foods to boost taurine intake, Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at TH Chan School of Medicine, told CNN. Harvard Public Health.
Some more studies in humans using taurine supplements would be interesting, but we’re a long way from suggesting its use, added Willett, who was not involved in the study.
Yadav agrees: Only a randomized clinical trial in people will determine whether taurine actually has any health benefits.
However, taurine does have some advantages over other compounds that are being studied for their potential longevity benefits.
Taurine is naturally produced in our bodies, can be obtained naturally in the diet, has no known toxic effects (although it is rarely used in the concentrations used in this study), and can be boosted by exercise, Yadav noted.
Taurine abundance declines with age, so restoring taurine to a youthful level in old age may be a promising antiaging strategy.
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