An American study shows that taurine intake slows the aging of certain animals

Could taurine hold the promise of a longer, healthier life? This is the track explored by a study coordinated by the Indian biologist specializing in molecular physiology Vijay Kumar Yadav (Columbia University, United States), published June 9 in the magazine Science.

By testing the effects of taurine supplementation on various animal models, the fifty-six scientific signatories of the study observed that taurine supplementation improved health while extending lifespan, particularly in mice and mice. worm.

“Middle-aged mice supplemented with taurine had a 10% to 12% longer lifespan than those given water. But we don’t want to live longer with a ton of illnesses,” says Vijay Kumar Yadav to the World.

“We don’t really know how it works”

By reproducing the experiment, still on mice, the researchers then look at markers of good health. Everything they observed—bones, muscles, brain, pancreas, gut, and immune system—indicated better health in mice supplemented with taurine. On the contrary, weight gain associated with age was reduced.

For this experimental model, the mice received a dose of 0.5 grams or 1 gram of taurine per kg of body weight and per day during the second half of their life. “In humans, this would be equivalent to 3 and 6 grams of taurine per day for an 80 kg human,” affirms Vijay Yadav, because the proportions are not transposable from the mouse to the man.

In monkeys, taurine supplementation was also accompanied by benefits on their bones, immune system and metabolism. Their average life expectancy of 30 years does not allow the effects on their lifespan to be measured.

How can a higher level of taurine positively impact health? While the researchers’ findings are positive, the study raises many additional questions. “Mechanical elements are missing, estimates the geneticist Hugo Aguilaniu, who did not take part in the study. OWe observe that everything is better with more taurine but we do not really know how it works. »

An ingredient in energy drinks

The researchers also observed markers of aging at the cellular level, and observed, there too, improvements, including a lower quantity of senescent cells (cells “zombie” which no longer divide and no longer fulfill their function but can produce toxic oxidized residues for the body), DNA damage or even chronic inflammation.

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