Can Red Bull give you wings…that results in healthy aging? According to a recent study, yes.
Taurine, an amino acid present in meat and shellfish, is commonly included as a supplement in energy drinks. Although the assertions regarding these cognitive benefits lack conclusive evidence, recent research indicates that taurine might contribute to promoting healthy aging.
Levels of amino acid could be key to healthier aging
Studies reveal that insufficient levels of taurine can accelerate the aging trajectory in various animal species. In a report published in Science on Thursday, an international team of researchers suggests that augmenting taurine intake could potentially decelerate the aging process. This intervention might lead to extended and healthier lifespans in animals, with potential implications for humans as well.
“This is a really exciting time,” study co-author Vijay Yadav, an assistant professor of genetics and development at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the medical school for Columbia University in New York City, said. “That’s because researchers are now exploring specific molecules, such as taurine, that might improve health and lead to longer life.”
Experiments reveal new data
The study revealed a significant decline in taurine levels as individuals aged, observed across mice, monkeys, and humans. The reason behind the up to 80 per cent reduction in nutrient levels with age remains unknown, according to Yadav.
In experiments involving mice and monkeys, researchers observed that supplementing middle-aged animals resulted in enhanced well-being. Among mice, supplementation yielded benefits. That includes a 10 per cent extended lifespan—equivalent to approximately seven or eight years in humans.
That doesn’t mean that it will reverse the effect of aging, Yadav points out, however.
“It’s hitting the brakes on aging, not putting things in reverse gear,” he said.
Clinical trial using Taurine
The subsequent phase involves conducting a clinical trial to assess whether comparable advantages emerge when humans are administered taurine supplements, as stated by Yadav. He emphasized that he cannot endorse individuals attempting to elevate their taurine levels without such empirical data.
The European Food Safety Authority has affirmed the safety of taurine doses in humans, akin to those administered to mice, according to Henning Wackerhage, a study co-author…