Taurine may be the secret to slowing aging, say scientists
Scientists are calling for a large clinical trial on taurine after it was shown to slow the aging process and extend the lifespan of mice by up to 10 percent.
The micronutrient can be found naturally in meat, fish and dairy products, but is also most commonly used in caffeinated energy drinks.
After seeing the results taurine use had in mice, the researchers would now like to advance their findings in humans.
What is taurine?
Taurine is a chemical that belongs to a group known as amino acids. It is naturally found in protein foods, such as animal products. It is one of the micronutrients that supports cell function and especially helps energy production.
It does this by supporting the health of mitochondria in cells, which are responsible for charging cells with energy.
How do scientists think taurine affects aging?
In the experiment, scientists from Columbia University in New York, USA, gave a daily dose of taurine to rats.
The results were published in the Journal of Science and showed that the lifespan of male mice increased by 10 percent by taking the supplement, while female mice increased by approximately 12 percent.
This improved lifespan also occurred in monkeys and worms.
As part of the project, researchers analyzed 12,000 people and found that those with more taurine in their blood were generally healthier. Taurine is something that occurs naturally in the human body, but as we age, levels naturally decrease.