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Taurine, a supplement for diabetics

Taurine supplementation may help diabetics better control their glucose levels. This is suggested by a Chinese meta-study published in Food Chemistry Molecular Sciences.

Taurine, a supplement for diabetics

Doctors from Capital Medical University in Beijing traced 5 studies in the scientific literature in which subjects had been given taurine. In the studies, the researchers also determined the effect of taurine on insulin sensitivity.

A total of 209 volunteers participated in the studies as test subjects.

To be fair, if you look at the test subjects in the studies, it is somewhat a mixed bag. In a single study, the subjects did not have diabetes. In another study the subjects had type 1 diabetes, in the other studies there was type 2 diabetes. In addition, the researchers gave the subjects in one study not only taurine, but also another supplement.

The doses that researchers used ranged from 1-3 grams of taurine per day. The subjects divided those doses into 2-4 smaller doses throughout the day.

More details about the studies are in the table below. Click it for a larger version.

Taurine, a supplement for diabetics

The Chinese doctors found no statistically significant changes in body composition, LDL, HDL and triglycerides in the taurine users. In the case of the triglycerides, there was a clear trend that taurine lowered the triglycerides.

More obvious was the effect on the fasting glucose level and the HOMA-IR (a measure of insulin sensitivity). They changed in a favorable direction. Taurine also lowered insulin levels, but the change was just not statistically significant.

Click on the figures below for a larger version.

Taurine, a supplement for diabetics

It appears that taurine, when administered in doses of a few grams per day, enhances or mimics the action of insulin. By the way, this effect was discovered by Russian researchers at the University of Tomsk as early as the 1970s. [Vopr Med Khim. Jul-Aug 1976;22(4):503-7.] The Russians did experiments with lab rats.

At the time, the US military found the study interesting enough to have it translated and studied by experts at Fort Detrick. You can find this translation here.

Taurine, a supplement for diabetics

The Chinese doctors think that taurine supplementation may be of interest to diabetics. "Taurine emerges as a new option for the management of patients with diabetes", they write.

Food Chem (Oxf). 2022 Mar 21;4:100106.

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Insulin & Glucose Metabolism

When it is hot, athletes perform better with taurine Meta study: taurine improves sport performance Taurine boosts glucose uptake in muscles

When it is hot, athletes perform better with taurine
When the mercury in the thermometers rises eerily high, athletes perform better if they take 4 grams of taurine 2 hours before their training or competition.

Meta study: taurine improves sport performance
Supplementation with taurine increases the endurance of athletes, sports scientists at St Mary's University in London conclude.

Taurine boosts glucose uptake in muscles
In mice, taurine boosts the secretion of insulin and boosts the sensitivity of the insulin receptor in muscles. Taurine may be even more interesting for athletes than we already knew.