Science Update

New Review Investigates the Effects of Taurine Supplementation on Obesity, Blood Pressure, and Lipid Profile

Taurine is a sulfur containing an amino acid that is found in high concentrations in the heart and white blood cells. Taurine plays an important role in regulating glucose, lipid metabolism, and blood pressure, but its results in human clinical studies have been inconsistent.

 According to a review published three weeks ago in the European Journal of Pharmacology, researchers investigated the effects of taurine supplementation on obesity, blood pressure, and lipid profile. Taurine is found in animal food sources such as turkey, chicken, and shellfish, and dietary intake has been inversely correlated with mortality rates associated with cardiovascular disease. The average daily intake of taurine is between 40 mg and 400 mg in nonvegetarians, so it makes sense that supplementation can provide a beneficial effect. 

 This review included 12 randomized controlled trials, including 391 individuals who consumed either taurine supplementation or a placebo on cardiovascular biomarkers (i.e., blood pressure and lipid profile in patients with obesity, and anthropometric measurements). Most of these studies were in patient populations with liver or metabolic dysfunction, including type 2 diabetes, hepatitis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The taurine supplementation doses ranged between 500 mg and 6 grams per day for a duration of 2 weeks to 6 months. The two most common doses used were 1.5 grams and 6 grams per day.

As a result, there was a significant effect of taurine supplementation on systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. There was no effect of taurine supplementation on fasting blood glucose levels, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, or body weight. 

The effects of taurine on hypertension are due to its role of enhancing endothelial function and reducing oxidative stress. Some of the mechanisms of taurine on dyslipidemia include promoting cholesterol excretion, impeding bile acid absorption, and suppression of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl–coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. The beneficial effects of taurine on obesity are attributed to its role in reducing inflammation of adipocytes and increasing adiponectin levels, which are associated with improved insulin sensitivity and anti-inflammatory actions. 

These results demonstrate that taurine supplementation may help promote normal blood pressure and a healthy lipid profile. Other nutrients to consider include delta and gamma tocotrienols, fish oil, and magnesium.


 By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Guan L, Miao P. The effects of taurine supplementation on obesity, blood pressure and lipid profile: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Pharmacol. 2020;29;885:173533. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173533.