Key food and drink nutrient could be ‘elixir of life’

Taurine, a nutrient commonly found in energy drinks, meat and fish, could extend a person’s life and boost their health, according to a recent scientific study.

Results from a scientific study have been published today and highlight that taurine could help slow ageing and boost individuals well-being.

a bunch of pills sitting on top of a table

To reach their conclusion, experts tracked down taurine by examining various blood molecules of different animals that varied in age. According to the researchers, taurine levels in older animals were much lower – roughly 80% compared to younger ones. Following this, scientists focused on the nutrients involvement in ageing by conducting a series of studies on animals including worms, mice, and primates.

Researchers from Columbia University, New York, conducted trials on 14-month-old mice, which is the equivalent to a 45-year-old human. These animals were given a daily dose of taurine, with some sectioned off into a placebo group.

The findings revealed middle-aged female mice experienced a 12% increase in lifespan when compared to those that did not receive the nutrient. Male mice were also found to live around 10% longer than females.

Diving into how this was possible, experts highlighted the presence of taurine likely helps to slow the ageing process by preventing the telomeres – a region of repetitive DNA sequences at the end of a chromosome – from shortening.

Following this, 15-year-old monkeys were given a six-month course of taurine – too short to notice a difference in life expectancy, but researchers found improvements in animals body weight, bone, blood-sugar levels and the immune system.

‘I thought this was almost too good to be true,’ said Professor Henning Wackerhage, who was involved with the research at the Technical University of Munich. ‘Taurine somehow hits the engine room of ageing.’

However, despite the results from animals proving to be optimistic, there still remains a vast amount of questions unanswered. One of the biggest being, would the same results be possible in people?.

Experts performed an analysis of 12,000 people and showed those with more taurine in their blood were generally in better health, but it will take proper clinical trials – where some will be given the nutrient and others a placebo pill – to see if any substantial benefits can be detected.

Image: Supliful – Supplements On Demand


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