The latest research shows that the amino acid, taurine boosts longevity.
Researchers from Columbia University in 2023 found that taurine deficiency was a big driver of ageing. The same animal study also found that taurine supplements can slow down the ageing process in mice and monkeys, extending lifespans by up to 12%.
This follows another study that reported that GlyNAC also boosted longevity. GlyNAC is a mixture of the amino acids, glycine and N-Acetyl Cysteine. The perfect supplement stack for extending lifespan seems to be:
- Taurine +
- Glycine and NAC.
Taurine is an amino acid that is one of the most essential substances in the body. It is found in large amounts in the brain, retina, heart, and blood. Taurine is made in the liver and it's also consumed from food. The production of taurine reduces as we grow older.
Most common diets would provide up to 0.4g per day of taurine, but it's quite easy to become deficient. The reason for the increase in lifespan is due to the numerous critical health benefits it brings. Taurine....
- Slows the absorption of glucose into the blood, reducing the spike of glucose and insulin.
- Calms brain activity, and like melatonin, is a trigger for sleep.
- Plays a significant role in overcoming insulin resistance.
- Reduces adiposity, (or the addition of fat) and increases metabolism.
- Improves Immune phenotypes. (these characterise the critical points at which cancer immunity fails).
- Increases strength and muscular coordination.
- Improves bone density.
- Prevents bile acids from damaging your cells.
- Is critical for retina health.
- Stabilises cell membranes and regulates cell volume.
The first 5 are the biggest contributors to extending life.
The best food sources of taurine are meat and fish, but it can be taken as a supplement. Taurine is most famous as an ingredient in Red Bull and other energy drinks. Humans have around 70g of taurine in their bodies. Although the RDA for taurine is not stated, a safe level of intake is probably 3 grams per day.
Taurine in food and drinks.
The best foods for taurine are scallops, mussels, squid, and clams. Meats have a good content, particularly dark turkey and chicken meat. But all these are eclipsed by Red Bull, which has 1000mg of taurine.
Should you supplement with taurine, or drink a Red Bull?
A Red Bull contains 1g of taurine, so the occasional one would help hugely with your taurine intake. But this benefit has to be offset by the sugar content and caffeine. Whilst the caffeine amount is similar to a cup of coffee, a 250ml can of red bull contains 27g of sugar. This is 100 calories, which would take a 15 minute brisk walk to burn off. For someone with an active and busy life, the occasional Red Bull during the day, before exercise or a walk, wouldn't hurt.
We need to maximise the taurine, and minimise the sugar consumed. Opt for the original Thai version of Red Bull, which provides 850mg of taurine with less sugar per portion than a large Western can.
Red Bull gets bad press for being a sugary drink, but it's comparable to any other soft drink or fruit juice with the extra benefit of a big dose of Taurine and several B vitamins. An energy drink isn't the optimal way to get taurine, as it's available as a cheap supplement.
Amino acids are the building blocks of life, and it's clear that they are essential for prolonging life too.
- Red Bull 400mg/100g, (or 1000mg per can).
- Thai Red Bull Theoplex-L Formula 850mg/100g,
- Beef 43mg/100g
- Dark chicken meat 83mg/100g
- White chicken meat 17mg/100g
- Dark turkey meat 11mg/100g
- Dark turkey meat 299mg/100g
- Pork 43mg/100g
- Ham 43mg/100g
- Scallop 827mg/100g
- Mussels 655mg/100g
- Squid & octopus 357mg/100g
- Clams 240-500mg/100g
- Shrimp 10-100mg/100g
- Oysters 70-400mg/100g
- White fish 113mg/100g