• A compelling human study suggests that taurine decreases blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol, and insulin levels.
  • Taurine extends worm lifespan by 23% and mouse lifespan by 12%.
  • Given the safety profile of taurine, the encouraging animal studies, and the positive human data, Dr. Stanfield supplements with about 1 gram of taurine daily.

Dr. Brad Stanfield is a New Zealand-based primary care physician who has gained a notable following of over 200,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel with videos covering various supplements. In one of his latest YouTube videos, he reviews why some scientists think an ingredient commonly added to energy drinks, taurine, which can also be purchased as a supplement, slows aging.

Research has shown that levels of taurine, a protein building block (amino acid), declines by more than 80% with age in elderly adults. Furthermore, there are situations when the body demands more taurine, including during periods of rapid growth in infants or young children, intense physical activity, or stress. In all of these circumstances, the body may not have the capacity to produce enough taurine, so we need to get it through our diets from sources like meat, dairy products, or supplementation.

This is important because taurine is required for bile salt production, eye health, heart and muscle function, and the modulation of inflammation in the nervous system. Thus, with reduced taurine levels during aging, it is possible that problems with the digestive system, eye, heart, muscle, and/or the nervous system may arise. This idea remains speculative, though, and evidence thus far only correlates lower blood taurine with age-related conditions like heart ailments and neurodegenerative decline.

Animal Research Shows Taurine Extends Lifespan and Improves Metabolism

Dr. Stanfield’s review of the science behind taurine starts with promising findings from animal studies showing that taurine extends worm lifespan by 23% and mouse lifespan by 12%. Moreover, the mice that were administered taurine had less age-associated weight gain, were stronger and faster, had improved insulin sensitivity, had less DNA damage, and had better functioning mitochondria — the cell’s powerhouse.

Further animal results presented were from monkeys given taurine for six months. These monkeys gained less weight with age, exhibited improved bone density, had better insulin sensitivity, and showed less DNA damage. Overall, the animal studies from worms, mice, and monkeys point in a positive direction for the potential of taurine as an aging intervention.

Human Studies Suggest Improved Exercise Endurance and Metabolism from Taurine

Next, Dr. Stanfield reviewed human trials exploring the effects of taurine supplementation. He went over an analysis of 10 studies (a meta analysis) from May 2018, which suggests that 1 to 6 grams of taurine a day can improve physical endurance performance. While this study gives some hope for possible physiological enhancement from taurine, Dr. Stanfield was far more excited about a more recent analysis of human trials using taurine supplementation.

This meta analysis, released in May 2024, incorporated data from 25 human trials involving over 1,000 participants. The analysis sought to find whether taurine supplementation reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome — a condition marked by low insulin sensitivity as well as high cholesterol and blood pressure. The metabolic syndrome-associated measurements analyzed in this study were cholesterol, blood pressure, blood fats (triglycerides), blood insulin levels, blood sugar concentrations, and waist circumference.

Scientists who conducted this meta-analysis found that supplementing with 1 to 6 grams of taurine a day was associated with decreased fasting blood sugar levels, blood pressure, triglycerides, harmful LDL cholesterol, and insulin levels. At the same time, taurine had no effect on body weight. Overall, the analysis also showed that taurine usage is safe. Moreover, these findings suggest an association between taurine supplementation and better cardiovascular and metabolic health.

One possible concern of this study was that, of the 25 human trials analyzed, 18 lacked crucial information as to how they were conducted. This made these 18 studies at risk of bias, according to Dr. Stanfield. The remaining seven studies had low risk of bias, according to Dr. Stanfield, though, and none of the trials had a high risk of bias. These findings pertaining to bias suggest that more human studies with low risk of bias need to be performed to confirm taurine’s pro-metabolic effects.

Another crucial issue was that the studies analyzed in the meta-analysis mostly had short durations. In fact, the majority of these trials lasted no more than two months, with only a few extending up to a year. Due to this limitation, the authors of the analysis stressed the need of longer-term studies to validate taurine’s efficacy thoroughly.

Brad Stanfield Supplements with 1 Gram of Taurine Daily

All the same, given the safety profile of taurine, the encouraging animal research, and the initial positive human studies regarding exercise and metabolic health, Dr. Stanfield has elected to supplement with taurine. Since Dr. Stanfield also supplements with magnesium and because magnesium needs to be bonded with another compound due to its chemical structure, he supplements with magnesium bonded to taurine — called magnesium taurate. As such, Dr. Stanfield’s daily magnesium taurate supplement contains about 1 gram of taurine.

More Monkey Studies to Test Taurine’s Effects on Lifespan

In his YouTube video, Dr. Stanfield reviews promising animal research as well as human trials suggesting exercise endurance and metabolic health enhancement with taurine supplementation. Since taurine supplementation was associated with reductions in measurements like blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, and insulin levels — all metabolic syndrome-related factors — taurine may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome has been associated with a higher risk of death, so people at risk for or who have metabolic syndrome may live longer without disease (a concept called healthspan) by using taurine. This idea remains speculative, though, and longer-term studies of taurine’s effects on metabolism need to be performed for confirmation.

Of the animal research with taurine, the monkey study was the only one that did not examine taurine’s effects on lifespan. This may be due to monkeys living longer than worms and mice, which would require that a lifespan experiment with monkeys take more time.

Since human trials testing taurine’s effects on lifespan are cost-prohibitive and would take even more time, future studies of taurine’s effects on lifespan could be done with monkeys instead. Monkeys are evolutionarily more closely related to humans than worms and mice, so if taurine were to extend monkey lifespan, this could serve as more evidence for taurine’s capacity to extend healthspan and possibly lifespan in humans.