For many of you out there, taurine probably first registers in your mind as an ingredient in popular energy drinks and pre-workout supplements. (This is actually somewhat ironic, since taurine is not a stimulant, and is likely to have, if anything, the opposite effect.)
Indeed, the importance of taurine, from a nutritional standpoint, has been somewhat ambiguous. Taurine is not an essential nutrient for adult humans. We are able to synthesize small amounts of taurine from the amino acids methionine and cysteine. Consequently, frank deficiency is unlikely, even in the context of a diet that does not provide it.
However, emerging evidence suggests that this amino acid-like molecule is linked to a plethora of health benefits, including better blood sugar regulation, decreased oxidative stress, lower blood pressure, and so on. And one reason why it is worth investigating taurine, despite its non-essentiality, is the capacity to generate taurine endogenously may vary between individuals. Moreover, newly published research suggests that levels of taurine may deteriorate with age, which brings us to this week’s guest.
In this episode of humanOS Radio, we are pleased to welcome Vijay Yadav to the show. Vijay is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University in the Department of Genetics and Development. He is the senior author of an intriguing new study, published recently in Science, which begins to unravel the relationship between taurine and the aging process.
First, Yadav and his team measured and compared blood taurine concentrations, at various ages, in mice, monkeys, and humans. They found a consistent decrease in serum taurine associated with advancing age in all assessed species. And this drop was substantial. Taurine levels in elderly adult humans were reduced by 80%, compared to younger subjects.
But are these changes, to quote the authors, “passengers or drivers of aging?” In other words, do decreases in circulating taurine bear a causal relationship with the hallmarks of physiological aging and age-related disease, or is it merely correlational?
If reductions in taurine cause aging, that would imply that restoring taurine to a youthful level could extend not just lifespan, but also healthspan. Not just living longer, but living better. The only way to begin to answer this question would be to perform a series of experiments, which is precisely what Vijay and his colleagues did.
To learn about what they found, check out the interview!
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Dan Pardi — 00:00 :
Hello everyone, Welcome back to humanOS Radio! Today we are going to talk about a molecule called taurine. If you subscribe to our Saturday newsletter or if you follow us on Twitter then you know that we have been interested in Taurine for some time.
Taurine is an amino acid-like molecule and a lot of people might have first heard of it by reading the ingredient list on the back of certain energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster. It occurs naturally in various foods, including seafood, meat, and dairy products, but the importance of taurine from a nutritional standpoint is somewhat ambiguous. Taurine is not an essential nutrient. Humans are able to synthesize taurine from the amino acid methionine and cystine. Consequently, taurine is regarded as being conditionally essential or semi-essential back in the early nineteen eighties.
Taurine started to emerge as a factor in health and longevity. The World Health Organization coordinated a global observational study in which they performed health examinations on groups of people from 61 different populations distributed around the world. The researchers measured biomarkers in blood and urine, and then followed the subjects for more than a decade to see how they fared. They found that higher levels of urinary taurine, which would indicate greater dietary intake were strongly linked to lower risks of cardiovascular mortality and explained a substantial percentage of the variance in cardiac events between the studied populations.
Then the research team approached a group who had the lowest levels of Taurine among all populations studied. This was a group of Tibetans who did not consume fish for religious reasons. The volunteers took 3 grams of Taurine every day. After two months, their blood pressure drops by an average of 14 points. It has been linked to a plethora of other benefits, ranging from improved athletic performance, better blood sugar regulation, reduced oxidative stress, and so on. And one reason why it’s worth investigating taurine, despite not being essential, is that it is possible that the capacity to generate taurine may vary between individuals, and new research suggests that it may deteriorate with age. Which brings us to today’s interview.
Today, we welcome Vijay Yadav to the show. Vijay is an assistant professor at Columbia University in the Department of Genetics and Development. He is the senior author on an intriguing new study published in the prestigious journal Science on the relationship between touring and the aging process, which we are eager to discuss. So without further ado, Vijay, welcome to humanOS Radio and thank you for joining us.
Vijay Vadav — 02:42 :
Thank you, Dan. It is a pleasure.
Dan Pardi — 02:44 :
What made you interested in touring in the first place?
Vijay Vadav — 02:47 :
It was 2012 We were actually investigating what are the molecules that change with age in humans and we performed a large metabolomic study in aged humans. And what we noted is that one of the most dramatically downregulated molecule in this screen was Taurine. I didn’t know anything about Taurine 13 years ago and I asked my post-docs to start looking into this molecule. And what we realized is that despite the fact that Taurine has been discovered in 1827 in ox bile, nothing much was known till about nineteen fifties and in nineteen fifties pet foods were introduced in society and this introduction of pet foods led to a variety of diseases in pets. One of the most striking aspects of this entire episode was that cats started turning blind. And so a lot of scientists were hired to figure out why the cats are turning blind when they are on pet foods. And it took around 25 years for scientists to discover that in fact their diet was deficient in one molecule only and that molecule was Taurine. This study was published in 1975 in Science that showed the blindness or retinal degeneration in cats is caused by Taurine deficiency. And 20 years passed by. Another study was published in Science again in 1987 where they showed that the cardiovascular abnormalities also in the cats was caused by taurine deficiency. Since these events in eighties, taurine has been shown to be associated with variety of health parameters and we became interested in taurine because of the levels that were low in aged humans.
Dan Pardi — 04:40 :
You reminded me that my professor during my Ph.D., Jamie Seitzer, always said that a good scientist is a good historian, and I really appreciate the historical count of how Tori became of interest, how we first identified. It’s important I didn’t know that, and I’m glad that you shared it with our audience. So let’s jump to the study. And the study has many different experiments. The paper has many different experiments described in it. And one of the first things you did was compare serum levels of taurine in humans, mice, and monkeys. How much did the abundance of taurine in these animals decline with age?
Vijay Vadav — 05:18 :
So the different species have a different ability to produce and metabolize taurine in humans for example. It is semi essential in adults but is essential in the children. When the babies are growing, because babies cannot produce it and they need to be supplemented with taurine, and that is why baby formulas have taurine in them. In the cats they cannot produce taurine at all. In mice they can produce taurine to some extent from the liver. So most of these species produce taurine from the liver. What we found is that Taurine levels decline with age in mice. They bend down by around two third. In the monkeys that went down by around 70 %. In humans, the levels were declining as we aged. And this is very interesting to us because it say two things. One, either taurine levels are declining with each are drivers of aging that means it actively participates in the process, or it is just a passenger which is just going along for a ride.
Dan Pardi — 06:21 :
I liked your description of that. Why do you suppose that? These serum levels of taurine decline with age. Do you think it could have to do with endogenous synthesis or changes in dietary patterns as we age?
Vijay Vadav — 06:34 :
The answer to that we do not know. There are variety of contributing factors in metabolism. One is the in dietary intake, the second one would be absorption from the gut and the third one would be synthesis from the liver primarily. So at the present time we do not know why the levels decline with age. And we are investigating into this process in humans as well with the dietary changes and what is the effect of that to influences for instance in thorium metabolism and its levels in the blood.
Dan Pardi — 07:07 :
So it could be changes in dietary intake, it could be changes in absorption or changes in production by the liver. And the answer to that is not know that would be for future studies. So what we do see is a consistent decline. In touring levels across different animal models and it does seem to take a major nose dive around middle age. So next you performed an experiment using middle-aged mice who were fed either taurine or a control solution. Did taurine have an impact on health after it was taken?
Vijay Vadav — 07:39 :
So taurine levels in middle-aged and mice are low. So around 14 months old mice had low taurine levels. The best way to investigate whether it is a driver or a passenger of aging is to investigate the effect of an intervention. And when we supplemented Taurine once daily to mice for life, these animals live longer. The females on average live 12 % longer and males 10 %. Not only did they live longer, they were healthier as well because you don’t want to be living longer and unhealthy. So when we investigated variety of different health parameters of organ functions. They had a low-fat amount, they had more bone density, better glucose tolerance, better muscle strength, they had a better memory, lower anxiety and their immune system was functioning similar to younger mice, and that was very exciting because it told us that overall the intervention of taurine improved the health of these animals when they grew older.
Dan Pardi — 08:44 :
So we see evidence that restoring levels of taurine as endogenous synthesis deteriorates for whatever the reason is that decline happens. We see that and we see then some benefits that are conferred by supplementing with it. Do you think starting taurine supplementation earlier in life could offer any additional benefits or is it really just maintaining a level after the decline begins so?
Vijay Vadav — 09:09 :
The answer to that is bit complex. First and foremost, we do not know at the present time when do taurine levels decline. To give you big context, the embryos or during gestation the fetal tissues have 5 to 10 fold higher taurine levels compared to when animal is born that I am talking about humans here. So now it raises a very different hypothesis to be tested. Is it very early on the levels decline or? It is just the middle age when the levels are declining and old age is having deficiency of taurine. So these questions are important and we are investigating in the human longitudinal studies using different ethnic populations to investigate when do the levels actually decline because different ethnic groups need to be investigated to see whether the ethnicity or different genetic background in humans. Have different taurine metabolic processes which are abrogated because humans are outbred population. We are Africans to begin with, but we migrated out of Africa a long time ago and now we are outbred populations. So our dietary changes, our genetic evolution has changed since that event. So it will be investigated. Different ethnic groups, different dietary influences in humans. When do the torrent levels decline? The answer to that we do not know precisely.
Dan Pardi — 10:36 :
I thought that might be the answer to the question, but I wanted to see if you’d discovered any signal that might suggest that supplementing with higher amounts earlier in life might delay decline. But yeah, another interesting question to dig into later. So a couple interesting things here. We know that calorie restriction by itself of course is linked to life span extension. How did taurine supplementation influence energy intake and body mass in your experiments?
Vijay Vadav — 11:01 :
The energy intake. The food intake was not affected by taurine supplementation in animals. I am talking about mice only here. And when we looked at the energy expenditure or fat mass in addition to the food intake, what we found is that the adiposity or the fat mass was reduced in taurine-supplemented mice. This reduction in fat mass was caused by a major increase in their energy expenditure. They were consuming similar amounts of food but they were spending much more energy to burning more and that led to reduction in fat mass. But this reduction in fat mass happened due to increase in energy expenditure. Because when we investigated what caused the decrease in fat mass or later on slight reduction in body mass around 8 to 10 % was that these animals were spending much more energy before the body mass or the fat mass declined.
Dan Pardi — 11:57 :
To remind our listeners, this is in rodents and not in humans, although that is the Holy Grail for many people. You can eat the same amount and you’re going to burn more calories and have less fat.
Vijay Vadav — 12:08 :
I will add to that when we look at in the humans low taurine levels in aged humans, 60 year old humans is associated with more obesity. So that will say that possibly it may have association in humans as well.
Dan Pardi — 12:22 :
So even now, that’s an association. That we do see at least the connection between declining levels and increase that mass as we age. Another thing that jumped out to me was the change in gastrointestinal transit time in touring treated animals. Could alterations and nutrient absorption play a role in the observed benefits?
Vijay Vadav — 12:42 :
It is possible definitely because we do not know the gastrointestinal transit time in the starting fat animals was faster, so we need to investigate that in more precision. Whether nutrient absorption or gut microbiome change to be taurine supplemented demise because we were giving them orally similar to oral pill here. So we need to investigate these aspects more precision. But nutrient sensing see in the cells seems to be affected because taurine did influence the nutrient-sensing process which gets dysregulated with age in the cells.
Dan Pardi — 13:16 :
I found that interesting in the part we were talking about. The influence of taurine on the hallmarks or aging or cellular mechanisms that are altered during the aging process across various organisms. For instance, cellular senescence is a very hot topic in aging right now. How did taurine effects? In essence, I’m a toll on health span and lifespan associated with the accumulation of senescent cells. You’re absolutely.
Vijay Vadav — 13:42 :
Right, senescent cells accumulate with age. However, I would like to add to this that all the time senescence is not bad for the body. The senescence of immune cells plays a very essential role in wound healing process. We need to take senescence with the pinch of salt when we look at the aging studies. Now when we look at Taurine was suppressing senescence. So with age this accumulation of senescence cells increases in the tissues to varying degree in different tissues. And when we supplemented animals with Taurine, the senescence markers went down in different tissues. To investigate whether this suppression of senescence by Taurine is playing a role, we next looked at Taurine deficient mice and they had a high senescence. So to investigate what is the contribution of senescence, we next treated these Taurine deficient mice, which have a high senescence with synolytics, because synolytics is going to reduce the number of senesence cells. What you found was very interesting. Only about 20 % of the lifespan of Turin division mice was improved. This told us that there are many aging features which might be affected besides in essence which are playing a role in taurine mode of.
Dan Pardi — 14:55 :
Action Shout out to previous podcast guests. Buck Institute Professor Judith Campisi was the 1st guest that I had on the show talking about senescence. She was clear to warn me that even though we’re excited about. The potential of affecting the process of senescence to age better over time, in essence, is there for a reason. So whether it’s to prevent cancer or helping a process of wound healing, it’s going to take a while before we can figure out how to do it. Where it benefits far outweigh the consequences of manipulating that system, And Paul Robbins from the University of Minnesota was on the show talking about it, too. So glad to see that taurine could be a valuable player here in modifying the senescence process for better aging. As you warn, caveats come with this. Thanks for your input there. How about the impact of taurine on telomere shortening and the consequences of telomerase deficiency? What did you find there?
Vijay Vadav — 15:56 :
So Taurine did not affect the length of telomeres. It did not affect telomere extension but in, Animal studies, what we noted is that if the animals are telomerase deficient and they do not have telomeres, the DNA damage gets accumulated. If you have more DNA damage, you have more senescence. You can now supplement these ways deficient. In this case, we use fish as a model zebra fish. You can now overcome the telomerase deficiency-induced death and that was very exciting to us that you now have a molecule. That can overcome the negative consequences of the telemorase deficiency in the Organism.
Dan Pardi — 16:39 :
Very interesting taurine, perhaps best known for its role as an antioxidant. Did Taurine impact DNA damage due to oxidative stress?
Vijay Vadav — 16:48 :
Taurine had an effect on the variety of oxidative stress markers. So you are absolutely right, during the aging process these reactive oxygen species accumulating tissues and cause damages. To different biomolecules like proteins, lipids and DNA. And when we supplemented animals with Taurine, what we noted is that the oxidative DNA damage was reduced, protein damage by the oxidative species was reduced, lipid damage was reduced, and overall it was making these cells respond better to these oxidative stresses during aging.
Dan Pardi — 17:24 :
Right, yes. And I noticed that the supplementation suppressed DNA damage and improved. The survival of mice after oxidated DNA damage, not only was there interesting biochemical signatures of less damage but also the clinical outcome of improved survival. Yes, you’re right. Okay, next marker. And by the way, moving through these quickly because there were so much that was studied. I want to get to all of them. Inflammation is. Commonly observed during aging and sometimes referred to as inflammaging, how did Taurine affect inflammatory markers?
Vijay Vadav — 17:57 :
To start with we looked at different immune cell populations in mice, in monkeys as well as in humans with inflammatory markers with the taurine levels. And what we found is that in mice and monkeys, taurine-supplemented animals had an immune system that had a less inflammatory state. They were functioning closer to younger animal's immune system. And we were happy to see that in humans with 12.000 thousand subjects that we investigated with inflammatory marker CRP. What we noted is that higher Taurine levels in humans were associated with lower inflammation in humans in each subject as well. So taurine was making the immune system respond better to challenges.
Dan Pardi — 18:45 :
How about mitochondrial health? Did Taurine have an impact on mitochondrial health?
Vijay Vadav — 18:49 :
One of the mechanism investigated in our studies was that Taurine is actively imported in mitochondria. Once Taurine enters the cells, mitochondria take up chunk of it and in mitochondria it affects the activity of mitochondrial complex one for your listeners. Mitochondrial complex one is a major part of the electron transport chain which produces energy in our cells or ATP. And Taurine was increasing the ATP production in the mitochondria by activating complex one and that was very interesting to us and we looked at the mechanism in this paper, how Taurine affects the complex one activity.
Dan Pardi — 19:36 :
Mitochondria have been a topic of interest of mine for quite a long time. Energy production is tied to all other hallmarks of aging. So anything that can helpfully augment energy production seems to improve the aging process in some ways at least. So I’m glad that it had an effect here. It was great to see there’s much interest now in epigenetic changes associated with aging, did taurine effect DNA and stone maturation.
Vijay Vadav — 20:00 :
Depending on the tissue you look at, Taurine had a different effects. For example in the case of skeletal muscle and cerebral cortex when we look at DNA methylation pattern. Taurine supplemented old animals. The DNA methylation was similar to young animals, meaning the methylation pattern improved when we looked at liver. It did not. It tells us something about the biology of Taurine that it is improving the DNA methylation pattern in some tissues but not in some tissues like in liver for instance. We do not know the reason for this divergence in different tissues response to DNA methylation or epigenetics. We are looking into it. Is there transcriptome which is having a different responsivity in different issues? That is why you have a differential methylation patterns and the aging methylation clock is not well established yet. For blood it is very well characterized but for other tissues is still evolving. I don’t think we have a good aging methylation clock for every tissue in the body at the moment.
Dan Pardi — 21:02 :
A new measure of epigenetic age – Elysium is the company, Indexes the product – they are trying to advance epigenetic age methylation clocks by providing tissue age levels. So not only getting an overall global biological age estimate from epigenetic marks, but also looking at a tissue level as well. You might have some tissues that are younger than your chronological age and some that are older. I’m mentioning this year to illustrate this point that it does differ between tissues which in an Organism I was a bit surprised. That the liver methylation patterns were not altered since synthesis occurs in the liver. Maybe that’s for a particular reason actually.
Vijay Vadav — 21:41 :
I personally think that the Taurine is not able to enter liver cells, but they already have too much of it.
Dan Pardi — 21:47 :
Right, yes. Alterations in nutrient sensing pathways. This is another hallmark of aging. Was there an impact of terrain on that front?
Vijay Vadav — 21:56 :
We did look at the nutrient-sensing processes in the cells and what we found is that the. taurine was inducing autophagy and it was reducing the protein translation. So overall it was acting downstream of established nutrient sensors. For example, M Thor is a very established nutrient sensor, but we find that the downstream processes to this pathway were affected by taurine supplementation. It improved them.
Dan Pardi — 22:24 :
You mentioned that taurine had an impact on autophagy. What is autophagy?
Vijay Vadav — 22:28 :
So autophagy is a process by which cells generate small molecules. This process goes down with AIDS, so we are not able to effectively cope with different stressful situations. We have ways to improve autophagy, for example. In this case, what we found is that Taurine is able to increase autophagy. And able to create those intracellular resources, for example, amino acids or nucleotides, which can then be utilized for cellular health would some.
Dan Pardi — 23:00 :
Possibly call touring A fasting memetics and fasting is one of the clearest and most potent ways to trigger autophagy.
Vijay Vadav — 23:08 :
The answer I do not know because we did not investigate it to be precise, but it did not create, for example, it did not reduce food intake. If it is making a fasting pneumatic, it has to do with at the cellular level, but we have not investigated this question.
Dan Pardi — 23:25 :
Your study also found a positive effect of torain on the health of stem cells or their renewal. Did this contribute to tissue regeneration and any of your animal models?
Vijay Vadav — 23:37 :
We only looked at two different tissues. We looked at the gut stem cell proliferation and in the skin stem cell. We found that the number of the stem cells after year of Turin supplementation in mice was increased by two to three-fold and this may contribute to the age induced decline in the stem cell population or stem cell health, which can be improved on this scenario at least in two tissues we investigated. It is improving the regeneration capacity, possibly in skin and in gut, but we have not tested it through an intervention whether this. An increase in stem cell health by taurine supplementation is improving the regenerative capacity in these tissues.
Dan Pardi — 24:21 :
As we know when we age or ability to regenerate new tissues, does decline. Does this improvement in stem cell activity as seen in skin in the gut, is that seen elsewhere as well? Of course that is not yet been looked at. And then does that actually lead to their gender capacity in these tissues, which is going to be dependent upon other factors like inflammation etcetera, so because it’s having an effect. On other hallmarks of aging, you might imagine that this could lead to true regenerative capacity improvements. Then you examined circulating levels of thorium metabolites in a large cohort study, the Epic No Fork study. This is in humans. What did that analysis reveal as far as how thorium levels correlate with clinical risk factors?
Vijay Vadav — 25:03 :
We measured Taurine and its metabolites in 11,966 humans. We had the health data for these people. And now we have now Taurine and metabolite data. So what we could do is to perform a clinical parameter and Taurine and its metabolite well association analysis. What this told us is that if you have a high Taurine levels, you have less obesity, less BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, lower type 2 diabetes, less inflammation and less lever damage. So overall. The low taurine levels was associated with poor health and high Taurine level in aged human was associated with better health status as far as diseases are concerned.
Dan Pardi — 25:51 :
You also have looked at a variety of different types of athletes as well as sedentary subjects, so you have to perform thought of exercise. How does exercise affect levels of Taurine and Taurine metabolites?
Vijay Vadav — 26:03 :
So you are correct, Exercise is a healthy state of human being. We were interested if a low torrent level in human is associated with poor health, what will happen in the healthy state of human being? And that is why we tested the effect of exercise. After a bout of exercise, we noted that taurine and its metabolite levels start up in the blood and that was very interesting because it points to variety of benefits mediated by exercise. Turin may be contributing to this process and of course we have not tested what will happen in people with low Turin levels etc. But it does point towards that some of the health benefits of exercise may be mediated by increase in taurine levels in the blood.
Dan Pardi — 26:45 :
You intentionally recruited different types of athletes. Did you see differences and responses or different types of exercisers?
Vijay Vadav — 26:52 :
It was very surprising that taurine levels increased with all different individuals. In sedentary individuals, it shot up. In bodybuilders, it shot up. In the marathon runners, it shot up. In the sprinters, it shot up. It tells us probably it’s just the effect of exercise. Of course, we have not tested the effect of long-term exercise. People who are regularly exercising for long term, what will their thorium levels or health response would be six months to one year down the line. And that is what we are currently testing. That’s great news.
Dan Pardi — 27:23 :
You could choose seemingly your favorite type of exercise. It’s all going to have a positive impact. Why do you think physical activity would boost taurine?
Vijay Vadav — 27:33 :
This is a very important question. The answer to that we do not know. We don’t know whether there is an increased synthesis of taurine from the liver or there is an increased release of Taurine from tissues that store it or it is affecting the metabolism of taurine. These questions we are investigating why do different exercise individuals had high Turin levels.
Dan Pardi — 27:56 :
Since exercise elicits a rise and Tory, and it appears to be more of an acute response with a return to baseline shortly after, would it be reasonable to assume that more frequent bouts of exercise would be beneficial? I kept thinking as I was reading this that perhaps one of the reasons why prolonged sedentary activity is problematic. Even if you’re exercising enough. We know that sitting too much remains an issue even in that population. Do you think this promotes the idea of more frequent bouts of movement?
Vijay Vadav — 28:25 :
I think is plausible, but it’s very difficult to say based on data that we have that frequent bouts of exercise will improve taurine levels. And for that we need to have a large cohort of individuals to test, people who are sedentary or different athlete groups. Do they have a different baseline level of taurine? And that would require a large population because we had the only 35 individuals which were put through the exercise test. So and there were males. So it could be sex differences, it could be ethnicity differences and we need to investigate those parameters going forward.
Dan Pardi — 29:02 :
Years ago I invented a type of exercise I call Intune training, which stands for integrative and opportunistic. And if we think about how exercise occurs in society, if it occurs at all, it’s usually clustered where we do all of our exercise for the day in a workout bout and then we go back to our regular life with InTUNE. The ideas that you’re integrating movement into and throughout your day and you do so in an opportunistic fashion. So you’re not trying to overly plan every movement out, but you might finish an email and you do 5 pushups or 10 squats and that you do that throughout the day. Originally it was designed to emulate a more natural movement pattern that we see in hunter-gatherer population.
Vijay Vadav — 29:43 :
I think it is a very interesting question. Some people have looked at the effect of exercise, you pointed out the hunter populations and there are some ethnic groups which are hunting as a primary source of food. And you may want to talk to Herman Ponzer because he may have a more detail about this in terms of how does a metabolite levels change with different in different hunting groups. So Herman Ponzer is a human epidemiologist and he investigates these hunting populations and you could glad you pointed out. I have reached out to him and hopefully, we would know some details about polling levels in these populations.
Dan Pardi — 30:19 :
First of all, modern diets may not reflect hunter-gatherer ancestral diets, so we’re potentially consuming less sources of taurine in the diet. Then you have changes within absorption levels within the gut. That’s a second place where we might see a deficit occur. And then of course there could be changes within the synthesis in the liver. So those are the three areas.
Dan Pardi — 30:40 :
But let’s talk about dosing. Doses of taurine used in the mouse experiments scaled allometrically to around three to six grams for an average human size. That happens to near the doses that we see in a lot of the clinical trials that are conducted in athletic performance and blood pressure. Does that seem like an appropriate amount and does body size matter? So if you’re talking about a three hundred-pound male versus a hundred-pound female, does that matter much in terms of getting the right amount of taurine for a human?
Vijay Vadav — 31:10 :
So the doses that we have used in the mouse, 500 milligrams per kg weight and 1000 milligrams per kg body weight translate to about human equivalent dose of three gram per day for eighty kg human or 6 gram per day for eighty kg human. And that according to European Food Safety Authority, up to 6 gram consumption of thorium per day is within safe limits. So the dosing seems to be about right. It is a very plausible avenue. That we are currently putting together a large clinical trial that we are listening to get funding to do the same in humans to see. You pointed out also that if the body weight is higher would you have a different requirement is possible, but also we need to note that it could be that there is a kind of a resistance to different parameters for example. Obesity leads to insulin resistance. So you have higher insulin levels, but your cells are not responding to it. So there are different avenues that one has to look at in terms of different populations and different ethnic groups. And then we would be able to come up with what is the healthy level of Taurine in different groups. That is when we would know what requirement of Taurine to boost to in these intervention trials to get a better help.
Dan Pardi — 32:34 :
Taking let’s say 3 grams before bed is not an uncommon practice because of its anxiolytic properties. Some people find that it helps them sleep better. Would you want to take a total dose and spread that out across the day? Is there some additional benefits there? Any indication about what you might suspect?
Vijay Vadav — 32:53 :
We did that in one of the pilot studies that we did in the beginning when we were putting taurine in their diet of mouse to have a whole day consumption. So mouse eat around 5 grams. So we were trying to get around 1000 milligrams per day consumption in this 5 gram of food that they were eating. What we noted is when we gave one once a day dose of Taurine to animals, their health parameters were much better improved than animals were given continuous Taurine in the diet. So of course this is an animal study here, we do not know what would be the effect in humans. And that is why we absolutely need a clinical trial to investigate these contentions and I think we would have the answer to this in next three to four years.
Dan Pardi — 33:42 :
Is blood testing a reliable indicator of your touring level status at the?
Vijay Vadav — 33:47 :
Present time The answer would be that I don’t know because the meta-analysis of obesity suggests that there could be a state of taurine resistance in obese individuals. The answer would be a bit complex here. That is why we need to test in a large population and different ethnic groups, and different body sizes. What are the healthy levels of taurine? Because unless we know that level we would not know. Let me give you one more example here. Kidney disease leads to the accumulation of taurine in the blood. If you have kidney failure, that is how the taurine is being released. So the kidney is removing excess Taurine from the body and if you have kidney failure. Or kidney disease. Taurine levels elevate in the blood. We need to investigate different disease states in humans and different body sizes, body masses, BMIs and different ethnic groups for genetic influences on Taurine metabolism before we would know a simple blood test that would be able to tell us, hey look there is a low taurine levels for your specific type and you need to supplement.
Dan Pardi — 34:57 :
So right now there’s not a reliable way to look into this for yourself it sounds like.
Vijay Vadav — 35:03 :
I think we will have this answer hopefully in under three years or four years once we have these intervention studies planned out in humans.
Dan Pardi — 35:12 :
This study garnered so much tension, it does sound like there’s quite a bit planned. What are you planning as the next step or steps?
Vijay Vadav — 35:19 :
So the next step of this research is a randomized placebo control clinical trial in humans. And we have now partners in different countries and the US, in Germany, in Finland, in Singapore, in Turkey, in Australia. And the goal is to have an umbrella of clinicians working together with the same set of health parameters being measured in humans to see the effect of taurine on human health. And that is a large undertaking because we want to do the study with as best rigor as possible and we are currently putting the study design in place to start that into trial. Hopefully, we will be able to find sufficient funding to do so as well. So that is also a major challenge, but we are having Good Hope and a lot of people are approaching to be part of the Kindle studies, both philanthropies as well as the government funding agencies.
Dan Pardi — 36:19 :
I’m glad to hear that there’s a global effort happening, that there’s more research planned, that it’s coming to the point where interventional human research to probe different populations in the study design that offers us the most confidence that you can affect human health and what assassinating line of work. Who knew that the weird ingredient in your energy drink could affect aging? Vijay, thank you so much for coming on to humanOS Radio, talking to me and our audience.
Vijay Vadav — 36:48 :
Thank you, Dan. It is my pleasure and thanks to all the collaborators on this project which brought different expertise on board to address this important and fascinating question for Human health. It took us around 11 years since the beginning to come to this point and hopefully in next three to four years we’ll have a better answer for Human Health for taurine intervention.