Researchers may be one step closer to finding the fountain of youth.
According to a led by researchers at Columbia University, a deficiency of taurine, which is commonly found in energy drinks, is a driver of aging.
The same study also found that taurine supplements slowed down the aging process in worms, mice and monkeys.
“This study suggests that taurine could be an elixir of life within us that helps us live longer and healthier lives,” said Vijay Yadav, assistant professor of genetics & development at Columbia.
A notable portion of the study focused on how taurine supplements could also improve the quality of a person’s life. Mice that were given taurine supplements at age 2, which is comparable age 60 in humans, showed signs of increased energy, improved strength and a better immune system.
“Not only did we find that the animals lived longer, we also found that they’re living healthier lives,” Yadav said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, taurine is naturally found in food with protein, including meat and fish. However, it’s also been consistently marketed in energy drinks.
The study’s authors say it’s still too early to know if taurine supplements would have the same effect on humans. They noted that “well-controlled taurine supplementation trials” would be required to get that answer.