Taurine, a supplement found in energy drinks, may slow aging, according to a .
The study found the supplement helps animals like mice and monkeys live longer.
“Taurine is a really interesting compound, it is chemically an amino acid,” said John White, a professor at Washington State University and department chair of pharmacotherapy at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
“It’s been used in various energy drinks,” he said.
It’s also found naturally in breast milk, meat, and fish, for example.
“It is something that we obtain via our diets from animal products, and it’s also something that we create,” White said.
It’s one of the most abundant amino acids in the body and is used for action in cells. However, the production of taurine in our body decreases as we age.
The study found that giving taurine supplements to mice and monkeys improved their lifespan.
“When they supplemented the mice with taurine, there was an increase in longevity between 10% and 12%,” White said. The study also shows that life expectancy at 28 months increased by 18%-25%.
The supplement also improved the function of bone, muscles, the immune system, and other parts of the body.
So does taurine help humans in the same way? Testing in humans is the next step.
“It’s not really known whether or not the taurine, the change in taurine concentration, is a driver of aging or whether or not it’s just a rider with aging,” White explained.