Taurine has been discussed a lot on the internet in the context of the domestic cat’s diet as it is an essential nutrient. For cats a diet lacking in sufficient quantities of taurine can lead to taurine deficiency the symptoms of which can include feline taurine retinopathy, or more commonly, feline central retinal degeneration (FCRD). It is a seriously important ingredient for cats.
Taurine is added as an important supplement to commercially prepared both wet and dry. The nutrient is naturally found in meats and fish and therefore in many human high protein foods and of course the cat’s prey animals such as rodents.
Taurine is found in the brain, retina, organs and muscle tissue. Research indicates that it might be the driver of the ageing process. A study by researchers at Columbia University, New York, found that a taurine supplement ‘increased the healthy lifespan of worms by between ten and twenty-three percent. For mice the extension to their lifespans was between ten and twelve percent.
The argue that the equivalent gain for humans could be seven or eight years.
The Times reports that no studies of taurine supplements have been carried out on humans. However, a study of 12,000 people found that those with higher levels of taurine in their bodies appeared to be in better health.
Some energy drinks contain taurine and it can be bought online as a supplement for human consumption.
Dr Vijay Yadav told the BBC:
Let us wait for the clinical trials to be completed before recommending to the wider population that they go to the shelf in the grocery store and buy taurine.
Well, two thoughts, (1) most interested people will buy taurine supplements online from Amazon I suspect and (2) extending one’s lifespan is the Holy Grail of medical research. This study should interest a lot of people. It does me.