It's tempting to grab for an energy drink if you're feeling sluggish and in need of a little pick-me-up since these drinks provide an immediate burst of energy.
And if you've ever looked through the ingredients, you could have came across a substance called taurine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid that can be found in foods like meat and fish, as well as in your own body.
Now, new study that was just published in the journal Science has showed that it might add an additional seven to eight years onto your life expectancy. Even though your body produces taurine, the amounts of this vitamin typically drop with age in all animals and plants, including humans.
After doing research on animals that had reached their middle years, a group of researchers from Columbia University in New York came to the conclusion that restoring the amount of an amino acid to that which it had when the animals were younger increased their lifespan by more than 10%.
This exciting new step in the never-ending search for longer life started with the researchers attempting to determine precisely what the distinctions are between the young and the elderly in the blood of various animals.
Taurine was discovered to be one of the molecules that had degraded'most significantly,' with old persons having amounts of the amino acid that were eighty percent lower than those seen in young people. This finding is fascinating.
In order to study the effects of taurine on lifespan, the research team administered a daily dosage to mice that were 14 months old, which is about similar to the age of 45 years in humans.
It was discovered that the mice not only lived for a longer period of time, but that they also looked to be in better health.Taurine-supplemented mice had a higher overall health score and gave the impression of being much younger.
They had a younger-looking immune system, enhanced memory, and bone density, higher energy expenditure, and improved memory. They also had a leaner body composition.
If the findings from the mice were transferred to humans, it would be the equivalent of adding seven to eight years to a person's lifespan. Taurine seems to "hit the engine room of ageing," leading experts to believe that it really has the potential to be a "elixir of life."
In spite of the encouraging results, formal clinical studies are still required before definitive conclusions can be drawn for people. In these trials, some of the participants will be given the amino acid, while others will be given a placebo tablet.
It is currently unknown why ingesting taurine may slow down the ageing process, nor is it known whether or not there are any risks involved with doing so. Taurine may not function because of changes in human biology, the researchers said, or there may be an evolutionary explanation for why levels naturally fall with age. These are both possibilities,
Should you increase the amount of taurine that you consume?
It is still unclear whether or whether taurine supplementation has an effect on the health and life span of people, in addition to the safe dosage range for this amino acid.
This is particularly significant given that the quantity that was given to the mice was far larger than the level that is typically seen in supplements used by humans.
In light of this information, the researchers strongly discouraged anyone who wanted to increase their longevity from purchasing taurine tablets or energy beverages that were loaded with the amino acid.
Despite the fact that becoming older is a natural part of life, scientists are always gaining new insights into the biological processes that underlie the ageing process."This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge and most assuredly has exciting implications for the human benefit; however, further testing is required."
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