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Longevity, Cardiovascular Disease, and Taurine Part 2 of 2

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Longevity, Cardiovascular Disease, and Taurine Part 2 of 2

Taurine has been approved for the treatment of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) in Japan for several years.  In addition to relieving breathlessness with exertion and fluid retention, it can also eliminate the need for drugs such as digoxin.  Taurine has been found to increase exercise capacity of CHF patients and may prolong lifespan.

Taurine has also proved effective in preventing hypertension from developing.  A study of 120 prehypertensive patients receiving 1.6 grams of taurine per day for 12 weeks had decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.  The higher the initial blood pressure, the greater improvement was seen with taurine supplementation.  The factors identified were decreases in oxidative stress, sympathetic tone, and inflammation, combined with improved kidney function and calcium homeostasis.

Taurine has several beneficial effects on vascular tissue which inhibit or reverse the atherosclerotic process.  These include inhibition of apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress.  Taurine inhibits smooth muscle cell proliferation, which is part of the cascade of events leading to the development of atherosclerotic plaque.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability.  A main contributor to neuronal death during stroke is the accumulation of glutamate.  Taurine helps protect cells from excess glutamate by reducing the overload of calcium and reducing oxidative stress.

For people who don’t like or are allergic to fish, three grams of taurine per day in divided doses is a typical regimen.  In a study of individuals with severe hypertension, the subjects experienced a significant drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure withing two months after taking 1 gram of taurine in their tea three times a day.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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