Is There a Role for Taurine Supplementation
in the Management of Diabetes?
Katherine Chauncey, PhD, RD, CDE
Taurine is a small sulfur-containing amino acid and is one of the most abundant free amino acids in humans. Its real importance has been recognized only within the past 25 years. Once considered non-essential, taurine is now considered "conditionally essential." In pre-term and term infants, taurine insufficiency results in impaired fat absorption, bile acid secretion, retinal function, and hepatic function, all of which can be reversed by taurine supplementation. An increasing body of data demonstrates that taurine at pharmacological concentrations alters carbohydrate metabolism. People with diabetes have lower than average blood levels of taurine, but whether this means they should take extra taurine is unclear. This presentation will describe the steps involved in designing and implementing a clinical trial to study taurine supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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