Taurine and BCAA’s Increase Muscle Mass
by: Robbie Durand
In the body, taurine is synthesized from the essential amino acid methionine and its related non-essential amino acid cysteine. Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish and breast milk, and it’s commonly available as a dietary supplement. Because of taurine’s essential role in the body, supplementing with taurine can provide numerous health benefits, including restoring insulin sensitivity, mitigating diabetic complications, reversing cardiovascular disease factors, preventing and treating fatty liver disease, and more. Taurine has many biological roles in the body, it has antioxidant and is important for the body because of its part in the maintenance of organ and cell function. One theory is that taurine, together with glutathione, helps protect the cells against harmful compounds that are released when energy is generated. Taurine is essential for cardiovascular function, and development and function of skeletal muscle, and the central nervous system. A study released in November 2012 made the bold statement that taurine is one of the most essential substances in the body. The authors wrote: “Considering its broad distribution, its many cytoprotective attributes, and its functional significance in cell development, nutrition, and survival, taurine is undoubtedly one of the most essential substances in the body.”
Taurine has also been found to enhance muscle recuperation as well. In particular, it was reported that taurine has a cell protective effect against free radical-mediated skeletal muscle injury induced by downhill running in rats. The authors also confirmed that oral taurine administration in rats reduces exercise- and drug-induced oxidative stress. Previous studies have evaluated the effectiveness of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation for preventing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and muscle damage induced by eccentric exercise. Since taurine has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, researchers investigated the combined effect of BCAA and taurine on delayed onset muscle soreness and muscle damage. Thirty-six untrained male subjects were assigned to four groups (placebo, BCAA + placebo, placebo + taurine, and BCAA + taurine
In the testes, taurine acts mostly as an anti-oxidant compound and protect the testes and localized structures from oxidative stress. With age, the testes begin to experience cell damage due to oxidative stress much like other internal organs. The testes are one type of tissue where you find high levels of taurine. In the testes, taurine acts mostly as an anti-oxidant compound and protect the testes and localized structures from oxidative stress. Substances such as nicotine and alcohol, which increase oxidative stress can cause reductions in testosterone, but taurine appears to attenuate reductions of testosterone from these pro-oxidative agents. One study examined the impact of taurine on testosterone function in rats. After five weeks of supplementation, it was noticed that the rats concentration of testosterone had increased significantly. Another study found that taurine supplementation in rats increased testosterone levels significantly as well as improving overall sperm quality. Steroids users may prevent the decline of their testosterone and sperm production by using taurine supplementation. Researchers injected lab animals for two months with the anabolic steroid nandrolone decanoate and discovered that taurine supplementation drastically reduced the adverse endocrinological side effects of this anabolic steroids. Researchers injected weekly with nandrolone decanoate while another group of rats received nandrolone decanoate injections but also taurine supplementation. The injections of the steroid reduced the rats’ testosterone concentrations and shrunk their testes. Taurine supplementation couldn’t prevent these effects, but did reduce them considerably. At the end of the study, taurine reduced the adverse side effects of the anabolic steroid nandrolone decanoate damage. The rats that were administered nandrolone decanoate in conjunction with taurine had less sperm damage and inflammation in the testes. Nandrolone decanoate reduced the production of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of testosterone, such as 3- and 17-beta-HSD, but taurine largely halted this reduction. Nandrolone decanoate reduced the concentration of glutathione in the testes, but this didn’t happen when the rats were given taurine as well.
And lastly, the researchers observed more genetic damage in the rats that had been injected with nandrolone decanoate, but not in those that had also had taurine. In sum, taurine entirely abolished nandrolone decanoate-induced deleterious side effects of nandrolone administration and protected rat sperm and testis from injury by its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects. Taurine or L-Taurine is an amino acid that is considered to be the second most abundant in the body’s muscle after glutamine.This may be of key importance to various types of athletes due to a broad range of sports specific activities that must be accomplished for an athlete to achieve success. Whether an athlete is participating in a short yet intense workout session or a lengthy moderately intense activity, taurine depletion will be equal. Thus, it appears that most if not all athletes may benefit from supplementing with taurine.
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