Flattening the biological age curve by improving metabolic health: to taurine or not to taurine, that’s the question

Kwok M. Ho, Anna Lee, William Wu, Matthew T.V. Chan, Lowell Ling, Jeffrey Lipman, Jason Roberts, Edward Litton, Gavin M. Joynt, Martin Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The aging population is an important issue around the world especially in developed countries. Although medical advances have substantially extended life span, the same cannot be said for the duration of health span. We are seeing increasing numbers of elderly people who are frail and/or have multiple chronic conditions; all of these can affect the quality of life of the elderly population as well as increase the burden on the healthcare system. Aging is mechanistically related to common medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease, cognitive decline, and frailty. A recently accepted concept termed ‘Accelerated Biological Aging’ can be diagnosed when a person’s biological age —as measured by biomarkers of DNA methylation —is older than their corresponding chronological age. Taurine, a conditionally essential amino acid, has received much attention in the past few years. A substantial number of animal studies have provided a strong scientific foundation suggesting that this amino acid can improve cellular and metabolic health, including blood glucose control, so much that it has been labelled one of the ‘longevity amino acids’. In this review article, we propose the rationale that an adequately powered randomized-controlled-trial (RCT) is needed to confirm whether taurine can meaningfully improve metabolic and microbiome health, and biological age. This trial should incorporate certain elements in order to provide the much-needed evidence to guide doctors, and also the community at large, to determine whether this promising and inexpensive amino acid is useful in improving human metabolic health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-823
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geriatric Cardiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023


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