Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Taurine Increases Fatty Acid Oxidation During Aerobic Exercise

Figure 1: Molecular structure of
L-Taurine (HMDB v2.5)
Regular readers of the this blog, will already be acquainted with the various beneficial health-/performance-effects of taurine. A new study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (Rutherford. 2010) reveals that supplementation with 1.66 g of taurine before 1 hr before cycling at 66.5% ± 1.9% VO2max for 90 min, which was followed immediately by a time trial (doing 5 kJ of work/kg body mass as fast as possible), resulted in in a 16% increase (5 g, ~84 kJ; p < .05) in total fat oxidation over the 90-min exercise period compared with CON and PL.

In view of the fact, that shifting exercise metabolism from carbohydrate to fatty acid oxidation is desirable not only for dieters, but for endurance athletes as well (even a lean marathon runner has much more energy stored as fat reserves than in his glycogen reservoirs), dieters and athletes may well benefit from pre-exercise supplementation of taurine. While the former might marginally increase fat loss, the latter could well improve their endurance, although the scientists could not measure  direct effect on time-trial perfomance.

Further evidence for taurine's positive effect on exercise endurance comes from a 2009 study by Yatabe, who found that in rats supplemented with taurine "time to exhaustion was significantly increased by taurine administration" (Yatabe. 2009).