|Image 1: Bought in bulk, taurine is one of |
the cheapest amino acids on the market.
Carina S. Solon and her colleagues from the University of Campinas in Brazil hypothesized that "some of the activity of taurine in the control of body fat would be exerted through direct action in the hypothalamus". To verify their hypothesis, the scientists injected an acute dose of taurine (1.0, 3.0 and 5.0mM) and/or insulin intracerebroventricularly into a cannula that had been placed in the lateral ventricle of the animals more than a week before. What they found was
that the intracerebroventricular injection of an acute dose of taurine reduces food intake and locomotor activity, and activates signal transduction through the Akt/FOXO1, JAK2/STAT3 and mTOR/AMPK/ACC signaling pathways. These effects are accompanied by the modulation of expression of NPY. In addition, taurine can enhance the anorexigenic action of insulin.Even administered on its own (without insulin) the anorexic effect of taurine had a "similar magnitude to the effect produced by either insulin or leptin" that cannot be ascribed to the reduction in locomotor activity alone. Rather, the scientists argue that the latter is probably a direct result of the "increased primary satiety produced by taurine", which suppresses the well-known food-seeking behavior food-deprived rodents (and interestingly also anorexic human beings) display.
|Figure 1: Changes in Akt, mTOR & AMPK expression after intracerebroventricular injection of insulin, taurine or a combination of both (calculated based on Solon. 2011)|
|Figure 2: Relative changes in food intake in rats vs. control after intracerebroventricular injection of taurine, AICAR or a combination of both (calculated based on Solon. 2011)|