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Taurine doubles testosterone level: animal study

The amino acid taurine is a real testosterone booster, Chinese animal scientists from the Shenyang Agricultural University write in Amino Acids. The researchers gave rats taurine mixed with their drinking water, which doubled their testosterone concentrations.

The researchers were actually doing fundamental research on the role of the enzyme cysteine sulfinate decarboxylase in the testes. This enzyme converts taurine into the amino acid cysteine. So does this enzyme work in the testes as well, and if so: is that important? Do the testes need taurine to function? This is what the researchers wanted to know.

The researchers started by giving taurine to two-month-old rats. They mixed the amino acid in the animals' drinking water in concentrations of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 percent. After 5 weeks the researchers noticed that the drinking water that consisted of 1 percent taurine raised the concentration of LH, FSH and testosterone in the blood. Strangely, the concentration of estradiol remained constant.

Taurine doubles testosterone level: animal study

1 = FSH (mIU/ml), 2 = LH (IU/L), 3 = testosterone (ng/dl), 4 = estradiol (pg/ml).

The researchers repeated their experiment, but using hormone producing cells from the rats' testes in test tubes. This way they found out that taurine stimulated the production of testosterone best when in a concentration of 10 microgram/ml. Higher concentrations had the reverse effect.

Taurine doubles testosterone level: animal study

The researchers repeated the experiments, but after deactivating the gene for cysteine sulfinate decarboxylase with siRNA. Without taurine, the production of testosterone went down [4]. When they added taurine to the cells, the testosterone production normalised [5].

Taurine doubles testosterone level: animal study

So taurine is an important factor in the production of testosterone in the testes. What exactly taurine does the study does not go into. The researchers suspect that taurine increases the number of receptors for LH and FSH on hormone producing cells.

If you convert the optimal taurine dose to humans, and assume that humans have a slower metabolism than rats, then you arrive at daily intake of 5-6 g for a man weighing 85 kg.

5-6 g is quite a lot. In human studies most researchers don't go further than 3 g taurine per day. That dose is enough to increase the concentration of taurine in the blood by several tens of percent. Fortunately, a dose of 0.6 g may boost testosterone as well.

Amino Acids. 2010 Jun; 39(1): 155-60.