Taurine deficiency is a driver of aging, low testosterone and poor mood.
Who wants to age fast? Not me and I’m sure you neither.
In this article, I’m going to show you how important taurine is for testosterone and dopamine optimization.
Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid with a ton of benefits for any man who wants to be an Alpha Energy Male.
Taurine has been shown to help increase testosterone, improve sleep, lower inflammation and so on, which is everything we want.
Let’s dive in.
Hans here! I increased my testosterone to 1254ng/dl and have been maintaining high T naturally. I’ve turned myself into an Alpha Energy Male.
An Alpha Energy Male with high energy, fast recovery, high sex drive, and confidence.
This is why I research obsessively, experiment and write, and have been doing so for the past decade.
Hope you enjoy and join me on this journey.
Why do we want to be an alpha energy male?
Being an alpha energy male is synonymous with possessing both high testosterone levels and abundant energy. Consequently, the question arises: what exactly is the significance of having elevated testosterone and energy levels?
Because high T and energy make us feel incredible and powerups our motivation, drive, confidence, and sexual function.
A life without high T and energy isn’t a life worth living.
What we’ll be discussing
- Why do we want to be an alpha energy male?
- Quick background on taurine
- Taurine on testosterone
- Taurine increases dopamine (and other neurotransmitters) and improves mood
- Taurine improves libido and erections
- Taurine improves exercise & hypertrophy
Quick background on taurine
Taurine is classified as a non-essential amino acid, since the body can make it. However as more research has come out, some scientists classify it as a “very essential” amino acid. This is because we don’t create enough of it.
Taurine is created from cysteine (another amino acid) in amounts of 50-125mg daily. This conversion process requires vitamin B6 and glycine. During stress, this conversion is limited (R).
The daily excretion of taurine via the kidney varies but is usually between 28-231mg per day. A few factors increase the excretion thereof, such as muscle damage (injury or exercise) and stress (high cortisol state (R, R).
The main source of taurine is animal foods/protein and most people under-consume protein.
The best sources of taurine are:
- Turkey (dark meat)
- Chicken (dark meat)
- Certain fish
- Red goji fruit
In terms of seafood, clams reign champaign.
Just keep in mind that you don’t need to eat the best source of taurine to get the optimal amount. Meaning, you don’t need to eat clams to benefit from taurine. If you’re going to eat foods lower in taurine you just need more of it.
Taurine on testosterone
Taurine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in the male reproductive organs (aka nutsack). Specifically, taurine accumulates in the Leydig cells where it:
- Sensitizes the testes to LH
- Protects the Leydig cells against toxins (e.g. plastics, heavy metals, drugs, etc.)
- Stimulates steroidogenic enzymes
- Prevents age-related decline in testosterone
- Increases testosterone in diseased states, such as diabetes
- Improves mitochondrial function
- Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation
- Improves gut health (prevents leaky gut and positively modulates the microbiome)
- Improves liver health
#1 Taurine sensitizes the testes to LH
Taurine stimulates testosterone secretion by increasing the sensitivity and the number of LH/HCG receptors on the Leydig cells (R).
Taurine enhances pregnenolone and testosterone production induced by HCG. When the enzyme that creates taurine (CSD; cysteine sulfinate decarboxylase) is inhibited, testosterone secretion is decreased even in the presence of HCG (R).
#2 Taurine protects the testes against toxins
Many toxins can damage the Leydig cells, cause LH insensitivity and lower steroidogenic enzymes.
#3 Stimulates steroidogenic enzymes
Taurine supplementation drastically upregulates steroidogenic enzymes over baseline.— Hans Amato (@HansAmato) July 16, 2023
– StAR – transports cholesterol into the mitochondria
– 3β-HSD – converts pregnenolone to progesterone and DHEA to androstenedione
– 17β-HSD – converts androstenedione to T. pic.twitter.com/JyVx2kawhx
#4 Taurine prevents age-related testosterone decline
Giving old rats taurine in their drinking water boosted their GnRH, LH and testosterone, without affecting estradiol (R).
Taurine is a great amino acid for increasing testosterone.— Hans Amato (@HansAmato) July 16, 2023
Step 1: Taurine increases GnRH levels. This leads to more LH and testosterone production. pic.twitter.com/3XFaY7SiJd
#5 Taurine increases testosterone in unhealthy (diabetic) animals
Diabetes lower GnRH, LH and testosterone production.
Taurine prevents the decline of GnRH, LH and testosterone in diabetic animals (DM+Tau on the graph) (R). In normal rats, taurine increase GnRH, LH and testosterone over baseline.
#6 Improves mitochondrial function
Testosterone production is dose-dependently stimulated by ATP. And ATP is produced in the electron transport chain of the mitochondria.
Taurine increases ATP production and improves mitochondrial function by stabilizing the electron transport chain (complex I specifically for those interested) and inhibiting the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) (R, R). This will also lead to less inflammation and better energy production.
Inflammation lowers testosterone. And taurine can help to lower inflammation. As mentioned, taurine accumulates in the testes, where it has a strong protective effect.
- Lowers proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6) (R, R, R)
- Reduces the overproduction of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) (by inhibiting COX, similar to aspirin for example)
- Decreases the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (R, R, R)
- Neutralizes hypochlorous acid (HOCl), an extremely toxic oxidant generated by the MPO–halide system (R).
- Enhances the expression and activities of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (R).
Point being, taurine is one of the best natural anti-oxidants that accumulates in the testes to prevent any toxin from damaging the Leydig cells and lowering testosterone.
In this study, even a small dose of taurine (175mg thrice daily) is capable of significantly increasing the excretion of bacteria, viruses, fungi, heavy metals, and other toxic chemicals from the body, thus reducing inflammation and damage (R).
#8 Improve gut health
As you might have heard already, there is a gut-brain axis. But what you likely don’t know, there is a gut-everything else axis.
If you have:
- Overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria
- Leaky gut, which allows toxins like LPS to be absorbed
- Excessive stimulation of the immune system (more than 70% of the immune system is in the gut),
…this can lead to low testosterone.
Let’s address these 1 by 1.
Taurine can help prevent the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria
Taurine promotes the release of bile and bile has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits. Basically, it helps to prevent pathogenic bacteria from growing in the stomach and intestines.
Taurine has been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, including Proteobacteria and especially Helicobacter, while increasing helpful bacteria that produce SCFA (short chain fatty acids like butyrate).
Taurine on intestinal permeability
Easy-to-spot symptoms of leaky gut include:
- Brain fog
- Nasal congestion
- Dandruff or other skin issues
- Fluctuating mood
Intestinal permeability (leaky gut) causes aging and low testosterone. Leaky gut promotes the absorption of toxins (such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS)) into the body which promotes inflammation. Elevated circulating LPS causes low testosterone.
Low-dose endotoxin given to animals induces an acute inflammatory response, by activating the TLR4 receptor. This inflammatory response is followed by a decline in plasma testosterone levels. This drop in testosterone only returns to normal after 24 hours (R).
Leaky gut lowers testosterone.— Hans Amato (@HansAmato) July 17, 2023
When you have leaky gut, endotoxin gets absorbed, which causes inflammation and lowers testosterone.
Taurine prevents leaky gut and also blocks the endotoxin receptor, thus keeping testosterone high! pic.twitter.com/QI6VG8jLCa
This TLR4 inhibitory effect is really important since the testes have a high expression of TLR4, which makes the Leydig cells particularly susceptible to direct LPS inhibition.
- Decreases androgen receptors and increases estrogen receptor expression in testes (R).
- Significant reduces enzymes involved in steroidogenesis, such as steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR; the rate-limited step in cholesterol transport into the testes) and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-Delta4-Delta5 isomerase (3beta-HSD) proteins.
- Significantly increases lipid peroxidation of Leydig cell membranes.
In summary, taurine improves gut functions by:
- Reducing leaky gut
- Reducing intestinal inflammation
- Preventing the absorption of endotoxin
- Antagonizing the inflammatory effect of endotoxin
#9 Improves liver function
Fatty liver (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)) is independently associated with low testosterone. Low testosterone can contribute to fatty liver, but fatty liver also contributes to low testosterone.
Men with testosterone under 300ng/dl have a 12-fold greater risk of getting NAFLD than men with a testosterone level over 300ng/dl (R).
The liver is involved in the creation of hormones, neutralizing toxins, storing vitamins and minerals, handling cholesterol homeostasis and much more.
If the liver stops working properly, things start to go wrong, such as impaired detoxification and an increase in insulin resistance, inflammation and so on.
When consuming an obesogenic diet, taurine helps prevent liver fat accumulation and liver damage (R).
A big chunk of toxins are excreted via the bile and taurine promotes bile flow thus proper detoxification (R).
#10 Improves sleep
Sleep is crucial for high testosterone. Even 1 night of poor sleep can start to lower testosterone.
And it’s not just restricted sleep (short sleep) that lowers testosterone, but also restless sleep. It’s when you can’t go into (and stay in) deep sleep.
Taurine can help to improve sleep quality in higher doses since taurine itself act as a neurotransmitter. Taurine does so by activating the GABA receptor and increasing GABA production (R).
According to this study, there is a positive correlation between dietary taurine intake (from animal food sources) and sleep scores such as shortening the time to fall asleep, reducing fitful sleep and increasing energy in the mornings (R).
Importantly, low-dose taurine can have a wake-promoting effect, whereas high-dose taurine has a sedating effect.
Low-dose taurine synergizes with caffeine to promote energy to a greater extent than caffeine alone. Whereas high doses of taurine prevent the energizing effect of caffeine (R). That’s why both Red Bull® and Monster® have 1000 mg or 0.4% of taurine in the original 250 ml packages.
#11 Improves insulin sensitivity
Overall, 36.5% of patients with diabetes have total testosterone under 300ng/dl and 29% have symptoms of androgen deficiency.
Of those with testosterone under 300ng/dl, 80.2% had symptoms of androgen deficiency (R).
Taurine helps to improve insulin sensitivity and prevent hyperglycemia (R).
Higher taurine intake (from animal foods) protects against diabetes. In the graph, the solid black line is the highest consumption of taurine, which is the strongest correlated with insulin sensitivity. Key tip: Eat more protein to improve insulin sensitivity.
In terms of supplementation, 3g of taurine per day for 8 weeks reduced blood sugar from 169 to 156mg/dl (R). Since 1.5g wasn’t effective, but 3g was, higher doses will likely even be more effective than 3g.
A good starting place would be 5g x2-3 daily.
Taurine increases dopamine (and other neurotransmitters) and improves mood
Dopamine is involved in mood, motivation, pleasure, focus, movement, attention, learning, etc, and is often low in depression.
Taurine increases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (which plays a role in motivation and action) and striatum (involved in motor and action planning, decision-making, motivation, reinforcement, and reward perception).
Interestingly, homotaurine increased extracellular dopamine more than taurine (R). Just 100mg homotaurine has been shown to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
This boost in dopamine likely explains most of the mood-boosting, energizing and focus-enhancing effects of taurine.
Taurine combines very well with alcohol too. Since both alcohol and taurine are dopaminergic and GABA-ergic, they synergize. But not in a bad way. A lot of people have reported that when they take taurine, they don’t feel like drinking as much as usual. Plus, taurine protects the body against the harmful effects of alcohol.
Noradrenaline improves mood, memory, learning, sexual function, etc. Newer anti-depressants (SNRIs) work better than the old SSRIs, such they increase noradrenaline as well.
Taurine can help to optimize/increase brain noradrenaline (R).
Serotonin plays a role in sleep-wake cycles, memory, mood, etc., but dysregulation of the serotonin system contributes to unfavorable personality traits such as social isolation, awkwardness, apathy, anhedonia, depression, anxiety, etc.
Most of the serotonin in the brain is created in the raphe nuclei. The serotonin synthesized in the raphe nuclei is then sent throughout the entire central nervous system.
It is noteworthy that taurine was also the most abundant amino acid found in rostral nuclei as well as caudal rhombencephalon cells. There are 20 times more taurine than GABA, 10 times more than glycine and 6 times more than glutamate in the rostral nuclei.
Taurine supplementation inhibits the synthesis and release of newly formed serotonin from tryptophan only in rostral raphe cells (R, R). Thus taurine can help to prevent excess serotonin production and release.
Glutamate is an excitatory amino acid that’s involved in focus, learning, mood, libido, etc., but in excess, it can contribute to anxiety and even brain damage.
Taurine protects against toxicity of the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamic acid, as it’s a neuroprotectant against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity.
During stress, the glutamate receptor NMDA (it’s actually a complex, not just a receptor) becomes dysfunctional (decrease in subunit 2A) and leads to depression, inability to focus, etc.
Taurine helps to restore proper NMDA function which improves mood and focus (R).
GABA helps chill you out, improves sleep, boosts mood, etc. Too little GABA can contribute to excess wakefulness and even anxiety. Too much GABA can cause chronic fatigue and even anhedonia.
High doses of taurine have a sedating effect by acting on the GABA receptor and promoting the synthesis of GABA.
Acetylcholine is involved in focus, processing, memory, learning, etc.
When acetylcholine is low, most people experience poor memory, cannot concentrate, and often make serious problems with other people.— Hans Amato (@HansAmato) July 16, 2023
Just 175mg taurine x3 daily increased acetylcholine from 1ng to 650ng and 750ng in the left and right side of the brain respectively. pic.twitter.com/4OrXUbsW1G
Cortisol and stress
Acute stress spikes all of your neurotransmitters and hormone (dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, cortisol, etc.), but long-term stress causes dysregulation of these systems.
Using taurine before a stressful event reduced the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, reversed elevated glutamate and cortisol levels and protected BDNF expression.
This helps to prevent desensitization and dysfunction caused by stress.
Taurine improves libido and erections
Taurine helps to improve libido and erections.
With age, and disease such as diabetes, libido and erectile function tends to wane. And taurine also declines with age. Could it be that the drop in taurine leads to low testosterone and impaired sexual function? Perhaps.
In elderly animals with impaired libido and erections, taurine dramatically enhances libido and the ability to get erections (by boosting/restoring NO levels).
Taurine improves erections by increasing nitric oxide.— Hans Amato (@HansAmato) July 16, 2023
As you can see in the graph, taurine mildly increased nitric oxide synthase (NOS), but massively increase nitric oxide (NO).
"The boner effect of taurine is real" – Angelo pic.twitter.com/A4yRHvZa0H
By being able to get more (and better) erections, these elderly rat gents started having more frequent sex.
In the case of diabetes, a (highly) undesirable side effect is erectile dysfunction. Insulin resistance increases oxidative stress which causes vascular and nerve damage, causing ‘limp bisket’ if you know what I mean. Taurine helps to prevent this from happening (R).
The combination of taurine + GABA works even better, which is why it’s a part of my ED stack.
Taurine not only helps with erections but also with premature ejaculation. It helps by:
- Increasing NO
- Inhibiting excess glutamate signaling
- Activating the GABA receptors
Taurine improves exercise & hypertrophy
Taurine is helpful for exercise and hypertrophy because it:
- Boosts exercise recovery, by reducing excess muscle damage and inflammation (R, R) – 2g x3 daily was used.
- Increases endurance and workload, due to improved mitochondrial function (R, R, R).
- Improves cellular hydration. Dehydrated cells are in a catabolic state, whereas hydrated cells are responsive to anabolic stimulus.
- Reduces lactate production, by inhibiting lactate dehydrogenase (R).
You don’t necessarily need to supplement taurine to benefit from it. The best way to maximize taurine levels in your body is to eat enough taurine-rich foods and to maximize taurine production in the body.
Creatine has a taurine-sparing effect. Likely other methyl-sparing compounds such as phosphatidylcholine and methyl-promoting compounds, such as choline, betaine, folate and B12 as well.
Vitamin B2, B6, B12 and glycine are needed for the production of taurine (R).
If you do decide to use taurine, don’t use it together with β-alanine or GABA, as they are inhibitors of taurine uptake.
Point being, at a wholesome diet rich in other nutrients as well that helps create taurine or that has a taurine sparing effect.
There are many ways to take taurine for different purposes.
- 175mg daily is enough to get loads of benefits.
- Add 200mg-500mg of taurine with caffeine to potentiate the energizing effect.
- Use 2g x3 daily to boost exercise performance and recovery
- Use 2-5g (or more) before bed to boost sleep quality
- Use 2-3g taurine with 2-3g GABA for better erections
>1000ng/dl Testosterone: My Step-by-Step Guide on How I Do It Naturally!