International researchers have released findings showing that mice and monkeys who took the supplements had their life extended by up to 12 per cent.
Vijay Yadav, the study leader published the team’s findings in the journal Science and made the case for further studies with human trials.
He said: “For the last 25 years, scientists have been trying to find factors that not only let us live longer, but also increase healthspan, the time we remain healthy in our old age.
“This study suggests that taurine could be an elixir of life within us that helps us live longer and healthier lives.”
The male mice were found to live 10 per cent longer and the women 12 per cent longer.
Here’s the lowdown on this potentially game-changing nutrient.
What is taurine?
The nutrient is found in foods with protein such as meat or fish.
It is an amino acid and plays an important role in supporting immune health, nervous system function and energy production.
The research team found that daily intake of 500 and 1000mg of taurine supplement per kilogram of body weight was also associated with improvements in strength, coordination, and cognitive functions in the rodents tested.
There have not yet been tests in humans.
What foods contain taurine?
The highest amounts of the nutrient can be found in shellfish, including scallops, mussels, and clams. High levels are also in the dark meat of turkey and chicken as well as liver, salmon and cow’s milk.
For vegans, it can be obtained in seaweed, nuts and brewer’s yeast.
Additionally, it can be taken as a powder or supplement and can be added to energy drinks.
How much taurine is in Red Bull?
Each can of Red Bull contains 1000mg of taurine - enough to make a difference, according to the research.