Men who are worried that their testosterone production will decline as they age, and with it their sexual performance, may react well to supplements containing taurine. Animal studies published by researchers at Shenyang Agricultural University in China in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology suggest that this might be the case. The effective dose may be on the high side.
Men who are worried that their testosterone production will decline as they age, and with it their sexual performance, may react well to supplements containing taurine [structural formula shown here]. Animal studies published by researchers at Shenyang Agricultural University in China in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology suggest that this might be the case. The effective dose may be on the high side.
Strictly speaking taurine is not an amino acid, but the supplements industry and nutritionists refer to it as such, so we’ll do the same. Here we go.
Organs including the liver, brain and testes synthesise taurine, but production slows down as we age. In previous publications the researchers showed that taurine supplementation boosted the secretion of LH and testosterone in lab rats. In their new publication, the Chinese report on the next step in their research.
The researchers did an experiment with three groups of elderly lab rats, aged 20 months. One group was given drinking water consisting of 1 percent taurine [Tau] for two months; another group was given drinking water that contained 1 percent beta-alanine [b-Ala]. In high concentrations beta-alanine can in theory force cells to eliminate taurine. A third group was given no supplementation [Con].
We’re not sure what the exact human equivalent of the doses used would be, but a conservative estimate puts it at around 7-8 g per day. Whether this dose is safe in the long term we don’t know.
After the supplementation period the researchers put the rats into a cage with sexually mature females and then counted the number of times the animals had an erection [ERF], how often they mounted the females [MF] and, erm, more of that kind of activity…
ERF = Erection frequency; MF = Mount frequency; IF = Intromission frequency; EJF = Ejaculation frequency.
Part of the explanation for the rats’ increase in sexual capacity is shown in the figure above. The concentration of the enzyme NO-synthase, and above all of NO, increased in the penis of the rats that had been given taurine. So taurine is an NO booster.
Another part of the explanation for the pro-sexual effects of taurine is hormonal in nature. The taurine supplementation resulted in increased production of testosterone, LH and GnRH in the rats. It had no effect on the estradiol or FSH level.
The researchers believe that the increased NO concentration in the penis is a result of the higher testosterone level in the taurine group. We have our doubts. The testosterone level rose by just over 20 percent. That may be too little to explain the effect on the NO concentration.
“The present study demonstrated that taurine supplement could increase sexual response and function; stimulate the secretion of GnRH, LH, and testosterone; and elevate penis NOS and NO level in aged rats”, the researchers conclude. “The results implied that taurine can enhance the sexual response and mating ability in aged male rats by increasing the level of testosterone and NO, but the exact mechanism needs to be further investigated.”
Taurine enhances the sexual response and mating ability in aged male rats.
Yang J, Lin S, Feng Y, Wu G, Hu J.
College of Animal Science & Veterinary Medicine, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China.
It has been demonstrated that taurine is abundant in male reproductive organs, and can be biosynthesized by testis, but the taurine concentration will reduce with aging. The levels of serum LH, T, NOS, and NO were found to be obviously increased by taurine supplementation in aged rats in our previous study. In addition, aging will result in a significant decline in sexual response and function, which may be attributed to the androgen deficiency. Furthermore, NO has been proposed as a crucial mediator of penile erection. That makes us hypothesize that there is potential relationship between taurine decline and erection dysfunction in aged males. So the primary aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of taurine on male sexuality in rats. Taurine was offered in water to male aged (20 months old) rats for 110 days. The effects of taurine on the sexual response, mating ability, levels of serum reproductive hormones, and penile NOS and NO levels were investigated. The results showed that taurine can significantly reduce the EL and ML; obviously increase the ERF, MF, IF, and EJF; stimulate the secretion of GnRH, LH, and T; and elevate penis NOS and NO level in aged rats. The results indicated that taurine can enhance the sexual response and mating ability in aged male rats by increasing the level of testosterone and NO, but the exact mechanism of which needs to be further investigated.
PMID: 23392896 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]