Taurine protects steroids users testes

Steroids users may prevent the decline of their testosterone and sperm production by using taurine. Egyptian pharmacologist Maha Ahmed of Misr University for Science and Technology in Giza suspects this may be the case. Ahmed injected lab animals for two months with nandrolone decanoate and discovered that taurine supplementation drastically reduced the negative endocrinological side effects of this anabolic steroid.

Taurine is found in the cells of all tissues that burn high amounts of energy. One theory is that taurine, together with glutathione, helps protect the cells against harmful compounds that are released when energy is generated. [Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;776:3-12.]

The testes is one type of tissue where you find high levels of taurine. If you boost the taurine concentration in the testes by giving animals supplements, then their testosterone production rises.


The use of anabolic steroids has increased enormously in Egypt too. The most common long-term effects of taking steroids are probably hormonal in nature. Users’ ability to synthesise their own testosterone declines or they become sterile. You can read more about this here. Maha Ahmed wondered whether taurine supplementation might protect steroids users, at least from the endocrinological [hormonal] side effects.


Ahmed did experiments with male rats. He injected some of them weekly with nandrolone decanoate. The preparation he used was Nandurabolin, manufactured by the Nile Company for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries. The human equivalent of the dose he used would be 140 mg nandrolone decanoate per week.

By today’s standards a dose of 140 mg nandrolone decanoate is not much, even though bodybuilders in the 1960s and 70s would have had a different opinion.

A second group of rats received not only nandrolone decanoate injections but also taurine. Ahmed gave them the amino acid orally. The human equivalent of the dose would be 1500 mg taurine daily.

A control group was given taurine only. Another control group was given nothing at all.


The injections of the steroid reduced the rats’ testosterone concentrations and shrunk their testes. Taurine supplementation couldn’t prevent these effects, but did reduce them considerably.



Nandrolone decanoate reduced the production of sperm, affected their viability, reduced their motility and increased the chance of abnormal sperm. Taurine noticeably reduced these effects.

Nandrolone decanoate reduced the production of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of testosterone, such as 3- and 17-beta-HSD, but taurine largely halted this reduction.

Nandrolone decanoate reduced the concentration of glutathione in the testes, but this didn’t happen when the rats were given taurine as well.

Nandrolone decanoate caused the testes to produce more inflammatory proteins such as TNF-alpha, but this didn’t happen if the lab animals were also given taurine.

Ahmed observed more genetic damage in the rats that had been injected with nandrolone decanoate, but not in those that had also had taurine.

Nandrolone decanoate induced the testes to make more of the suicide enzyme caspase-3, but not… Ok, you get it.

Steroids use forces the cells in the testes to become inactive, and inactive cells destroy themselves. Taurine slowed this process down.


“Nandrolone decanoate adversely affects sperm characteristics and induces testicular damage in rats”, summarises Ahmed. “At the biochemical and histological levels, taurine totally abolished nandrolone decanoate-induced deleterious effects and protected rat sperm and testis from injury by virtue of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects.”

“Clinical trials are strongly recommended to investigate the protective effects of taurine in nandrolone decanoate abusers against associated testicular toxicity and possible infertility.”

Amelioration of nandrolone decanoate-induced testicular and sperm toxicity in rats by taurine: Effects on steroidogenesis, redox and inflammatory cascades, and intrinsic apoptotic pathway.


The wide abuse of the anabolic steroid nandrolone decanoate by athletes and adolescents for enhancement of sporting performance and physical appearance may be associated with testicular toxicity and infertility. On the other hand, taurine; a free ?-amino acid with remarkable antioxidant activity, is used in taurine-enriched beverages to boost the muscular power of athletes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanisms of the possible protective effects of taurine on nandrolone decanoate-induced testicular and sperm toxicity in rats. To achieve this aim, male Wistar rats were randomly distributed into four groups and administered either vehicle, nandrolone decanoate (10mg/kg/week, I.M.), taurine (100mg/kg/day, p.o.) or combination of taurine and nandrolone decanoate, for 8successiveweeks. Results of the present study showed that taurine reversed nandrolone decanoate-induced perturbations in sperm characteristics, normalized serum testosterone level, and restored the activities of the key steroidogenic enzymes; 3?-HSD, and 17?-HSD. Moreover, taurine prevented nandrolone decanoate-induced testicular toxicity and DNA damage by virtue of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic effects. This was evidenced by taurine-induced modulation of testicular LDH-x activity, redox markers (MDA, NO, GSH contents, and SOD activity), inflammatory indices (TNF-?, ICAM-1 levels, and MMP-9 gene expression), intrinsic apoptotic pathway (cytochrome c gene expression and caspase-3 content), and oxidative DNA damage markers (8-OHdG level and comet assay). In conclusion, at the biochemical and histological levels, taurine attenuated nandrolone decanoate-induced poor sperm quality and testicular toxicity in rats.

PMID: 25542992 [PubMed – in process]

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25542992