Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid (TUDCA) is a bile salt found in trace amounts in the body. The body makes ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA) when bile acids enter the intestines. Intestinal bacteria metabolize the bile acids into UDCA. Later, a taurine molecule binds to the UDCA to make Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid. Most of TUDCA’s uses focus on supporting liver health.
What are TUDCA Supplements?
It’s common to confuse UDCA and TUDCA, given the similarities in their names and functions. TUDCA supplements have significant potential to outperform UDCA. The primary difference between UDCA and TUDCA supplements comes down to solubility. Bile salts are amphipathic, which makes them soluble in fat and water. The addition of the amino acid taurine improves TUDCA’s water solubility, which makes it much easier for the body to absorb. TUDCA also has superior bioavailability compared to UDCA. In addition, TUDCA supplements can boost UDCA levels better than UDCA itself.
TUDCA for Liver Support
TUDCA may support liver function by suppressing Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) stress. ER stress contributes to inflammation and injury in the liver. It also makes it difficult for the liver to regenerate. TUDCA may improve bile flow as well. When something disrupts bile flow, bile accumulates and causes damage to the liver.
Other Potential TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid) Benefits
The most well-known benefits of TUDCA are for liver support. However, there are several promising TUDCA benefits of note including:
May support heart health. While more studies are needed, preliminary research shows promise. Animal studies suggest TUDCA supplements may be effective at supporting heart health following an adverse health event.
May protect organs from trauma-related damage. Cell tissues take a triage approach when dealing with trauma. They will try to repair themselves at first but may give up if the stressor is too great. This process is known as the unfolding protein response (UPR) and is often seen in organ trauma. However, studies have shown TUDCA can reduce the UPR response, so it may be able to promote organ health in these situations.
May provide neuroprotective benefits. Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid is very protective of cells, including in the brain. Because of this, TUDCA supplements may deliver neuroprotective benefits.
Did You Know?
Bile salts help with digestion by breaking down fats into fatty acids. Bile salts also breaks down cholesterol so the body can excrete it.
Potential TUDCA (Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid) Side Effects
The most commonly reported TUDCA side effect is diarrhea when taken in very high doses (1-1.5g). Otherwise, most adults tolerate TUDCA supplements well. TUDCA works best when taken with food to improve absorption. It’s important to note that any potential TUDCA benefits take time to come to fruition. Most studies show Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid begins to deliver results after a month of supplementation. Potential benefits increase with even longer supplementation.