Is taurine beneficial in reducing risk factors for diabetes mellitus?

Neurochem Res. 2004 Jan;29(1):143-50. doi: 10.1023/b:nere.0000010443.05899.2f.


Taurine is a semiessential amino acid, and its deficiency is involved in retinal and cardiac degenerations. In recent years, it was found that diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with taurine, and many in vivo experimental studies showed that taurine administration is able to reduce the alterations induced by DM in the retina, lens, and peripheral nerve, although its effects on diabetic kidney are dubious. Interestingly, long-term taurine supplementation reduces the mortality rate in diabetic rats. The mechanisms by which taurine exerts beneficial effects in DM are discussed below. Recently, it has been suggested that taurine deficiency may alter the endocrine pancreas "fetal programming," increasing the risk of insulin resistance in adult life. The bulk of experimental data suggests that taurine administration could be useful in the treatment of type 1 DM and in the prevention of insulin resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Taurine / administration & dosage*


  • Taurine
  • Glucose