Protective and therapeutic effectiveness of taurine in diabetes mellitus: a rationale for antioxidant supplementation

Diabetes Metab Syndr. Jan-Mar 2015;9(1):55-64. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2014.05.001. Epub 2014 Jun 3.


Taurine, 2-amino ethanesulfonic acid, is a conditionally essential β amino acid which is not utilized in protein synthesis. Taurine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in mammals tissues and is one of the three well-known sulfur-containing amino acids; the others are methionine and cysteine which are considered as the precursors for taurine synthesis. Different scientific studies emphasize on the cytoprotective properties of taurine which included antioxidation, antiapoptosis, membrane stabilization, osmoregulation, and neurotransmission. Protective and therapeutic ameliorations of oxidative stress-induced pathologies were also attributed to taurine both in experimental and human models. Data demonstrating the beneficial effectiveness of taurine against type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and their complications are growing and providing a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms. Although the clinical studies are limited compared to the experimental ones, the present updated systematic review of the literature is set up to provide experimental and clinical evidences regarding the effectiveness of taurine in the context of diabetes mellitus and its complications. Gathering these scientific effects of taurine on diabetes mellitus could provide the physicians and specially the endocrinologists with a comprehensive overview on possible trends in the prevention and management of the disease and its complications through antioxidant supplementation.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Complications; Diabetes mellitus; Oxidative stress; Taurine.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Complications / metabolism
  • Diabetes Complications / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Taurine / pharmacology
  • Taurine / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Taurine