Background: Taurine is an amino acid found abundantly in the heart in very high concentrations. It is assumed that taurine contributes to several physiological functions of mammalian cells, such as osmoregulation, anti-inflammation, membrane stabilization, ion transport modulation, and regulation of oxidative stress and mitochondrial protein synthesis. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of taurine supplementation on functional capacity, myocardial oxygen consumption, and electrical activity in patients with heart failure.
Methods: In a double-blind and randomly designed study, 16 patients with heart failure were assigned to two groups: taurine (TG, n = 8) and placebo (PG, n = 8). TG received 500-mg taurine supplementation three times per day for two weeks.
Results: Significant decrease in the values of Q-T segments (p < 0.01) and significant increase in the values of P-R segments (p < 0.01) were detected following exercise post-supplementation in TG rather than in PG. Significantly higher values of taurine concentration, T wave, Q-T segment, physical capacities, and lower values of cardiovascular capacities were detected post-supplementation in TG as compared with PG (all p values <0.01).
Conclusions: Taurine significantly enhanced the physical function and significantly reduced the cardiovascular function parameters following exercise. Our results also suggest that the short-term taurine supplementation is an effective strategy for improving some selected hemodynamic parameters in heart failure patients. Together, these findings support the view that taurine improves cardiac function and functional capacity in patients with heart failure. This idea warrants further study.
Keywords: electrocardiographic; heart failure; incremental exercise; rate pressure product; taurine.