The Relationship between Plasma Taurine Levels and Diabetic Complications in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Biomolecules. 2019 Mar 11;9(3):96. doi: 10.3390/biom9030096.


Background: Taurine has an active role in providing glucose homeostasis and diabetes causes a decline in taurine levels. This paper investigates the relationship between taurine and diabetic complications, patients' demographic features, and biochemical parameters. Methods: Fifty-nine patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and 28 healthy control subjects between the ages of 32 and 82 were included in the study. The mean age of subjects was 55.6 ± 10.3 and mean diabetes duration was 10.2 ± 6.0 years. The most commonly accompanying comorbidity was hypertension (HT) (64.5%, n = 38), and the most frequent diabetic complication was neuropathy (50.8%, n = 30). Plasma taurine concentrations were measured by an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) kit. Results: Plasma taurine concentrations were significantly lower in diabetic patients (0.6 ± 0.1 mmol/L) than controls (0.8 ± 0.2 mmol/L) and in hypertensive (0. 6 ± 0.1 mmol/L) patients (p = 0.000, p = 0.027 respectively). Conclusion: Plasma taurine levels were decreased in patients with T2DM and this was not related to FBG, HbA1c, and microalbuminuria. With regard to complications, we only found a correlation with neuropathy. We suggest that taurine levels may be more important in the development of diabetes; however, it may also have importance for the progression of the disease and the subsequent complications. We further assert that taurine measurement at different times may highlight whether there is a causal relationship in the development of complications.

Keywords: diabetes; diabetic neuropathy; diabetic retinopathy; microalbuminuria; taurine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diabetes Complications / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Taurine / blood*
  • Taurine / deficiency


  • Taurine