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May 11, 2023

Tudca for liver protection


Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) provides several benefits to the human body. This potent bile salt is naturally occurring in the gallbladder. Taking it as a supplement accentuates those physiological roles, improving digestion and dampening inflammation.

Learning about the fascinating benefits of this supplements is important. However, we recommend that you measure your expectations to avoid disappointment. Additionally, you must remember that TUDCA supplements require months of intake before exerting certain functions (more on that later).

In this article, we will briefly explain what TUDCA is and then switch gears to some evidence-based science that demonstrates the benefits of TUDCA supplements.

What is TUDCA?

TUDCA is a bile acid that we can naturally find in the body. This substance has been used in Chinese medicine to manage liver and bile diseases for millennia. 

Within the liver, hepatocytes (i.e., liver cells) only make small amounts of Tauroursodeoxycholic acid. Therefore, many people started taking dietary supplements to reap the full benefits of this compound.

Our ancestors used this bile acid to treat fever, vision problems, liver disease, and muscle spasms. In addition, it was believed that Tauroursodeoxycholic acid has powerful detox properties. While ancient civilizations did not understand the physiology of TUDCA, they were right in praising this compound.

What are the benefits of TUDCA?

Tudca promotes gut health

Tauroursodeoxycholic acid prevents a classic condition known as a leaky gut syndrome. The latter is a relatively common digestive illness that targets the integrity of your gut lining. As a result, intestinal permeability occurs, which allows toxic substances to infiltrate your bloodstream.

Scientists are still trying to pinpoint the exact causes of leaky gut syndrome. Common hypotheses blame poor diet and high stress. However, environmental factors, such as prolonged pesticide exposure, also play a role.

Tudca promotes cardiovascular health

Studies found that TUDCA aids in breaking down cholesterol molecules and excreting them from the body. Taking 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams (mg) of this supplement daily can significantly lower your cholesterol levels. However, you need to do this for at least six months for the full effects to show up.

Furthermore, studies (1) showed that TUDCA promotes the health of blood vessels by recruiting vasculogenic progenitor cells. These are responsible for repairing and replacing damaged endothelial cells.

Tudca dampens inflammation in the brain and liver

Tauroursodeoxycholic acid possesses both anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. This effect is most notable in the liver and brain. More specifically, studies (2) found that TUDCA dampens inflammation in glial cells, which are small nerve cells that help neurons recover after injuries (e.g., strokes).

In the liver, Tauroursodeoxycholic acid could slow down the progression of hepatic diseases to cirrhosis and other severe complications. However, speak with your primary care physician before taking TUDCA supplements if you have liver disease.

Tudca may help with cholestasis.

Cholestasis, or bile sludge, is an extremely common condition characterized by the stagnation of gallstones in the bile duct. Consequently, you may experience the following:

  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Light-coloured faeces
  • Severe itching

Since TUDCA strongly affects bile acids, it may help reduce cholestasis.

 Tudca improves digestion

Bile acids are indispensable for digesting fatty acids. Thanks to TUDCA, your bile acid composition and flow will improve. Both of these processes will aid in digesting your food.

Protects the liver

TUDCA and its counterpart UDCA (ursodeoxycholic acid) are both bile acids that promote liver health. For instance, some research (3) suggests that these bile acids may help with liver disease caused by hepatitis, alcohol abuse, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Doctors diagnose liver dysfunction by running liver enzyme tests (e.g., ALT, AST, ALP). Interestingly, researchers concluded that TUDCA could dramatically lower the levels of these enzymes. Biologically speaking, this means that TUDCA limits the damage your liver and gallbladder are enduring.

Protects the nervous system

TUDCA seems to have some neuroprotective effects. This compound can shield the neurons from oxidative stress, a metabolic state contributing to strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.

There is also evidence that TUDCA supplements lower the number of amyloid proteins (4) in the body. Elevated amyloid plaques are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. So while we always want to prevent neurodegenerative diseases before they occur, TUDCA can still slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Some health practitioners advise using this supplement to manage uncurable neurocognitive disorders, such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Improves insulin sensitivity

Insulin sensitivity is the primary defect in type II diabetes. You will develop hyperglycemia when insulin cannot introduce glucose to the cells (i.e., high glucose levels).

Luckily, TUDCA supplements can reverse this process. In one study (5), researchers proved that taking TUDCA daily increases insulin sensitivity by up to 30%. The duration of intake lasted less than four weeks.

The potential side effects of TUDCA

Taking these supplements generally leads to no side effects when you respect the recommended doses. However, taking more than 1,500 mg daily can lead to some digestive issues, including diarrhoea and bloating. Fortunately, that’s all there is to it! Dozens of scientific studies (6) found no side effects of TUDCA supplements.

With that said, we still recommend avoiding taking Tauroursodeoxycholic acid when pregnant or breastfeeding. There is limited research on the effects of TUDCA on fetuses and newborns.

Furthermore, you should be careful about taking TUDCA if you have any underlying medical conditions, especially those affecting the liver and gallbladder.

Takeaway message

Tauroursodeoxycholic acid provides several benefits, including detoxifying the liver and gallbladder. However, we suggest you speak with your doctor before taking this supplement, especially if you have liver problems.

We hope this article sheds some light on the benefits of taking these supplements and how it optimizes several organ systems.









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