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Taurine/glycine Ratio As A Biomarker Of Stress

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    There are very few reliable biomakers of both acute and chronic stress in the organism. Prolactin and cortisol are two such markers, as well as DHEA-S. However, they tend to be more accurate for acute stress reactions and not so much for chronic stress load on the organism.
    This older study demonstrates that the taurine/glycine ratio can be used as both acute and chronic stress biomarker. Given that blood levels of taurine and glycine can easily be determines with a cheap lab test, this is another tool people can use to determine their overall health status.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3814843

    "...Enhanced taurine - glycine ratios are not merely a laboratory artifact. Investigations by Jeffries (1972) show this effect to be present in field populations...From his investigations, Jeffries concludes that taurine - glycine ratios above 3 are indicative of chronic stress, and values above 5 indicate acute stress. More inten- sive investigations with field populations will highlight the limits as well as the merits of this biochemical stress index. Constant comparsions of the taurine - glycine ratio between un- stressed populations (serving as controls) and possibly endangered ones could be very useful as an early warning system tool. Extensive diagnostic investigations then could be reduced to a reasonable and justifiable degree."
     
  2. Philomath

    Philomath Member

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    Could you elaborate or send me a copy of the report? I'm about to have my annual physical and would consider asking my doctor for those tests - a prolactin test won't fly! Is it both Taurine & Glycine above 3, or either? Is that ratio a comparison to something else?
    Thanks!
     
  3. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    It is a ratio, not individual values. It's in the quote from the study. A blood test for amino acids should give individual levels of taurine and glycine and then you divide one by the other.
     
  4. Agent207

    Agent207 Member

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    Then, taurine supplementation could worsen stress condition when unknown glycine levels? Should we aim for glycine intake when supplementing taurine?

    Thought taurine before bed was fine for sleep.
     
  5. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    There is no causative link, taurine rises as a result of stress and it is adaptive. It's just an indication of stress not a cause. In old people who are low in taurine anyways that ratio may not move much.
     
  6. Benjamin Button

    Benjamin Button Member

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    Hi haidut, I have been avidly following your advice from Danny roddys podcast and am supplementing both of these amino acids...

    But now I'm confused! Should I continue with both or is high taurine supplementing a bad thing???
     
  7. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Again, where did you guys see this as a bad thing? All the study said is that taurine/glycine ratio rises under stress. Taurine rising is a good thing. If it did not, then cells with get overloaded with calcium and die. That's what happens in old people who have no taurine reserves. Again, it is a biomarker not a cause. No harm in supplementing with taurine unless your doctor says not to.
     
  8. kiran

    kiran Member

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    Its taurine thats adaptive for stress, get the glycine from protein and supplement taurine as needed. I've found that taking glycine actually counters the goodness of taurine supplements.
     
  9. Agent207

    Agent207 Member

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    If I add taurine supp to my diet, and no extra glycine, its fair thinking taurine levels and so the ratio should increase. So this would mean more stress from adding more taurine?
     
  10. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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  11. Agent207

    Agent207 Member

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    Yeah I had already read it. You're meaning if I up my taurine intake to "x" gr day for a time, won't it be reflected on blood test even stress remains the same?

    If Im not taking taurine and eat tons of collagen, and blood test show a low ratio taurine/glycine, that biomarker guarantees me Im in a good stress state?


    If a biomarker reflects a health status, and dietary choices can directly influence that biomarker --> then dietary choices can cause changes in health status. Where did I get lost?
     
  12. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    Because as far as I know, haidut mentioned this as one more tool to access your levels of stress. You reduce overall stress, according to this, it will show up in that ratio, however you cannot imply that you can manipulate doing the reverse, it's not as simple and direct as that.
     
  13. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    This.
    Yes, adding more taurine will not make you more stressed and adding more glycine less stressed at least as far as this ratio is concerned. The study looked at unsupplemented situation and found that taurine/glycine ratio increased. If you already take taurine the ratio MAY be higher but it is not guaranteed. Given how fast taurine is used up in stress I doubt most people nowadays can replenish taurine stores to the point where it is chronically higher in the blood and skew the ratio. However, it CAN skew the ratio if you take a hefty dose a few hours before the blood test.
    It's just another biomarker that can be useful for some people. It's the same with the NAD/NADH ratio - higher is better but if you take niacinamide it will increases it artificially and skew the results. Combined together, these tests can become very reliable. If cortisol/DHEA, cortisol/testosterone, taurine/glycine, prolactin are high and NAD/NADH ratio is lower than 500 then the person is probably under a lot of stress.
     
  14. NathanK

    NathanK Member

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    As with many supplements, I'm willing to bet that taurine fits into the "if you get a good reaction from it then you probably needed it" category. If not, then maybe it's not best to go crazy on it. Personally, taurine was probably the best supplement I have taken as reflected in mood and labs. I took enough over a couple months until my stools became noticeably darker and stopped. As for glycine, though I take gelatin in my coffee every morning, I've never felt any calming effects that others have claimed.

    I sent this to Haidut last year in reference to one of his other taurine posts. It's a good overview on taurine. I have a hard time seeing why supplementing in reasonable amounts would cause harm considering all of the benefits.
     

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  15. michael94

    michael94 Member

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    Do you think this is related to glutathione production?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Taurine is synthesized from cysteine like glutathione. As well, glutathione requires glycine + glutamate to make conversion from cysteine. This information + the OP would imply there is likely a conversion problem from cysteine to glutathione due to lack of glycine ( other things probably affect conversion too ) and cysteine is being shuttled down the taurine conversion pathway instead. It also suggests glutathione is an important mediator of oxidative stress.
     
  16. Agent207

    Agent207 Member

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    Agreed. The least chinese stuff we have to take the better. Does anyone knows about a reliable manufacturer of aminoacids like taurine, in the EU, USA...?


    So the ratio is not very reliable, specially when glycine levels are adecuate.
     
  17. michael94

    michael94 Member

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    It is definitely indicative of an underlying problem but the ratio itself is maybe not so important in terms of something you need to balance. As you mention getting adequate glycine is key. Taurine is protective against oxidative stress but it might be your body's budget pathway when certain enzymes/materials are not available for glutathione production. Similar to how we use glycolysis for energy production in sub-optimal scenarios.
     
  18. Parsifal

    Parsifal Member

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    Some people reported that it increases histamines. Is that because it increases bile flow and in people with unhealthy liver it will irritate their gut until bile secretion is regulated?
     
  19. Parsifal

    Parsifal Member

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    Dumb question but what are the best ways to improve the NAD/NADH ratio?
     
  20. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Have you searched the forum? This topic must have come up 50 times already.
     
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