Taurine and Platelet Abnormalities in Insulin-Dependent Diabetics


Reference: Franconi F, Bennardini F, et al: Plasma and platelet taurine are reduced in subjects with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: Effects of taurine supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr 61:1115-119, 1995.

Summary: This study compared thirty-nine insulin-dependent diabetics and thirty-four healthy age-matched controls. Diets were tracked and were controlled such that all volunteers took in the same percentages of macronutrients and amount of calories. Diabetics had significantly lower plasma and platelet taurine levels than healthy controls. The diabetics then took 500 mg taurine three times daily for ninety days. After supplementation, taurine levels improved to the point of being either equal to or significantly greater than values in healthy controls. Platelets from diabetics required the addition of less arachidonic acid to aggregate compared to platelets from healthy volunteers. The amount of arachidonic acid required after ninety days' taurine supplementation was significantly greater. When taurine was added to cultures of platelets from diabetics, they were found to have reduced aggregation. This effect was not noted when taurine was added to platelets from healthy donors. Insulin use was not changed during the course of the study. Glycosylated hemoglobin levels were inversely correlated to taurine levels initially but not after supplementation in the diabetics. Four diabetics dropped out of the study for reasons unrelated to taurine. There were no significant adverse effects from taurine supplementation.

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