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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;776:39-50. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-6093-0_5.

The effect of long-term taurine supplementation and fructose feeding on glucose and lipid homeostasis in Wistar rats.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The nonprotein amino acid taurine has been shown to counteract the negative effects of a high-fructose diet in rats with regard to insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. Here we examined the long-term (26 weeks) effects of oral taurine supplementation (2% in the drinking water) in fructose-fed Wistar rats.The combination of fructose and taurine caused a significant increase in fasting glucose compared to the control diet without changing hepatic phosphoenol pyruvate carboxykinase mRNA levels. The combination of fructose and taurine also improved glucose tolerance compared to control. Neither a high-fructose diet nor taurine supplementation induced significant changes in body weight, body fat or total calorie intake, fasting insulin levels, HOMA-IR, or insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation in skeletal muscle.Fructose alone caused a decrease in liver triglyceride content, with taurine supplementation preventing this. There was no effect of long-term fructose diet and/or taurine supplementation on plasma triglycerides, plasma nonesterified fatty acids, as well as plasma HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol.In conclusion, the study suggests that long-term taurine supplementation improves glucose tolerance and normalize hepatic triglyceride content following long-term fructose feeding. However, as the combination of taurine and fructose also increased fasting glucose levels, the beneficial effect of taurine supplementation towards amelioration of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance may be questionable.

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