How to Run a Comparatively Simple Self-Experiment to Assess the Impact of Taurine Supplementation on Measures of Aging

This post walks through the process of setting up and running a simple self-experiment with taurine supplementation, shown to improve measures of health in old mice and non-human primates. These effects result from enhancing the performance of glutathione, an antioxidant enzyme. You might recall that supplementation with gluthathione precursors to increase gluthatione levels produced suprisingly large effects for a supplement regimen in a small trial in older people.

Taurine levels in blood decline with age, halving from the 20s to 40s-50s in the general population. So while forms of dietary supplementation are usually less compelling than more technological options for improving health in later life, the early decline in taurine, ease of conducting a self-experiment, data in animals, and potential connection to glutathione make it interesting enough to try.

Taurine is a semi-essential amino acid. It is widely used as a supplement, and has undergone rigorous human clinical trials. "Widely used" does not equate to "safe for everyone at any dose", however. Older individuals can and do suffer injury and death from everyday actions, foods, and medications that have no such impact on younger individuals. Regardless of the legions using any particular supplement, it is always wise to gently ease into any personal attempt to join them, rather than leaping in at a full dose on day one.


Why Self-Experiment with Taurine?

A recent study assembled a range of data on taurine levels in blood and taurine supplementation in mice and non-human primates. Taurine levels decline with age and supplementation produces interestingly large benefits to long-term health in these species. Large in the context of what can be achieved by supplements, at least. Further, taurine levels may be connected to the activity of the antioxidant enzyme gluthatione. In a different context, supplementation of glutathione precursor compounds was also shown to produce benefits that are large in the context of supplementation.

It remains unknown as to why taurine levels decline with age, though given that this is an amino acid, we might first think of changes in the gut microbiome and processing of food. There are many, many changes in measurable metabolites in blood that occur with age, but few are demonstrated to produce benefits when reversed, and few are as easily reversed as amino acid levels in the body - just consume more of that amino acid. Amino acid supplementation might be considered a relatively low risk activity, given the large numbers of people who undertake that intervention on a regular basis. A low risk, low cost, modest benefit intervention is unlikely to make you live for a decade longer, but may well be worth the effort for the results obtained.


While taurine is widely used as a supplement and accompanied by copious human data on its effects and side-effects (or lack thereof at various doses), one must still think about personal responsibility in any self-experiment. Read the papers reporting on human trials - the effects, side-effects, and dosages - and make an informed personal decision on risk and comfort level based on that information. This is true of any supplement, whether or not approved for use. Do not trust other opinions you might read online: go to the primary sources, the scientific papers, and read those. Understand that where the primary data is sparse, it may well be wrong or incomplete in ways that will prove harmful. Also understand that older bodies can be frail and vulnerable in ways that do not occur in younger people, and that are sometimes not well covered by the studies.

Further, the state of knowledge regarding any particular set of compounds is not static. The science progresses. This post will become outdated in its specifics at some point, as new knowledge and new compounds with similar effects arrive on the scene. Nonetheless, the general outline should still be a useful basis for designing new self-experiments involving later and hopefully better options.

Establishing Dosages

While there is a standard rule of thumb for converting doses in animals to doses in humans, found in the open access paper "A simple practice guide for dose conversion between animals and human", the only definitive way to establish dosing for a supplement or pharmaceutical in order to achieve a given effect is to run a lot of tests in humans.

Fortunately, human trials have been conducted for taurine supplementation. Trial organizers have tended towards 1.5 grams or 3 grams per day for 16+ weeks. Animal studies in mice used 1 g/kg/day, which converts to a 0.08 g/kg/day gram dose in humans, or roughly 5 grams per day for a 60kg human. Animal studies in rhesus monkeys used 0.25 g/kg/day, which also comes to roughly 0.08 g/kg/day for humans, and thus 5 grams per day for a 60kg human.

One can in principle adjust the dose over time to get to a desired level of taurine in the blood, assuming that the desirable level is equivalent to that of a young individual as presented human data from a recent paper. It is relatively cheap to assess blood amino acids, and in many parts of the world one can simply order the tests without involving a physician. Taking 1.5 g/day or 3 g/day for a few weeks and then looking at the outcome before deciding to go to a 5 g/day dose for longer is a reasonable plan.

Obtaining Taurine

Taurine costs little and is readily available from supplement manufacturers in 1 gram pills or powder form. The pill option is more convenient but slightly more expensive. Ordering online is usually a better option than trying to find taurine in specialist supplement stores.

Establishing Tests and Measures

Looking through the literature on taurine supplementation and the various clinical trial designs, measures of inflammation, oxidative stress, and possibly glycation and insulin metabolism in blood samples are the most relevant for this exercise. Many of these tests can be purchased via Quest, Labcorp, or Life Extension Foundation (LEF) without needing a physician in most parts of the US. If cost is less of a concern, services like AgelessRx and Jinfiniti package these and many other assessments into one product. Setting aside considerations of convenience and cost, the following list is a good starting point:

It would also be interesting to look at effects on epigenetic age, as no-one appears to have published data on that metric in the context of taurine supplementation. A number of services offer epigenetic age clocks at a variety of price points. One might also consider Phenotypic Age, which can be derived using one of the online calculators from the combination of the following from blood tests: creatine, albumin, fasting glucose, c-reactive protein, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and the results of a complete blood count.

Guesstimated Costs

The costs given here are rounded up for the sake of convenience, and in some cases are blurred median values standing in for the range of observed prices in the wild.

  • Blood tests via Quest / Labcorp / LEF: $500 for each of baseline and final tests
  • TruDiagnostic epigenetic age kit: $500 / kit
  • Junifinity AgingSOS advanced biomarker panel: $1200 / kit
  • 1 kg of taurine powder: $30

Schedule for the Self-Experiment

One might expect the process of discovery, reading around the topic, and ordering materials to take a few weeks. Once all of the decisions are made and the materials are in hand, pick a start date. The schedule for the self-experiment is as follows:

  • Week 1: Conduct the baseline bloodwork. Take note of taurine level.
  • Weeks 1-4: Daily taurine supplementation at 1.5 g/day or 3 g/day.
  • Week 4: Conduct an amino acid test to assess taurine level. Comparing this, the baseline, and published human data, decide on the dose for the remainder of the self-experiment. Either stick with the existing dose, or move to the higher one.
  • Weeks 5-20: Daily taurine supplementation.
  • Week 20: Conduct the final bloodwork.

Where to Publish?

If you run a self-experiment and keep the results to yourself, then you helped only yourself. The true benefit of rational, considered self-experimentation only begins to emerge when many members of community share their data, to an extent that can help to inform formal trials and direction of research and development. There are communities of people whose members self-experiment with various compounds and interventions, with varying degrees of rigor.

When publishing, include all of the measured data, the compounds and doses taken, duration of treatment, and age, weight, and gender. Fuzzing age to a less distinct five year range (e.g. late 40s, early 50s) is fine. If you wish to publish anonymously, it should be fairly safe to do so, as none of that data can be traced back to you without access to the bloodwork provider. None of the usual suspects will be interested in going that far. Negative results are just as important as positive results. Many interventions will achieve too little to be easily detected for basically fit people younger than 50; the noise in the measures will be larger than the effect size of the intervention.


Not sure what the long term deal with Taurine will turn out to be but I started taking 2.5 grams a day after those studies came out. I think I was definitely real low on it (in my mid 50s) because for around 7 days I got a feeling about 45 minutes to an hour after taking it like I could feel my body taking the stuff in. My eyesight which was already improving since I have been taking calcium AKG seems to have improved even a little more. As far as my workouts it kind of reminded me of when I took creatine for a while in my younger days. I seem to be doing a couple of extra reps on everything now compared to before taking Taurine. My hair seems just a tad thicker now also looking in the mirror.

Posted by: Mike Best at July 1st, 2023 7:36 AM

In rat models of allergic rhinitis taurine has been shown to increase IL-35 and anti inflammatory T regulatory cells. I've been taking 5g a day for a couple of weeks now (for allergies not aging).

Posted by: jimofoz at July 1st, 2023 12:17 PM

Is there a go-to website where people post self-experimentation results?

Posted by: Gregory Schulte at July 1st, 2023 12:19 PM

A few of the large metropolitan centres such as NY, London, SanFran, Vancouver, Toronto, AZ, and in Germany appear to have 'speak-easy'-type clinics where shared resources and skills assist with chosen longevity-based, and other low-risk, experimental trials. They consider data as a group but publishing is left to the discretion of the participants -- or so i am told. Haven't visited my local 'chapter' or inquired too far. Difficult to gain access. Medical tourism gone local??

Posted by: Jer at July 2nd, 2023 6:53 AM

In Japan, 3 grams taurine per day is prescribed for liver disease and congestive heart failure. For mitochondrial disease, up to 12 grams per day is prescribed. The side effects are minimal.

The blood taurine concentration peaks two hours after ingestion of taurine and has a half-life of two hours; it has been reported that when 1.66 grams was taken by healthy young people, the blood taurine concentration increased 15-fold after two hours.

Posted by: AmadeusJpn137 at July 2nd, 2023 1:06 PM
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