Our liver has an important role in upkeeping our good health. It’s the most significant organ in the process of filtration of dangerous toxins from our circulatory system by eliminating these from our body. The liver is also crucial for other functions like digestion as well as storage of energy. In case of problems in the liver, toxic buildup can lead to multiple diseases that will eventually affect different organs, and ultimately our health. In the recent past, scientists have studied supplemental TUDCA, or tauroursodeoxycholic acid, to work as a therapy to help to cure or prevent liver diseases.
What is TUDCA?
TUDCA is a digestive fluid occurring naturally in our liver. Black bears can produce large quantities of this rather than humans. Humans make a comparatively diluted version known as ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). TUDCA is essentially the same molecule as ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). Specifically, TUDCA is UDCA with an added (conjugated) taurine. Both are bile acids and act on similar cellular pathways. They only slightly differ in solubility and bioavailability in the body.
For many years several Asian countries practiced the collection of bile or TUDCA out of bears to use in traditional medicine. Turkish people use it for treating cholesterol gallstones. Today superpowers of the world such as the United States, China, and Italy have considered its efficiency for the treatment of liver ailments, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity and others.
In today’s time, it’s mostly used to cure liver damage in patients and for the treatment of gallstones. It’s also used by bodybuilders to help protect their liver from prohormones or steroid cycles.
Benefits of Using TUDCA
● Promotes healthy liver function
● Reverses the toxic effects of metabolites in the liver
● Eliminates metabolites from the liver more readily
● Encourages healthy cholesterol levels
Because TUDCA is a form of the natural salt of the liver, the main point of the study is the potential benefits of it as a supplement for the treatment of diseases of the liver. Researchers also study the effectiveness of this for treating neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes-related complications, retinal problems as well as viral infections.
TUDCA is a favourite supplement among athletes, because steroids are infamous for inhibiting the production and flow of bile from the liver. This effect is known as cholestasis. Build up of high toxic levels in the liver from toxic steroid metabolites can lead to cell damage and even death. TUDCA competes with the toxicity and protects the cells from dying.
This happens if healthy cells get replaced with tissue from scars. As per the American Liver Foundation, the hepatitis C virus and alcohol abuse are the top most common reasons. Accumulation of fat is another major reason. With more buildup of scar tissue, the liver function also continues to diminish. Studies suggest that TUDCA can be an efficient supplement for treatment.
Our liver makes two important enzymes: alanine aminotransferase (ALT) & aspartate aminotransferase (AST). These have to be maintained within a given level. Liver damage can cause these levels to grow abnormally. Research process that TUDCA supplements could reduce enzyme levels, thereby increasing bile flow.