Tudca: 5 Key Benefits For Bodybuilders & Liver Support
Being a hardcore lifter and potentially dabbing into some hardcore supplements, it’s important that you fully understand how to maintain and protect your health and the health of your liver. Luckily for you, TUDCA is a multifaceted supplement that has many benefits.
It should come as no surprise to you that your liver plays a vital role in maintaining your overall health and well-being by actively filtering harmful toxins from your bloodstream and eliminating them from your body. It is also responsible for various functions, like aiding digestion and storing energy. When the liver is not functioning correctly, the accumulation of toxins alone can lead to a range of problems that significantly impact other organs, tissues, and our overall health.
In recent years, scientists have focused on investigating the potential benefits of TUDCA as a therapeutic option to improve liver health while also in the processes finding several other benefits.
In this article, we will dive deeper into what TUDCA is and the benefits you can experience through its use as a supplement.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before making any changes to your supplement regimen.
What is TUDCA?
Tauroursodeoxycholic acid, or TUDCA, is a bile acid derivative that occurs naturally in our body. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to address hepatic and biliary disorders. While your body produces only limited quantities of this beneficial compound, its impact extends far beyond the liver.
That said, TUDCA actually exerts its influence on various bodily functions, encompassing not only the brain and kidneys but also aspects such as eye health and more, which we will dive into shortly.
For centuries, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine have recognized and harnessed the advantages of TUDCA, utilizing it to support liver detoxification, alleviate “heat illness” symptoms like fever, spasms, and vision problems, and address various other ailments.
However, it is only in recent times that TUDCA has garnered significant attention from the scientific community. This newfound scientific spotlight has led to the initiation of clinical studies, where researchers are exploring the diverse array of potential health benefits associated with this compound.
The Benefits of TUDCA
There have been a lot of interesting studies published that showcase just how powerful TUDCA can be when implemented into a supplement regimen. Being on top of your supplements and working towards achieving an Adonis-like physique, many of the benefits found below should pique your interest.
Here are some of the benefits of TUDCA supplements:
1. Liver Detoxification
If you use any sort of hardcore supplements, paying close attention to your liver health needs to be a priority. The good news is TUDCA has been found to promote overall liver health.
A study involving individuals with liver issues found that supplementing with TUDCA for six months resulted in a reduction of liver enzymes in all participants. Moreover, the participants reported no side effects, indicating a high level of tolerability to TUDCA supplementation.
TUDCA has also been found to help those with cholestasis. It is a condition where bile does not flow properly from the liver to the gallbladder and then to the small intestine. Cholestasis is distinguished by a lack of bile in the small intestine and bile accumulation in the liver. It is often linked to liver issues, including primary biliary cirrhosis. The use of TUDCA supplements has been reported to be able to decrease cholestasis caused by a liver injury from a lack of blood flow.
In a study involving 12 women with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) over a two-month period, TUDCA demonstrated a 51% reduction in liver enzymes.
Another study conducted on 23 patients with PBC showed significant improvement in liver enzyme levels, including ALT, AST, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), and alkaline phosphatase, with TUDCA treatment. While some scientists propose that TUDCA may lower liver enzyme levels at low doses, comprehensive clinical data to support this hypothesis are currently lacking.
However, a study involving five patients with liver issues indicated that daily TUDCA supplementation for three months reduced the liver enzyme ALT, although the clinical significance of this finding remains unclear.
2. Blood Glucose Balance
Cellular stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) can contribute to various seemingly unrelated conditions, such as diabetes. In laboratory animals with artificially elevated blood sugar levels, a study observed a significant 43% decrease in blood glucose levels following treatment with TUDCA. This highlights the potential of TUDCA in addressing the consequences of ER stress and its impact on conditions like diabetes.
While bile acids are widely recognized for their vital role in the digestive process, they also serve as signaling molecules in various tissues. One such tissue is the pancreas, which expresses specific receptors responsible for regulating multiple cellular functions.
Studies conducted on obese, overfed mice have demonstrated that TUDCA contributes to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and enhancing insulin sensitivity. TUDCA is thought to enhance cellular energy expenditure, potentially influencing the body’s insulin regulation.
Elevated blood sugar levels resulting from impaired insulin utilization can lead to damage to endothelial cells — the cells lining blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and organs. In the presence of oxidative stress, TUDCA has been observed to support cellular health when faced with excessive glucose levels.
A study conducted in China revealed that TUDCA supplementation reduced copper and zinc levels, which are often altered in individuals with type 1 diabetes. In addition to that, another study suggested that TUDCA may help reduce diabetic retinopathy, a condition characterized by harm to the blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissues or retina in the eyes resulting from high sugar levels.
Furthermore, TUDCA may offer benefits to individuals with type 2 diabetes and obesity, as these conditions often arise from insulin resistance and are associated with postprandial hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction and impaired lipid metabolism, all of which can be linked to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress.
3. Gut Health Regulation
The lining of your intestines has a slim layer of cells that make “gates” called tight junctions. These are the gatekeepers that regulate what gets in and out of your gut. When these tight junctions lose integrity or go out too far, they allow things that should not be in the bloodstream to go through your intestinal lining. This is known as a leaky gut.
In the gut, protein messengers play a crucial role in regulating tight junctions, which act like gates, determining whether they should be open or closed. TUDCA assists these protein messengers in functioning optimally, thereby supporting gut integrity and overall gut health. Moreover, TUDCA has demonstrated its ability to promote microbiome health by facilitating a healthy inflammatory response. By aiding in maintaining a balanced and healthy gut environment, TUDCA contributes to overall gastrointestinal health and functioning.
4. Brain Health
Due to its neuroprotective properties, TUDCA can be categorized as a nootropic. As such, it has the potential to enhance brain function.
Extensive research supports the beneficial effects of TUDCA on brain neurons, including its ability to reduce neuronal degeneration and alleviate synaptic toxicity, which is associated with some cognitive conditions.
Also, TUDCA has been found to contribute to reducing cholesterol levels, which can help protect not only your brain health but your heart as well.
5. Eye Health
The retina is responsible for converting light into electrical signals for vision. Vitamin A is crucial for eye health, preventing conditions like night blindness. TUDCA promotes the breakdown and absorption of vitamin A, leading to improved visual acuity.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to blindness. According to a study conducted on mice, it was reported that TUDCA had beneficial effects in improving RP. The study observed that TUDCA supplements preserved the functionality of cone and rod cells, which are needed for vision, and prevented the death of these cells.
Help Protect Your Health from Hardcore Supplement Use with TUDCA
Pushing the boundaries of what your body can achieve can take its toll on your body. Throw in the use of certain hardcore supplements, and aspects of your health and well-being may take a hit. To prevent adverse effects from arising and the stress put on the body through constant intense training, adding TUDCA can help.
UNBOUND isn’t simply a brand that wants to see you succeed in building a physique that demands attention. We want to ensure you have the proper tools necessary to stay healthy. It’s for that reason we launched our very own TUDCA supplement.
Not only did we source the highest-quality TUDCA, but it’s third-party laboratory tested, and you’re getting 255 mg per serving (yielding 250 mg tauroursodeoxycholic acid by LC-MS).
As much as you take care of your body, it’s time to take things to a deeper level and take better care of your health. UNBOUND TUDCA is a major step in the right direction!
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By: Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN