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Taurine therapy for Congestive Heart Failure?

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  • Taurine therapy for Congestive Heart Failure?

    I've been reading "Dr Atkins'Vita-Nutrient Solution" by the late Dr Robert Atkins. He recommends the amino acid taurine as a diuretic in cases of fluid retention instead of the usual diuretic drugs due to the latter's side effects. He goes on to say that " the "side effects" of taurine, in contrast, amount to even more additional benefits. Regular supplements contribute to our antioxidant defenses, reinforce the immune system, strengthen the heart muscle, stabilize heart rhythm, prevent blood clots,guard against diabetes and aid digestion." He also mentions that it prevents brain seizures such as in epilepsy.

    So I looked on PubMed to see if there are any studies on taurine and CHF. In particular I noticed this 1983 paper Therapy of congestive heart failure with orally administered taurine

    "The clinical efficacy of 2 gm BID of oral taurine (2-aminoethane sulfonic acid) was studied in 24 patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). We expressed the severity of CHF by a score based on clinical signs and symptoms and on roentgenographic data. The maximum possible score, corresponding to the worst CHF, was 23 points. How much the 24 patients improved after receiving taurine for four or eight weeks was estimated by the difference between their pretreatment and posttreatment scores. In 19 of the 24 patients, taurine was effective. In the group as a whole, mean (+/- SEM) scores fell significantly, from 7.3 +/- 0.6 before treatment to 4.4 +/- 0.5 after treatment. Thirteen of the 15 patients who were designated as New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III or IV before receiving taurine could be designated as class II after they completed the study."
    (Unfortunately the full paper is not available online AFAIK.)

    If a patentable pharmaceutical was able to reverse CHF from Class IV to Class II you would expect that Big Pharma and the cardiology profession would be shouting it from the rooftops. Yet it doesn't seem to be used at all in the Western medical world even though it's a recognised part of CHF therapy in Japan. Certainly my father's cardiologist never mentioned anything about taurine. Dr Brewer do you have an opinion about taurine for treating CHF?

  • #2
    Dr Brewer, any comments?


    • #3
      Yes. This is not new. It's also not a cure. Heart failure - moderate/high grades have a shorter lifespan than vigorous cancers.


      • #4
        Given that the paper was published 36 years ago it certainly is not new. Despite that elapse of time it doesn't seem to have entered mainstream cardiology's consciousness. While not a cure, going from Class IV to Class II represents a significant improvement in the patient's quality of life and I would think it probably extends their lifespan. Since my original post I read another paper that found a likewise improvement from Class IV to Class II in patients supplemented with CoQ10. Dr Atkins (1998) also recommends carnitine in addition to the above and Sinatra & Roberts (1997) use CoQ10, l-carnitine, l-arginine and d-ribose. My father's cardiologist mentioned none of these nutrients. It seems that if it isn't a patented pharmaceutical requiring a prescription then mainstream medicine isn't interested. With CHF patients it seems they're just waiting for the patient to die.


        • #5
          The medical profession will never use vitamins, minerals and amino acids as treatment protocols. There's no money to be made in it. If there's no money to be made, the medical protocols will never include it.