TUDCA – The Extra Protection Your Liver Needs?
TUDCA, or Tauroursodeoxycholic acid, is quickly becoming one of the most talked about supplements on the market. First synthetically produced in Japan in 1954 to treat liver disease, research supporting its many health benefits has come a long way since.
Read on to find out how exactly TUDCA affects the body, and why supplementing with it might be the best thing you do for your liver since the last time you had a whole weekend in.
What Is TUDCA?
TUDCA naturally occurs as part of your bile acid. It’s a compound found in trace amounts in the human body, and it’s often supplemented with in order to counteract medical issues with the liver or bile duct.
Though TUDCA has been used for over 60 years in the treatment of disease, more recent evidence speaks for its use as a preventative measure, making it just as valuable to the healthy population. What’s more, its beneficial effects are in no way restricted to just the liver. New clinical trials are constantly emerging to reveal how TUDCA supplementation can benefit the entire body, from digestion to brain health (and most things in between!).
How Does TUDCA Work?
When microbes in your digestive system break down bile salts in the large intestine, Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is produced. Taurine then binds to UDCA to produce TUDCA. This all happens naturally in the body, without supplementation, when you have optimum levels of bile salts.
When you don’t, things are a bit different.
The bile salts that feed microbes in your digestive system can become limited by physical blockage. In fact, their flow can be impaired in many ways. Without enough bile salts, you can’t naturally produce enough TUDCA. This is where supplementation comes in to save the day.
Although people with cholestasis (a disease of bile duct blockage) are the most typical sufferers of bile salt impairment and the most obvious benefactors of additional TUDCA, they are far from the only ones:
Gallstones, poor diet, liver injury, viruses, and autoimmune diseases can all result in a reduction in your natural capacity to produce TUDCA. Fatty acids can build up and clog the bile duct  for a similar effect. Similarly, certain medications such as anti-anxiety drugs can hinder bile flow  .
Any form of impairment to the processes involved in bile flow and metabolism can result in an insufficient formation of TUDCA, and therefore a need for synthetic supplementation.
The benefits of supplementation with TUDCA are many and widespread. TUDCA serves as an anti-apoptotic, meaning it fights against a specific type of cell death. By doing so, it has a protective effect on the brain, fights against many neurodegenerative diseases, prevents retinal disorders, reduces diabetic stress  . . . The list goes on!
But we’ll leave all that for another day. Today we’re going to hone in on what TUDCA does for the liver specifically, and all its vitally important functions.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Improves Release and Quality of Bile
TUDCA has an impressive choleretic effect - that is, it increases the total volume of bile secreted in the body. In a study done on mice, acute UDCA (reminder: that’s simply TUDCA without the taurine) treatment resulted in a significant increase in bile flow  . Increases as great as 250% were reported in this study.
As well as increasing bile volume, supplementation in this case also positively impacted the bile salt composition of the test subjects - quantity and quality!
By improving bile flow and bile quality, your body becomes better able to produce its own TUDCA, so supplementation can create a kind of positive feedback loop. Supplementing with TUDCA actually makes your body more efficient at naturally creating its own in the future.
Lowers Liver Enzyme Levels
Elevated levels of enzymes in the liver typically indicate inflammation and cell death, two things you do not want. High levels of liver enzymes are found in the blood when liver cells die and leak enzymes into the bloodstream. Because of its anti-apoptotic effect, TUDCA works to keep liver cells alive, thus reducing enzyme levels.
In one study, supplementation with TUDCA was found to have an extremely significant reduction on serum liver enzymes, a finding that supports its use as a method of maintaining proper liver function  .
Stimulates the Release of ATP into the Bile Duct
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the principle molecule for storing and transferring energy in the cells. By providing the energy for all biological processes in the bile duct, sufficient ATP supply allows bile flow to take place at optimal levels. Low levels of ATP in these areas have the opposite effect.
As well as benefiting the general functioning of the bile duct, ATP stimulated by TUDCA may also improve bile flow in more specific ways. In a study on rats, TUDCA supplementation stimulated ATP production in the two bile acids predominantly responsible for encouraging bile flow  .
Reduction of Free Radicals in Liver Tissue
Free radicals can build up in the mitochondria of your liver as a result of excessive cell death and inhibited bile flow. The presence of these free radicals places your liver cells under tremendous oxidative stress, resulting in poor cell function.
The bad news is that when cells begin to function poorly, they die. This adds to the problem and often results in the creation of a harmful repetitive cycle: free radicals cause cell death, which causes the production of more free radicals . . .
The good news is, TUDCA can reduce volume of free radicals, maintain cell function, and prevent cell death  . In this way it helps to break up the vicious cycle.
Fights Against Hepatitis and Other Viruses
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. It is caused either by alcohol-related damage or viral infection. Hepatitis significantly reduces the sufferer’s quality of life. Thankfully, TUDCA has been shown to have a protective effect against the Hepatitis B virus (HBV).
In one study, TUDCA offered the most potent defense against HBV of all bile salts tested, significantly inhibiting the virus in vitro  .
What’s more, TUDCA offers support to your immune system and can assist it in the elimination of invasive viral cells. Influenza A is another viral disease that negatively impacts the liver. In one lab-based study, Influenza A replication was successfully blocked by TUDCA  .
Better the Bile Duct, Better the Body
Yes, TUDCA’s many potent effects on bile duct function affects the liver directly.
Yes, bile duct function is largely responsible for the maintenance of a healthy liver.
But did you know just how much the bile duct affects the rest of your body?
Further down the line, proper bile flow regulates microbial activity in the gut. It also promotes intestinal health, regulates insulin levels, and reduces inflammation - all things that serve to better your health all-round!
How to Take TUDCA. Is it Safe?
TUDCA is considered very safe. It is used as a drug in Europe, available both as a prescription and non-prescription medicine. In the U.S it is classified as a health supplement and is widely available. However, it is not yet FDA-approved for medical use.
TUDCA can be taken daily, with or without food.
The typical recommended daily dose for TUDCA is between 500mg and 1,000mg. 500 mg has been shown to be the most cost-effective  . The majority of studies show dosage at both levels to have no adverse effects up to one year.
Side effects are very rare, with diarrhea being the only one clinically reported  . It should be noted that this side effect occurred at single doses of 1,500mg, which is above the recommended dosage for a single ingestion.
As no clinical studies involving pregnant women have been recorded, it is not recommended that women in term supplement with TUDCA.
Overall, TUDCA is safe, effective, and very easy to take.
Where to Buy TUDCA
Here at Black Grizzly, we’ve got TUDCA of the highest quality. All our products are third party lab tested, so you know you’re getting the best grade ingredients on the market.
TUDCA is available in 500mg capsule form at the specially reduced price of $64.95 per 60 pc bottle. Save even further with two bottles for $124.95 (120 pc. total) or get incredible value on bulk purchases.
Visit our shop to find out more.
That’s a wrap! The benefits of TUDCA on liver health are as impressive as they are numerous. When it comes to looking after your liver, there are few supplements on the market with the
same proven track record and scientific support to back them up (not to mention all the additional health benefits TUDCA has to offer).
So whether you’re suffering from a poor diet, specific illness, or you just want to make sure your liver is running as it should, TUDCA is one of the best options out there.
Pick up a bottle today. Your liver will thank you!