Role of taurine in diabetes and associated complications
Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is a free amino acid found ubiquitously in millimolar concentrations in all mammalian tissues. Taurine exerts a variety of biological actions, including antioxidation, modulation of ion movement, osmoregulation, modulation of neurotransmitters, and conjugation of bile acids, which may maintain physiological homeostasis. Recently, data is accumulating that show the effectiveness of taurine against diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance and its complications, including retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy, independent of hypoglycemic effect in several animal models. The useful effects appear due to the multiple actions of taurine on cellular functions. This review summarizes the beneficial effects of taurine supplementation on diabetes mellitus and the molecular mechanisms underlying its effectiveness.