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Ron Put

Pulse Wave Velocity and other stuff

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So, Withings just received approval to show the metric in the US (it's been available in Europe for over a year) on their Body Cardio scale. I've been experimenting with it for a bit and mine is pretty good as far as PWV Age goes, which is the metric they use (I imagine because the FDA won't let them show m/s). Anyone else here using it, or measuring PWV?

I was recently thinking about taurine supplementation and have started taking about 2g of it, as I am vegan and I have not seen reports of adverse effects. Anyone else here taking taurine, or with opinions?

Similarly, I have started supplementing with l-citruline, about 5g per day and it appears that my PWV values are noticeably trending down since I started. Any opinions on long-term use?

Finally, I usually weigh myself in the morning, right after or during my coffee consumption. Since caffeine in coffee adversely affects PWV, I am considering if I should make the dramatic change to decaf. Strangely, I've seen a study where neither green tea nor black tea has an adverse effect on PWV.

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On 6/20/2021 at 3:43 PM, Ron Put said:

So, Withings just received approval to show the metric in the US (it's been available in Europe for over a year) on their Body Cardio scale. I've been experimenting with it for a bit and mine is pretty good as far as PWV Age goes, which is the metric they use (I imagine because the FDA won't let them show m/s). Anyone else here using it, or measuring PWV?

I'm certainly trying to! I'm finding that the Body Cardio doesn't reliably capture my heart rate or PWV. Hopefully I'll have more data soon...

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On 6/23/2021 at 12:29 PM, Starlight said:

I'm certainly trying to! I'm finding that the Body Cardio doesn't reliably capture my heart rate or PWV. Hopefully I'll have more data soon...

You can actually see the PWV in m/s in Cronometer when you connect Withings to it.

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On 6/21/2021 at 2:43 AM, Ron Put said:

...mine is pretty good as far as PWV Age goes, which is the metric they use (I imagine because the FDA won't let them show m/s).

* * * * *
[...] I was recently thinking about taurine supplementation and have started taking about 2g of it, as I am vegan and I have not seen reports of adverse effects. Anyone else here taking taurine, or with opinions?   Similarly, I have started supplementing with l-citruline, about 5g per day

Hey Ron,  I was wondering,  if your "PWV Age" results are "pretty good",   what's your motivation for supplementing with unnaturally high doses of isolated amino acids?

Quote

The mean daily intake [of taurine]  from omnivore diets was determined to be around 58 mg (range from 9 to 372 mg) [...]. In another study, taurine intake was estimated to be generally less than 200 mg/day, even in individuals eating a high-meat diet. According to a third study, taurine consumption was estimated to vary between 40 and 400 mg/day. 

I know everyone says taurine supplementation is safe,  but do we really know that?  Do we really know all the long term  implications of taurine and citrulline supplementation?   Maybe we do, I'm just asking.

That Dr. Klaper video on DHA supplementation just perked up my general skepticism...

Edited by Sibiriak

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On 6/20/2021 at 4:43 PM, Ron Put said:

I was recently thinking about taurine supplementation and have started taking about 2g of it, as I am vegan and I have not seen reports of adverse effects. Anyone else here taking taurine, or with opinions?
 

Ron,

I take typically 750mg of taurine per day; sometimes 1.5g if I have a second one of my pre-made smoothies.

Michael Rae apparently takes 1000mg and later 750mg daily; see here:

Michael's "Tiered" Supplement - LONGECITY

Michael says here:

Nutrition and Supplementation for Veg(etari)ans - CR Practice - CR Society Forum

 

"Taurine

Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that isn’t used to make proteins in the body, but is used in a wide variety of functions in animal cells, keeping them to regulate their internal balance of water to salts, involved in the development of the retina and the heart, and apparently used to buffer potentially-lethal electrochemical signaling in muscle and nerve cells as well, although the only really well-understood function of taurine is in forming bile salts. The main dietary source is fish, and vegetarian foods contain little to none; moreover, its main precursor is, once again, the sulfur-containing amino acid methionine, which is low in typical vegetarian diets. So it’s unsurprising that vegans’ plasma and tissue taurine levels are lower than those of omnivores by about 20%.[38],[39]

There’s a lot of evidence that higher intakes of taurine are protective of the cardiovascular system. Clinical trials in Japan (again, a country where intakes of taurine already tend to be high) show that relatively high doses of taurine (usually 3 to 6 grams) improve cardiac function in patients with heart disease, improve the cholesterol profile in overweight people, and help to normalize the clumping of platelets in diabetics with well-controlled blood sugar.[40] Consistent with these findings, an international comparison found urinary taurine excretion to be a very strong predictor of low risk of ischaemic heart disease and death from same, with risk falling very steeply as urinary excretion rose.[41] As I’ve emphasized before, however,  such studies (like the Keys Seven Countries study on dietary factors in heart disease, and the notorious China Study) are inherently poor evidence, as the populations always vary in many other variables than the one the researcher is interested in: in this case, for instance, high fish intake is also of course closely linked to high intake of omega-3 fatty acids. This raises the question in both directions, however: is taurine excretion a proxy for omega-3 intake, or are many of the benefits from eating fish that are usually attributed to omega-3s actually coming from the taurine? Only careful, prospective cohort studies, including detailed records on the kinds of fish eaten (many fish contain little to no omega-3s), can hope to sort such questions out.

Putting taurine into the diets of rats with genetically- or diet-induced high blood pressure also lowers their blood pressure, but it hasn’t had any effect in most trials in hypertensive humans; the most notable exception to this is in an uncontrolled study in Tibet, where 3 g of taurine a day significantly reduced both systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure. This is especially interesting regarding the situation for vegetarians, as Tibetans not only eat a lot of salt, but also have fairly low taurine intakes (an estimated 43 mg/day), in large part because they don’t eat fish for religious reasons.[42] Similarly, the diabetics whose platelet stickiness was alleviated by taurine had been found to have plasma levels about a third lower than those of healthy people – and, of course, rats don’t naturally consume much taurine. One possibility is that there is a kind of threshold for the benefits of taurine, so that supplements don’t do much for the average Westerners or Japanese in the other trials because of their usual dietary intake, while people (or rats) with low intake or high metabolic demand might get a boost from getting what is, in other groups, a normal intake.

There is a similar case to be made when examining the evidence that taurine is protective against the development of complications in diabetes. Aside from the effect on platelet stickiness in well-controlled diabetic men, one clinical trial also found that diabetic subjects given taurine supplements enjoyed an improvement in insulin sensitivity – the body’s ability to respond to the hormone insulin by taking up blood sugar into muscle, liver, and fat cells, keeping blood levels regulated.[43] On the other hand, another, better-designed trial in overweight men at risk of diabetes found no such benefit.[44]  Certainly many animal studies have found that taurine-fortified chow is very good for diabetic or high-fructose-fed rats, both metabolically (such as improved insulin sensitivity) and in protection against a range of the complications of diabetes, including reduced kidney damage.

Mark McCarty, a prolific speculator in matters nutritional, has hypothesized that the apparently-high AGE levels in vegetarians are at least partly the result of our low taurine intake. There might be a parallel to the well-managed diabetic patients who,  somewhat like healthy vegetarians, [45],[46] have both unusually-sticky platelets, and low levels of taurine in their plasma and platelets, despite having blood sugar within the normal range.  Stickier platelets put you at higher risk of a heart attack or stroke, because it increases the chance of an abnormal blood forming around atherosclerotic plaques, coming loose, and lodging itself in your coronary artery or brain, so this isn’t a trivial finding. The question is, what’s causing it, and how can it be corrected?

Clearly, the origins of the problem are different in the two groups. Diabetics need drugs to maintain normal blood sugar levels; these particular diabetics were omnivores, with normal dietary intake and absorption of taurine, so the low levels of taurine in their plasma and platelets was somehow the result of the disease, and not just a lack of dietary input; and the platelet stickiness in vegetarians is usually chalked down to, and can at least partially be corrected by,  the low intake of omega-3 fatty acids in typical vegetarian diets. In the diabetic subjects, however, taurine supplements did help to normalize their high plate stickiness, perhaps because the disease would quickly use up the taurine in their diets because the metabolic abnormalities of diabetes increase free radical production, and taurine appears to be needed to quench kinds of radicals involved in speeding the formation of the same AGE detected at high levels in vegetarians in the earlier report. Taurine can also sop up some of the reactive metabolic byproducts of sugar metabolism inside of cells, which are generated in excess in diabetes. Extra taurine therefore is simply making up for increased demand for its normal physiological function in diabetic subjects.

Thus, McCarty hypothesizes that  low taurine levels resulting from a lack of dietary taurine  in vegetarian diets might impair those same functions in an otherwise-normal subject, so that we can’t keep up even with the normal production of those same free radicals (and, I might add, AGE precursors), leading to stickier platelets and higher AGE levels.[47],[48]

How much to take? Studies in British and American populations report average intakes below 100 milligrams a day, but with a few people getting as much as 400 mg; the Japanese have a much lower floor on intake, with estimated consumption based on urinary excretion being in the 200 to 400 mg range, and the Spanish and Portuguese are in between, coming in at an estimated 160 to 200 mg. As we noted, those same urinary excretion studies found a steep curve of protection from ischaemic heart disease, with an apparenat plateau around the high end of intake in some communities in Japan, and this closely matches the extra 400 mg found to normalize platelet aggregation in diabetics (over and above, however, their usual dietary intake), which as we’ve discussed might have parallels to the situation with vegetarians due to the shared low plasma taurine levels. Happily, taurine supplements usually come in 500-1000 mg capsules, within the ballpark of high intake from a fish-rich omnivorous diet. Of course, even quite high intakes from a fish-rich diet are lower than what has been used in most clinical trials, but this article is to inform otherwise-healthy people who don’t eat meat, not to give medical advice to patients with heart failure.

 

 

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