Too often, our livers don’t get the love they deserve – actually, they take a lot of abuse! TUDCA is a rarefied supplement that supports the function of this organ that does so much to support us.
Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid, which I’ll refer to with the phonetically uncumbersome acronym TUDCA from now on, has a not-insignificant amount of science backing it up, 13 human clinical trials can be found on Pubmed.
TUDCA is a bile salt naturally made it our body, the Etymology geeks might note that its long, hard-to-pronounce Latin name contains urso, “the bear” because (fun fact!) in traditional medicine, according to legend, one had to kill an angry bear to get this medicine in it’s naturally occurring form. The stuff must have some pretty fantastic medicinal properties if our ancestors were willing to go toe-to-toe with a snarling grizzly to get some.
In this article, I’ll break down the science and what practical benefits it translates into…
Liver Support for Bodybuilders
TUDCA is loved in the bodybuilding space because it restores, rehabs and maintains the liver, which bodybuilders throw endless strange molecules at. Bodybuilders take Steroids and SARMs in “bulking cycles” to cut fat fast and accelerate muscle growth, oral anabolic steroids, increasing ALT and AST liver enzyme levels, TUDCA mitigates this along with…
- Preventing liver cell death
- Prevents buildup of liver bile
- Blocks formation of toxic metabolites
If you’re going to take steroids or SARMs to enhance your fitness or bodybuilding, five human clinical trials indicate that TUDCA supplementation is a pretty smart idea.
As our livers labor day in and day out, bile acid builds up between the liver and gall bladder. When our livers are chronically overworked and underappreciated because we take too many supplements, drugs or drink booze or eat toxic non-organic food excess bile acid manifests in Cholestasis. Cholestasis can result in liver disease and symptoms of itchiness, jaundice, dark urine and pale stools (whatever you do, don’t Google image search that last one, you’ll regret it!)
An adult would want to take 1000 – 1500 milligrams daily to treat Cholestasis
Hangover Hack/Alcohol Recovery
TUDCA isn’t the first supplement that I would recommend to boozing biohackers, but it certainly qualifies as a hangover hack because of all the good it does for your liver. As opposed to blocking alcohol from converting into toxic acetaldehyde it just reverses liver damage, so it’s probably more effective for recovering alcoholics to take than it is for averting a hangover.
Importantly: Don’t take it before drinking (it actually does more liver damage), take it during or after drinking.
Combats Liver Cirrhosis
This condition is as nasty as it sounds, basically, it means that your liver becomes scarred resulting in lack of sex drive, severe cramps, weakened bones, and all number of other nasty symptoms leading up to and including death.
A trial of 23 Italians, concluded that TUDCA was an effective treatment for cirrhosis, well tolerated and no patient complained of side effects…
A few decades ago an Italian placebo-controlled, multicenter study of One hundred and fifty patients with chronic hepatitis evaluated it for 6 months and concluded simply:
[TUDCA] improves the biochemical expression of chronic hepatitis.
Diabetes and Insulin Sensitivity
- It’s an anti-aging Nootropic in that it does cross the blood-brain barrier where it decreases beta-amyloid, it’s speculated that it might be a potent preventative measure for Alzheimer’s.
- TUDCA prevents apoptosis – the death of liver cells. I have mixed feelings about Apoptosis, in one sense you want your old cells to die at the right time and be replaced by young cells. You don’t want your body’s cells to be like Japan, with a disproportionately old population.
A handful of studies and papers suggest that TUDCA mitigates cancer cell proliferation, particularly Colon cancer, according to a 2017 paper published in PLOS.
I would wager that it has a downstream effect of preventing cancer via its liver support effect. The general toxicity of nearly everything we consume results in cancer, the risk of which increases the worse our livers get at filtering out toxins. Even if you’re not a roided-up bodybuilder, it’s probably a wise cancer prevention measure to order a bottle of TUDCA once or twice a year and take it for a month or month two.
Risk Grade: A-
- In a human study, 1500 milligrams were taken daily for 6 months by subjects and no adverse events occurred – meaning that nobody experienced any unpleasant side effects bad enough that they were reported to the scientists running the study.
- 500 milligrams daily was safely tolerated for a year by patients in an Italian liver transplant study.
While it has a long, scary-sounding name, it’s a natural chemical produced in the body, so the negative effects documented are minimal.
- Stomach discomfort in some people
- Pregnant women or children
Dosage and Usage
If you’re a bodybuilder taking steroids or SARMs be responsible and use TUDCA during your bulking cycles. Ideally, you would want to get liver enzyme tests done to see how the drugs are affecting your liver. If not, pay attention to your urine, the darker it is the more concerned you should be with liver rehab. If hangovers hit you really hard, then it’s time for some liver maintenance.
TUDCA’s notable cofactor is N-Acetyl Cysteine
- As low as 250 milligrams for treating primary biliary cholangitis
- 500 milligrams daily was taken by patients recovering from a liver transplant
- 1000-1500 milligrams is the standard dose for bodybuilders or healthy adults.
- 1750 milligrams is the higher end of the dosage range, this kind of dosage would be appropriate for someone treating fatty liver disease.
The TUDCA Scam…
Apparently, there’s TUDCA scam to be wary of, companies mislabel UDCA as TUDCA. UDCA is less bioavailable and pharmacologically active. TUDCA should cost $40-60 per bottle if it costs $25-$30 it’s most certainly… no bueno, ne khorosho, ni dobre, it’s no good, my friend!
You’ll want to take TUDCA as a stand-alone supplement, not as an ingredient in a pre-workout stack or multivitamin that contains a bunch of other ingredients. The more ingredients a supplement cocktail contains the more likely that the individual ingredients are of shoddy quality.
Finally, you can and should demand to see a COA (certificate of analysis) for the TUDCA before you purchase or ingest it.
Narrows Labs takes purity and quality SERIOUSLY and we prove it by publishing our product quality assurance lab testing for our TUDCA Capsules
- Sixty 300 milligram capsules (18 grams total)
- Free shipping on American orders