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The potential usefulness of taurine on diabetes mellitus and its complications
Takashi Ito1, Stephen W. Schaffer2 and Junichi Azuma1
(1) Department of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Hyogo University of Health Sciences, 1-3-6 Minatojima, Chuo-ku, Kobe Hyogo, 650-8530, Japan
(2) Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA
Received: 15 December 2010 Accepted: 4 March 2011 Published online: 25 March 2011
Taurine is a free amino acid found ubiquitously in millimolar concentrations in all mammalian tissues. 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.