I don’t know about you, but as an athlete, I’m usually more concerned about the way I look on the outside compared to the inside. Strong, lean muscles are great, but how you take care of your inner body is just as if not more important than your outward appearance.
What we put in our bodies can have a significant impact on health and performance.
Usually, when people imagine inner health they think of:
- Eating healthy foods.
- Drinking enough water.
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Gut health
- Decreasing inflammation
- Managing stress
- Avoiding junk food, heavily processed products, and sugar.
While I wholeheartedly recommend all the above to achieve inner health, sometimes it is not enough. Especially when it comes to organ health. More specifically, liver health.
In this article, we are going to talk about the supplement Tudca and the positive benefits it can provide not only to your liver but your entire body. We will discuss what it is, benefits, the best way to use it, dosage, side effects, and any interactions it may have with other supplements or drugs.
But first, let’s answer the most common question about Tudca which is…..
What does Tudca stand for?
Tudca stands for tauroursodeoxycholic acid.
What is Tudca?
Tudca is a “good” bile acid (salt) that is water-soluble and is naturally occurring in the body.
How does Tudca work?
Tauroursodeoxycholic acid's primary role in the body is to prevent “bad” bile acids from “backing up” in the liver. When this happens, the liver becomes unhealthy, and cholestasis occurs.
During cholestasis, “bad” bile salts damage cells, membranes, and signal cell death in the liver.
Tudca competes with these harmful bile salts and thus indirectly protects liver cells from dying.
Take-home point? Tudca is the livers best friend and protector
How the supplement TUDCA is made
As stated before, tauroursodeoxycholic acid is naturally produced in the body, but it can also be produced as a synthetic supplement from the taurine conjugate form of Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA) which is another “good” bile salt.
What does Tudca taste like?
As a supplement in powder form, Tudca tastes very bitter and salty. Luckily for us, most Tudca supplements are sold in capsules.
Now to the part you have been waiting for. What are the benefits of tauroursodeoxycholic acid? I’ll list them briefly here and go into more detail in the next section on the research on Tudca.
- Protects the liver.
- Effective at treating cholestasis.
- Rehabilitates the liver when damage has occurred.
- Reduces stress to any cell’s endoplasmic reticulum.
- May reduce insulin sensitivity and diabetes.
- Neuroprotective agent.
- May decrease cholesterol.
- May offer benefits as it relates to Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.
Research on Tudca
Tudca Decreases Liver Enzymes Associated With Cholestasis
A 1996 study conducted by Crosignani et al. discovered that subjects who took 500, 1000, or 1500mg of Tudca daily for six months were able to reduce the harmful liver enzymes associated with cholestasis significantly.
Tudca Improves Liver And Muscle Insulin Sensitivity
Kars et al. (2010) found that 20 subjects who took 1750mg of Tudca daily for four weeks improved muscle and liver insulin sensitivity by ~30%! What’s interesting is this improvement rivals current anti-diabetic pharmaceuticals.
Tudca Decreases Cholesterol
A 2001 study found subjects who supplemented with either 1000 or 1500mg of Tudca daily for six months were able to significantly lower total cholesterol.
Tudca May Have Protective Effects Against Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and Strokes
Several studies have demonstrated that supplementing with Tudca daily can offer neuro-protective benefits against certain conditions.
For example, one study has demonstrated that Tudca provides a protective effect against a toxin that induces Huntington’s Disease.
Another study has demonstrated that Tudca may help with Alzheimer’s by preventing beta-amyloid-induced cell death in the brain.
Last but not least, two studies have demonstrated Tudca’s neuroprotective actions against stroke and other neurological injuries.
The best way to dose Tudca
For protective benefits, a dose of 15-20mg per kilogram body weight should be used.
For liver regenesis 10-13mg daily should be used.
To improve muscle and liver insulin sensitivity, a dose of 1750mg daily is recommended.
The above dosages can be taken at one time or split up throughout the day.
When to take Tudca
Tudca can be taken anytime but should preferably be consumed with food to aid with absorption.
How long does it take Tudca to work?
Tudca does not have any immediate, acute benefits. It must be taken daily to reap the positive effects.
The majority of studies have demonstrated that the benefits of tauroursodeoxycholic acid happen after one to six months of daily use.
Take-home point. Use Tudca for at least 30 days, but the most significant benefits will happen with long term consistent use.
How much Tudca to take on a cycle of tren and dbol
Like it or not, some of the most popular users of Tudca are athletes or bodybuilders who use steroids like tren or dbol. This makes sense from a physiological perspective as these two steroids can wreak havoc on the liver.
While I don’t recommend the use of steroids for a variety of reasons, if you are on a cycle of steroids, use 500-1000mg of Tudca three hours away from when you take tren or dbol.
Tudca before drinking
Getting ready for a night out of drinking and worried about your liver. Tudca may be able to help.
One study has demonstrated that taking Tudca AFTER drinking might alleviate alcohol’s adverse effects on the liver.
NEVER take Tudca before drinking as this may cause liver damage.
Negative side effects of taking Tudca
Tudca does not appear to have any adverse side effects. As demonstrated by multiple studies, 500mg of Tudca daily for one year was not associated with any negative side effects.
No unfavorable interactions with other supplements or drugs known at this time
Where to buy Tudca supplements
While Tudca can be purchased on popular websites like Amazon or similar, most of the time they are severely underdosed to be effective.
One of the best Tudca products that is clinically dosed and I recommend is Optitune Tudca.
Matt Mosman (MS, CISSN, CSCS) is a research scientist, endurance athlete, and the founder and Chief Endurance Officer at EndurElite. Matt holds his B.S. in Exercise Science from Creighton University and his M.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of California. Matt and his family reside in Spearfish South Dakota, where they enjoy running, mountain biking, camping, and all the outdoor adventures Spearfish has to offer.
Crosignani, A., Battezzati, P. M., Setchell, K. D., Invernizzi, P., Covini, G., Zuin, M., & Podda, M. (1996). Tauroursodeoxycholic acid for treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis. Digestive diseases and sciences, 41(4), 809-815.
Kars, M., Yang, L., Gregor, M. F., Mohammed, B. S., Pietka, T. A., Finck, B. N., ... & Klein, S. (2010). Tauroursodeoxycholic acid may improve liver and muscle but not adipose tissue insulin sensitivity in obese men and women. Diabetes, 59(8), 1899-1905.
Keene, C. D., Rodrigues, C. M., Eich, T., Linehan-Stieers, C., Abt, A., Kren, B. T., ... & Low, W. C. (2001). A bile acid protects against motor and cognitive deficits and reduces striatal degeneration in the 3-nitropropionic acid model of Huntington's disease. Experimental neurology, 171(2), 351-360.
Rodrigues, C. M., Solá, S., Silva, R., & Brites, D. (2000). Bilirubin and amyloid-β peptide induce cytochrome c release through mitochondrial membrane permeabilization. Molecular medicine, 6(11), 936.
Rodrigues, C. M., Solá, S., Nan, Z., Castro, R. E., Ribeiro, P. S., Low, W. C., & Steer, C. J. (2003). Tauroursodeoxycholic acid reduces apoptosis and protects against neurological injury after acute hemorrhagic stroke in rats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(10), 6087-6092.