Quick Navigation

Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid

TUDCA is a water soluble bile acid. It shows great potency in treating cholestasis (bile acid backup in the liver) as the water soluble bile acids counteract the toxicity of regular bile acids. Can also protect and rehabilitate the liver, and general protects cells; very promising molecule.

Our evidence-based analysis on tauroursodeoxycholic acid features 77 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:

Summary of Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Tauroursodeoxycholic acid, more commonly referred to as TUDCA, is a bile salt that is found natrually occurring in the body. When regular bile salts reach the intestines, they can be metabolized by bacteria into UDCA and then later bound to a taurine molecule to become TUDCA.

TUDCA is a water-soluble bile salt, which is in contrast to regular bile salts possessing both water soluble and fat soluble ends and conferring a detergent effect. This is good for the bile salt's biological purpose (emulsifying fats in the intestines to help with absorption) but when bile acids back up in the liver, a clinical state called cholestasis which occurs when the liver is unhealthy, these bile salts can be damaging to cells by destroying the membranes and signalling for cell death. TUDCA and other water soluble bile salts like UDCA compete with this toxicity and thus indirectly protect cells from death.

Additionally, it seems that TUDCA is able to reduce stress to any cell's Endoplasmic Reticulum; an organelle in cells that serves as a highway from the nucleus out into the cytoplasm, and aids in folding proteins. Through reducing ER stress, TUDCA has been implicated in a wide range of beneficial metabolic effects such as reducing insulin resistance and diabetes, and being a neurological protection agent. However, usages of TUDCA beyond the liver are preliminary whereas usage of TUDCA for helping an already harmed liver is quite reliable as TUDCA is used in clinical settings (hospitals) for treating cholestasis.

Make sure you only take supplements that work

Examine.com bases all of its recommendations on published scientific research. We’re a trusted resource because we don’t sell or even advertise supplements.

If you’re tired of wasting time and money on supplements that don’t work, our 17 Supplement Guides will help you figure out precisely what to take — and what to skip — based on your health goals and the latest scientific evidence. There’s a reason why over 50,000 customers rely on Examine.com’s independent and unbiased analysis.

Includes free lifetime updates so you always have the most accurate information.


I want unbiased recommendations to improve my health »

How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

10-13mg daily has once been shown to improve liver regenesis rates in a clinically ill population, and may be the lowest estimate of an active oral dose. When looking at improving bile salt composition, a dose around 15-20mg/kg bodyweight TUDCA seems best according to one study.

Benefits have been seen at 1,750mg daily for muscle and liver insulin sensitivity, which is the highest dose used for treatment of fatty liver disease.

Get the latest information on 400+ supplements and their effects on 600+ health conditions & outcomes.

By becoming an Examine Plus member, you'll have access to all of the latest nutrition research. Quickly and easily look up scientific research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.

Already a subscriber to any of our membership plans? Click here to login.

Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine Plus members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine Plus members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Notable Very High See all 5 studies
The decrease in liver enzymes associated with cholestasis is quite strong, and TUDCA is a reference drug for these effects
grade-c Notable - See study
Is either comparable or exceeds the potency of ursodeoxycholic acid, the reference drug for cholestasis
grade-c Notable - See study
Notable due to reaching near 30% improvement in obese persons and only being localized to muscle tissue and the liver, but not adipose tissue
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on fasting glucose levels
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on fat mass in obese persons
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on fasting insulin levels
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on weight in obese persons
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in HDL-C has been noted to be secondary to treating cholestasis
grade-d Minor - See study
An increase in hepatocyte regeneration has been noted with TUDCA in persons with liver disease
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in total cholesterol in serum has been noted secondary to treating cholestasis

Become an Examine Plus member to access the latest nutrition research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.

Becoming an Examine Plus member not only unlocks the Human Effect Matrix for supplements, but also all health topics on Examine.com. We neatly summarize all the latest research so you can make the best decisions for your health based on what's accurate and not out-dated information.

Things to Note

Other Functions:

Also Known As

TUDCA

Do Not Confuse With

Taurine (a moiety on the UDCA part)

Caution Notice

If using TUDCA for treating an alcohol-abused liver, be aware of the temporal relationship needed. Co-incubation (same time) or rehabilitative (after the matter) usage of TUDCA may be protective of the liver while pre-loading TUDCA before drinking may be harmful to the liver.

  • TUDCA is water-soluble

Tired of misinformation? Get unbiased info on supplements.

At Examine.com, our incentives line up with yours — getting unbiased information. It’s why we don’t sell any advertising or supplements.

Join over 250,000 people who’ve learned about effective versus overrated supplements, supplement buying tips, and how to combine supplements for safety and efficacy.

Click here to see all 77 references.