A well-formulated supplement plan is similar to a winning sports team. Its synergy comes from the collaborative effort of each member sharing their talents.
When everyone gives their best together, 2+2 doesn’t equal 4. It’s closer to 8. They achieve far more together than they could alone. They not only win the game, but they also set records.
This is comparable to what could happen when you pair TUDCA — a liver helper — with other all-star supplements.
Valuable teammates of TUDCA include melatonin, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), and carbon-based binders. This team can help you tackle detoxification, digestive health, cellular stress, and more.
Here’s a closer look at how the TUDCA team may support your health, including 10 signs you may need this supplement combination.
TUDCA — also known as tauroursodeoxycholic acid — is a water-soluble bile acid and liver helper. It's present in small amounts in your bile, which is produced by your liver. TUDCA helps stimulate the release of bile into your gut. (1)
In your small intestine, bile helps break fat droplets into smaller particles, so they’re easier to digest. What’s more, bile provides a way for your body to eliminate toxins, as you excrete some bile in your stools.
Without adequate TUDCA, your bile duct system can clog. A bottleneck in this critical detox pathway could potentially impair the functioning of your organs and metabolic processes.
Many of TUDCA’s benefits stem from its ability to stimulate bile flow and support liver health. Still, it has many other potential benefits due to its ability to support cell health. This includes helping prevent free radical damage and promoting the healthy function of the components inside your cells.
Some of the organs and systems TUDCA may support include your:
- Digestive system
TUDCA is impressive on its own. Still, when you put TUDCA on a team of other superstars, you don’t just add potential health benefits. You could start multiplying them.
TUDCA and Melatonin
You probably know melatonin best as a hormone that helps you sleep. Your melatonin levels may decrease significantly during a full moon. Supplemental melatonin may be especially helpful during this time.
Melatonin also plays a role in your digestion. In fact, you have up to 100 times more melatonin in your digestive tract than in your blood. (2)
Human studies suggest several ways melatonin may support your digestive system, including: (3, 4)
Controlling gut motility. Melatonin influences how fast or slow your stomach empties. It may also slow down or speed up the movement of your intestinal contents based on your body’s needs.
Reducing gut inflammation. Melatonin helps regulate immune cells in your gut, which may help calm inflammation. It’s also an antioxidant and may increase your body’s ability to produce more of its own antioxidants. This may further reduce gut inflammation.
Minimizing abdominal pain. Some people with significant abdominal pain — such as in irritable bowel syndrome — may have less melatonin in their digestive tract. Melatonin supplements may help reduce the sensation of abdominal pain.
Clearly, melatonin is essential for your health. Now, what does it have to do with TUDCA?
TUDCA helps you detox a whole range of potentially harmful substances. This includes those your body generates during metabolic processes, as well as contaminants from your food and the environment. Melatonin supports the detox efforts of TUDCA.
Together they may help:
- Activate cell receptors and signaling pathways in your liver and gut
- Protect your cell membranes from damage
- Shield your body’s lipids from oxidation
- Safeguard your DNA from oxidative stress
TUDCA and melatonin amplify each other’s efforts to shield and support every cell in your body.
TUDCA and NAC
One of TUDCA’s potential benefits is within your cells’ mitochondria. These are the energy generators in your cells. However, they do much more than creating energy or ATP.
Mitochondria are also involved in your cells’ metabolism and the maintenance of your cell membranes. They may even help defend your cells from viruses. (5)
These vital functions can strain your mitochondria. When they are too stressed and start to malfunction, they either trigger cell death (apoptosis) or mutate.
Too many cells dying before their appropriate time can lead to disease. On the flip side, if damaged cells don’t die, it can lead to conditions such as cancer. Neither option is good.
TUDCA supports your mitochondria and helps combat cell stress. It neutralizes free radicals to help your mitochondria function normally. (6)
Another component of your cells that can get overly stressed is the endoplasmic reticulum. This is like a manufacturing and packaging factory for your cells.
An excessive workload strains your cells’ endoplasmic reticulum and contributes to damage. That may trigger cell death to prevent dysfunction. (7)
Endoplasmic reticulum stress is linked to several conditions, including: (8)
- Viral infections
- Neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease
TUDCA supports your endoplasmic reticulum to help prevent cells from mutating or dying prematurely.
As impressive as TUDCA is by itself, it pairs well with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). Your body uses NAC to make glutathione, one of your body’s most potent antioxidants.
The combination of TUDCA and NAC may improve their ability to squelch free radicals and lower inflammation, according to animal research. (9)
NAC is also a star player in its own right. It’s long been used to help protect the liver against toxins.
TUDCA and carbon-based binders
Carbon-based binders add further synergy to the TUDCA team. These carbons act as a “coach,” “athlete,” and “towel boy” simultaneously.
As a coach, it protects and directs TUDCA, NAC, and melatonin as they travel through your gut. You’ll get more value from them because they won’t be spent or damaged before arriving where they’re most needed.
Carbon-based binders can also be players. They can “pass” electrons to your cells to help the team neutralize free radicals and cell stress. What’s more, they offer your tissues building blocks to repair free radical damage.
No one likes to pick up garbage, but carbon-based binders don’t mind. Once they finish passing electrons and delivering building materials, they keeps working. They grab toxins and escort them out via your stools.
Where would a team be without a coach, captain, and towel boy? All are vital parts of a winning team, and carbon-based binders fill that role well.
10 Signs You Need TUDCA and Its Teammates
As remarkable as the TUDCA team is, how do you know if you need it? Here are 10 signs that your health may benefit from TUDCA paired with melatonin, NAC, and carbon-based binders.
Many bodily processes slow down and become less efficient as you age. The amount of TUDCA in your bile decreases. Toxins build up in your body over time. You also produce less melatonin and antioxidants with age.
Like a snowball gaining speed downhill, these challenges gain momentum as you age. The disease process also accelerates.
Taking TUDCA may help raise your antioxidant levels and reduce toxin levels. NAC and melatonin may boost your body’s antioxidant activity as well.
2. Liver and gallbladder problems
A significant source of disease is a clogged bile duct system. If bile can’t flow readily into your small intestine, your detoxification will be hindered.
Besides liver disorders, poor bile flow can also contribute to gallbladder issues. Gallstones cause blockages in your bile ducts and create pain and inflammation.
TUDCA stimulates bile flow, and NAC may help dissolve gallstones. What’s more, melatonin helps your gallbladder contract to release bile. It may also help reduce the organ’s inflammation. (10, 11, 12, 13)
That’s just a glimpse of how taking this team of compounds may support your liver and gallbladder health. Their efforts could have far-reaching effects in your body.
3. Chronic and recurring viral infections
Viruses can stress your cells’ endoplasmic reticulum. This is because the endoplasmic reticulum helps defend against pathogens. However, this defense mechanism also causes stress and may lead to cell destruction.
TUDCA may help reduce this strain on your cells and promote their healthy functioning. It may also help inhibit the viruses themselves. (14)
Other components of the TUDCA team may help combat infections as well. Test-tube studies suggest NAC inhibits viruses from replicating. (15)
What’s more, animal and test-tube studies suggest melatonin may help your immune system fight viruses. This hormone helps regulate your immune cells. It may also bolster your antioxidant defenses against viruses and help control inflammation. (16)
4. Heart and other cardiovascular issues
Endoplasmic reticulum stress can also harm your cardiovascular system. This stress can constrict your blood vessels and may lead to hypertension or high blood pressure. (17)
Animal studies suggest TUDCA may help reduce cardiovascular inflammation and lower blood pressure. (18, 19, 20)
Preliminary studies suggest TUDCA may also help: (21, 22)
- Improve heart contraction
- Prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol buildup
- Reduce damage from a heart attack
- Stimulate the repair of blood vessels
Some of the other team members may support your heart health, too. NAC may help lower your homocysteine. That’s an inflammatory amino acid. It can damage your arteries and lead to plaque buildup, which restricts blood flow. (23)
Melatonin promotes lower blood pressure and may reduce damage after a heart attack. What’s more, it may help lower your triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. (24)
5. Gut problems
Inflammation in your digestive tract can create many issues. Many of them stem from a faulty intestinal barrier. Some people refer to this as “leaky gut” since the tight junctions between the cells in your gut wall separate.
A leaky gut lets toxins and microscopic food particles “leak” through to your underlying gut tissue. Your immune system and liver have to deal with the aftermath. This may lead to toxin overload and allergies or sensitivities.
Animal research suggests TUDCA helps lower gut inflammation. This may help the junctions between your intestinal cells become "tight" again. Having a healthy gut barrier may also help ward off Candida overgrowth. (25)
Clearly, TUDCA’s potential benefits for gut health are impressive, but its teammates can help.
Lower melatonin levels are linked to increased intestinal permeability. So, maintaining levels of this hormone appears to be important for gut health. (26)
Additionally, NAC supports antioxidant production, which may help control gut inflammation. And, carbon-based binders help bind toxins in your gut.
6. Neurodegenerative diseases
These are diseases in which cells in your brain and the rest of your nervous system lose function. Eventually, these dysfunctional cells die.
Mitochondrial stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress are closely related to neurodegenerative conditions. (21)
Examples of neurodegenerative diseases include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
At the core of each of these diseases is the death of neurons and other brain cells. This can lead to memory loss, cognitive decline, and eventually poor muscle control and movement.
TUDCA may help protect your brain and support the survival of neurons. Its antioxidant activities may decrease inflammation and squelch the free radicals involved in nerve cell damage. (27, 28)
NAC is also a valuable team player for protecting neurons. Remember, your body uses it to make the powerful antioxidant glutathione. (29)
Melatonin may enhance this protection. It neutralizes free radicals and reduces inflammation. Similar in this regard to TUDCA, it’s an antioxidant and may help support your production of these protective compounds. (30)
That’s an impressive antioxidant defense team for your brain and the rest of your nervous system.
7. Diabetes and insulin resistance
High blood sugar is a tremendous burden on your cells. It contributes to inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress in cells.
In diabetes, your body struggles to keep your blood sugar under control. TUDCA may help reduce blood sugar in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It may support your body’s production of insulin, a blood sugar-lowering hormone. It may also make your cells more responsive to insulin. (21)
The other team members pitch in to support healthy blood sugar. NAC may help reduce your cells' resistance to insulin, whether due to genetics or diet and lifestyle. Melatonin helps to regulate how much insulin you secrete. (31, 32)
8. Eye diseases
Your eyes are vulnerable to several diseases, including those of the retina. The retina lines the back of your eye and converts light into nerve messages that your brain reads as images.
Retinal diseases have genetic and environmental risk factors. Both involve oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress in your eye cells. This causes loss of photoreceptors, which are the light-sensitive cells of your retina. Fewer cells result in thinner retinas and vision loss.
Retinal thickness decreases as you age and also as eye diseases progress. Some of the eye diseases that can affect your retina include retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.
Team TUDCA may help protect your vulnerable retina cells against these eye conditions. (21)
Animal studies suggest TUDCA may help slow retinal thinning. This may be due to its ability to reduce oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress in retinal cells. (33, 34)
NAC and melatonin support TUDCA’s effectiveness by contributing antioxidant defense. This may also help protect the lifespan of your retinal cells. (35)
9. Heavy metal toxicity
You are continually exposed to heavy metals. To be healthy, you need small amounts of certain heavy metals, such as copper. But, they need to come from an organic source — otherwise, they can be toxic to you. They can interfere with cellular processes and lead to disease.
TUDCA may safeguard you from heavy metal toxicity by helping: (36)
- Increase bile flow, which enables you to excrete heavy metals via bile loss in your stools
Protect you from the cellular stress that inorganic heavy metals create
NAC is a superstar player in heavy metal removal as well. It bonds to the inorganic, non-essential forms of heavy metals while leaving the organic, essential ones alone. (37)
Melatonin and carbon-based binders amplify the benefits of TUDCA and NAC by also binding heavy metals. What’s more, both of them can cross your blood-brain barrier and help protect your brain cells from oxidative stress triggered by heavy metals. (38, 39)
Equally important, carbon-based binders also have the potential to help repair cells damaged by heavy metals and support the creation of new cells in your body. (40)
10. Kidney problems
Like the liver, the kidneys are part of your detox system. But, your liver is somewhat better at shielding itself from toxins than your kidneys.
TUDCA may help defend your kidneys from toxins. It may also help reduce endoplasmic reticulum stress in your kidney cells so they can function normally. (41)
NAC and melatonin may enhance TUDCA’s ability to defend your kidneys from oxidative stress and other damage by toxic compounds.
For example, an animal study suggests NAC may help protect the kidneys from free radical damage due to the weed killer glyphosate. Another animal study found that melatonin helped protect the kidneys from injury due to carbon tetrachloride, a drycleaning chemical. (42, 43)
Gear Up for the Game
An all-star like TUDCA can support detoxification and cellular health beautifully by itself. Still, when it's combined with other health-promoting compounds, it really shines.
TUDCA paired with NAC, melatonin, and carbon-based binders may help protect you against toxins, free radicals, and viruses. This team may also support your liver, gallbladder, gut, kidney, eye, heart, and brain health.
What health championships do you need the TUDCA team to help you with?