TUDCA Not just for Liver health

TUDCA  a.k.a Tauroursodeoxycholic acid-

Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) is the taurine conjugate of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA).   UDCA is a US Food and Drug Administration–approved hydrophilic bile acid to treat certain cholestatic liver diseases. TUDCA is closely related to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), with some structural differences.  TUDCA may have more of a positive effect than UDCA due to it being higher hydrophilic. TUDCA is one of the compounds found in bile acid. Bile acid is made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder and helps with digestion.  TUDCA is mainly known for what it does in the liver.   TUDCA can help to significantly lower liver enzymes and even help reverse Cholestasis.   Cholestasis is caused by inflammation of the liver and the bile ducts.   They become inflamed, and a build of toxic bile acids begins to cause liver damage.   TUDCA works because it is a hydrophilic bile acid (a good Bile Acid you could say) and helps the body breakdown and clear out the toxic bile acids.  TUDCA has been shown in quite a few studies, including five clinical trials that were done on humans.  Cholestasis is a common issue with people abusing oral anabolic steroids due to the added methyl group to the 17th Carbon, which allows the steroid to pass the liver and exert its positive effects on the body.  This same methyl group causes the liver’s adverse effects by making the liver work harder to remove this steroid, which causes an increase in liver enzymes and inflammation.  The use of oral AAS will lead to Cholestasis if high doses are used or if the oral steroids are used for an extended period. The Cholestasis risk is why TUDCA is crucial for any hardcore bodybuilder or anyone using Performance Enhancing Drugs. 

Here are the main reasons why a bodybuilder/athlete may want to use TUDCA:

-Helps protect and even regenerate the liver

-Lowers Liver enzymes and inflammation of the liver

– May help with the improvement of cholesterol levels by keeping the liver functioning optimally.  Cholesterol is synthesized in the liver.

-Provide some protection for the kidneys.  Unlike the liver, the kidneys can’t heal themselves.  Once damaged, they usually only get worse, so anything to help with prevention of this is critical in my opinion.  Check out this article on Kidney damage due to AAS abuse to learn more about how the kidneys can be affected by steroid abuse and over training. https://www.tgbsupplements.com/kidney-damage-from-aas-abuse-supplements-and-over-training/

-Supports a healthy digestive system and may help improve gut health.

– Prevent bloating and water retention in the stomach area.  

-Has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity and even fat burning.  Anything that can help improve insulin sensitivity should be utilized, in my opinion.  This can be a huge issue that can lead to Type II diabetes.  For someone with Type I Diabetes, this is also extremely important. 

TUDCA is something that every serious bodybuilder should have in their supplementation protocol in my personal opinion, and the reasons above make that pretty clear.   If that isn’t enough, TUDCA may also have a few other significant benefits that you may not be aware of, and some of these are more impressive than the ones I listed above.  A growing number of pre-clinical and clinical studies underscore the potential benefits of this simple, naturally occurring bile acid, which has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 3000 years.  Most of us are familiar with TUDCA for its liver-protecting and even healing effects, but now there seems to be more evidence showing it is good for the liver and has many other benefits in the body.   A growing body of research on the mechanism(s) of TUDCA and its potential therapeutic effect on a wide variety of non-liver diseases.

Additional Benefits of TUDCA  that you may not be aware of:

– TUDCA has the unique ability to increase cell survival and inhibit programmed cell death, or apoptosis. The protective mechanisms of TUDCA have been studied in a wide range of cell types and animal models of human disease. TUDCA is a potent inhibitor of apoptosis by interfering early on with the mitochondrial pathway of cell death and associated processes such as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), reducing endoplasmic reticulum stress, and stabilizing the unfolded protein response (UPR). Obesity, stroke, acute myocardial infarction, spinal cord injury, and a long list of acute and chronic non-liver diseases associated with apoptosis are potential therapeutic targets for TUDCA. Several studies have demonstrated that TUDCA serves as an anti-apoptotic agent for several neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson, and Huntington’s disease. TUDCA serves as a neuroprotectant against acute injuries such as stroke and chronic neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Huntington’s Disease.

-TUDCA plays a vital role in protecting against cell death in certain retinal disorders, such as retinitis pigmentosa.

-TUDCA has been shown to reduce Endoplasmic Reticulum stress associated with elevated glucose levels in diabetes by inhibiting caspase activation, upregulating the UPR, and inhibiting reactive oxygen species.

-TUDCA ameliorates the insulin resistance associated with obesity, inhibits Endoplasmic Reticulum stress associated with type II diabetes.


TUDCA is effective in animal models of spinal cord injury, head trauma, glaucoma, acute renal failure, pancreatitis, metabolic syndrome, psoriasis, myocardial infarction, neuropathic pain, ischemia-reperfusion syndromes, GI disorders, and diabetic retinopathy in addition to the apparent liver-related diseases. Obese patients seem to benefit from TUDCA via the inhibition of ER stress and UPR dysfunction. Patients with macular degeneration, hair loss, and early onset of aging may benefit from the remarkable properties of TUDCA.   TUDCA is being studied more and more due to its positive effects on the body.    


Are there any adverse effects of TUDCA? What are the risks? 

All of the data I have looked at on TUDCA shows almost no adverse effects with its regular use.   Human Clinical data has shown that even those with a compromised liver have no side effects.  For example, Usage of 500mg TUDCA daily for one year (in persons after liver transplants) was not associated with any adverse effects. In otherwise healthy obese persons, doses of 1,750mg have been well tolerated for up to 4 weeks. In persons with primary biliary cirrhosis, 750mg daily for two months was not associated with any adverse effects. A similar population was able to tolerate 1,500mg daily for six months, with no adverse effects. 

The only thing I could find out was that some people complained of a slightly upset stomach other than that there are little known side effects of TUDCA.  

*** It should be mentioned that using TUDCA after alcohol use can help the liver detox and heal but taking TUDCA right before going out and drinking alcohol could lead to a more damaging effect.  


Final Thoughts

  TUDCA is a staple in my Supplement plan, and I also include it in all my bodybuilding client plans.   Anyone using AAS or, more specifically, Oral steroids should be using TUDCA, in my opinion.  No TUDCA will not reduce the effectiveness of your Steroids! If anything, taking TUDCA at the same time may improve efficacy.  TUDCA has so many great benefits; I think a low to moderate dose of 250-500mg daily or even just five days a week would be great for everyday people who are just wanting to make sure they keep their liver functioning at optimal levels.   For an athlete or someone using Oral AAS, I would recommend 500-1000mg per day.   When buying TUDCA, keep in mind, it is not a cheap supplement/ingredient if you want a quality TUDCA.  A lot of supplement companies are scamming their customers by selling UDCA as TUDCA.  UDCA is more affordable but does not have the same effect as TUDCA because it is not as water-soluble.    It works but not quite as well, in my opinion.   If you see a much cheaper product than the rest, I would do some research on it and remember more affordable is not always better; it is rarely better.    The risk of being misled is another reason why you should buy your supplements from a trusted source.   Being that I am the Owner of TGB Supplements, I would appreciate the opportunity to work with you, and if you want someone who will give it to you straight, I am the guy.  People don’t always want to hear the truth.  I am doing what I love, and I want to help people live a healthier lifestyle.   You can reach me directly at trevor@tgbsupplements.com.   


  There are a couple of TUDCA products that I currently recommend.   Here they are :

Iron Forged Nutrition CERT.  

Revive Liver



* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.




Key Words: Apoptosis, bile acids, chaperone, cytoprotection, endoplasmic reticulum stress, misfolded proteins, neurodegenerative diseases, unfolded protein response, tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA)





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