Enhancing gut and digestive health is all the rage lately, with many supplement companies pushing out products designed to improve various aspects of gut health. Many of these supplements are concentrated forms of what the body already produces naturally; the thought process being that these substances can become depleted in people with issues and need to be restored.
One of these such products is called TUDCA. This supplement is designed to offer not only digestive benefits but much, much more. The question is, does it truly live up to all the hype? We’ll find out if this gut and digestive health supplement is worth the purchase in this TUDCA review.
Let’s dive in!
TUDCA is made by BodyBio, the same creators as BodyBio Butyrate. TUDCA is primarily a digestive health supplement and stands for tauroursodeoxycholic acid, which the human body produces naturally, but in small amounts. It is a bile acid formed naturally and helps significantly with fat digestion. Sometimes people have suboptimal fat digestion for a host of reasons, such as decreased bile production, and this is where TUDCA could potentially come in handy. TUDCA is also supposed to have a number of other health benefits, as well, that happen with long-term use.
BodyBio states that TUDCA is specifically formulated to support digestion, liver health, and offer neuroprotective benefits.
As a bile salt, TUDCA is supposed to help with the breakdown of fats and overall fat metabolism. It is also supposed to enhance nutrient absorption. The thought process is that some people may not be producing enough bile on their own for a variety of reasons, so this is where supplementation could help.
Other digestive benefits they claim are improving the biodiversity of the microbiome and preventing leaky gut syndrome.
TUDCA is also supposed to support the liver and aid in the detoxification process. Since the liver is heavily involved in clearing out toxins, enhancing liver health via TUDCA supplementation is supposed to benefit this process. It also may address fatty liver, biliary cirrhosis, and hepatitis, and improve insulin sensitivity.
Finally, TUDCA is designed to offer neuroprotective benefits by reducing cellular stress, protecting DNA, and positively affecting genetic expression. And all of these factors are supposed to prevent protein misfolding that is common in neurological disorders.
Clearly, there are a host of claimed benefits. But what will you actually get out of this product? Keep reading to find out!
An ingredient list doesn’t get any simpler than that of TUDCA. In each serving, which is two capsules, TUDCA contains just one ingredient: Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid.
Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (500mg)
So, what is tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), and why is it beneficial? As noted, TUDCA is a bile acid, which is synthesized from the liver and is involved in the intestinal absorption of fats and fatty nutrients.
However, suboptimal bile acid production and metabolism are often seen in people with metabolic disorders, neurological disorders, and other concerns. This is unsurprising since TUDCA is involved in many processes related to these things.
For example, TUDCA:
- interacts with insulin receptors and is involved in glucose metabolism
- Helps regulate inflammation and immune responses
- Is involved in cellular regeneration and repair, as well as the elimination of unwanted cells (apoptosis)
- And is involved in overall mitochondrial health, which plays a huge role in energy in every cell in the body.
TUDCA supplementation does appear to benefit a wide range of conditions. The most well-research benefit is that it can improve fat digestion and reduce discomfort associated with eating high fat or oily meals.
Also, through reducing oxidative stress, enhancing protein folding, and promoting overall cellular health, among other things, TUDCA supplementation offers neuroprotective support in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. However, a lot of the research has been done in animals (esp. mice) and not humans.
Based on its ability to increase insulin sensitivity, aid glucose metabolism, improve fat metabolism, and improve overall gut and digestive health, TUDCA may also benefit metabolic disorders. Again, though, much of the research is animal-based.
Finally, TUDCA supplementation may be beneficial for liver diseases since it can reduce inflammation and cellular damage in the liver, but most of this research has come from animal models too.
There is a wide range of beneficial doses, ranging from as little as 10mg all the way up to 1500mg, though doses are usually used in the 250 to 1000mg range.
Does TUDCA Work?
TUDCA should likely work for the range of conditions it is proposed to help with, especially digestion-related. There is a lot of research behind TUDCA, and most of it is conclusive for offering health benefits. However, most of the research is in animals, so it may not be as beneficial for people.
Also, the dosage of TUDCA (500mg) is right in the therapeutic range based on research, so that is a plus.
Admittedly, everyone responds differently, so there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach, but it should provide benefits for most people, at least the digestive-related issues. More severe problems may not see as much of a benefit from this dose or from the supplement period.
Claims vs. Reality
There are a wide range of proposed benefits, but the three main ones that BodyBio claims will occur with TUDCA use are digestive support, enhanced liver support, and neuroprotective benefits.
Based on the research, the most likely benefit is improved digestion. TUDCA, by its nature, increases bile production, and it also improves fat metabolism, nutrient absorption, and gut microbiome diversity, all of which should lead to better digestion.
Additionally, TUDCA may benefit the liver by protecting it against inflammation and cellular damage, as well as promoting detoxification. It may also enhance insulin sensitivity in the liver.
Finally, a lot of animal (and some human) research shows that TUDCA offers neuroprotective benefits by mitigating cellular and oxidative stress, reducing apoptosis, and minimizing protein misfolding. I wouldn’t expect TUDCA to be a miracle-worker for this concern, however.
Overall, TUDCA should provide benefits for most people, especially those with digestive issues.
Who is TUDCA Best For?
Since TUDCA is a bile acid, it is best for anyone who is dealing with suboptimal bile acid production. If you don’t know if this is the case for you, then another way to tell if TUDCA may benefit you is simply by analyzing how you react after eating a fatty meal. If there is any discomfort or sluggishness, TUDCA should help.
At this time, I can’t say that TUDCA is best for people with liver issues or neurological concerns simply because there needs to be more conclusive human research. It may definitely help, so if you have issues in those areas, it is worth trying. But it is not as potent for these problems.
Is TUDCA Safe?
TUDCA is generally considered safe and has little to no side effects for most. However, the most common side effects are gastrointestinal-related, such as constipation, stomach pain, bloating,
Where to Buy TUDCA
If you want to buy TUDCA, you can purchase it directly from the official BodyBio website here.
You get 30 servings (60 capsules) per bottle for a price of $54.99. You can also choose to pay that with four interest-free installments of $13.74.
So, it is almost two dollars per serving, which is in a pretty normal price range for this kind of supplement. Digestive-enhancers and similar products are usually more expensive than pre-workouts, protein powders, and so forth.
All in all, if you’re struggling with suboptimal bile acid production or get stomach discomfort after eating a fatty meal, TUDCA may be a supplement worth trying.