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Taurine supplementation confers benefit for cramps in patients with chronic liver disease

06 Sep 2018

Oral supplementation with taurine is safe and effective in the management of muscle cramps in patients with chronic liver disease, yielding significant reductions in the frequency, duration and intensity of cramps, according to a study.

A total of 49 chronic liver disease patients who had 3 muscle cramp episodes were randomized to receive either taurine supplementation or placebo for 4 weeks then crossed to the alternative arm. Taurine was introduced in a stepped fashion to minimize any potential gastrointestinal side effects: one 500-mg capsule twice daily for 2 weeks and two 500-mg capsules twice daily for the remaining 2 weeks.

Primary outcomes of frequency, duration and intensity of muscle cramps were recorded by the patients themselves. Biochemical parameters, such as serum taurine and methionine levels, were measured at each time point.

Only 30 patients (mean age 54.7 years; 70 percent male) completed the study. Oral taurine resulted in increased serum taurine levels (p<0.001). No adverse side effects associated with supplementation were recorded.

Supplementation dosing of 2 g/day for 2 weeks led to significant reductions in cramp frequency (seven cramp episodes; p=0.03), duration (89 minutes; p=0.03) and severity (1.4 units on a Likert scale; p<0.004) compared with placebo.

The present data suggest that taurine be considered as a safe and effective intervention in the management of muscle cramps in patients with chronic liver disease, researchers said. A daily supplementation dosing of 2 g/day can be safely prescribed to alleviate the painful muscle cramps experienced by patients with cirrhosis.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 11 Sep 2019

Beta-blockers could reduce mortality risk in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and moderate or moderately-severe renal dysfunction without causing harm, according to the BB-META-HF* trial presented at ESC 2019.

Elvira Manzano, 3 days ago

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), in an update of its 2013 recommendations, called on clinicians to offer risk-reducing medications to women who are at increased risk for breast cancer but at low risk for adverse effects.

Pearl Toh, 4 days ago
The use of SGLT-2* inhibitors was not associated with a higher risk of severe or nonsevere urinary tract infections (UTIs) in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared with DPP**-4 inhibitors or GLP-1*** receptor agonists, a population-based cohort study shows.
14 Sep 2019
In type 2 diabetes patients taking sulfonylureas, hypoglycaemia duration is longer at night and is inversely correlated with the level of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), a new study reports.