Taurine for Chemo-Induced Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

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“In the taurine-treated group significant treatment effect was observed on systolic left ventricular function after 6 weeks. “

I was diagnosed with an incurable cancer called multiple myeloma in early 1994. I underwent a host of conventional therapaies in 1995 including VAD, high-dose cytoxan and an autologous stem cell transplant. An echocardiogram last month (10/18) told me that I have some serious problems with my heart. I’m still doing research, learning about congestive heart failure, chemo-induced heart damage, etc. and I will meet with a cardiologist next week so I still have a lot to learn about my situation.

My weight (BMI), blood pressure, and cholesteral are all normal and have been all of my life. I gave up drinking alcohol several years after I was diagnosed with cancer. I have never smoked. I exercise six days a week (moderately). I eat very little meat and lot of fruits and veggies.

According to the studies linked and excertped below, taurine supplementation can help the cardiovascular disease done by four cardiotoxic chemotherapies that I was given- adriamycin, cytoxan, busulfan and melphalan. And I’m pretty sure that all of the radiation didn’t help either.

I developed chronic atrial fibrillation in the fall of 2010. At the time I thought I could live a normal life with this condition. No one even hinted that I was developing late stage heart damage from all of the cardiotoxic chemotherapy.

Its not enough to find therapies to treat the many long-term and late stage side effects that I developed from my conventional oncologic treatments. After all, it is the many short, long-term and late stage side effects of conventional oncologic therapies that got me in such trouble in the first place.

I must find therapies that help me without causing side effects. Taurine appears to be one such therapy.

I wonder if I would have developed heart damage if I had started supplementing with taurine, CoQ10, etc. in the months following my chemo? If you are a newly diagnosed cancer patient try to learn about the possible short, long-term and late stage side effects that are sure to accompany your therapy.

Do you have congestive heart failure? What therapies help you? Do they cause side effects of any kind? Do you recommend and nutritional supplement (like taurine) or any other non-toxic therapies?


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Mechanism of the protective action of taurine (TRN) in toxin and drug induced organ pathophysiology and diabetic complications: a review.

“Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid), a conditionally essential amino acid, is found in large concentrations in all mammalian tissues and is particularly abundant in aquatic foods. Taurine exhibits membrane stabilizing, osmoregulatory and cytoprotective effects, antioxidative properties, regulates intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, modulates ion movement and neurotransmitters, reduce the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in various organs and controls blood pressure.

Recently, emerging evidence from the literature shows the effectiveness of taurine as a protective agent against several environmental toxins and drug-induced multiple organ injuries as the outcome of hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity, testicular toxicity and cardiotoxicity in several animal models.

Besides, taurine is also effective in combating diabetes and its associated complications, including cardiomyopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy and atherosclerosis. These beneficial effects appear to be due to the multiple actions of taurine on cellular functions. This review summarizes the mechanism of the prophylactic role of taurine against several environmental toxins and drug-induced organ pathophysiology and diabetes.”

Therapeutic effect of taurine in congestive heart failure: a double-blind crossover trial.

“In a double-blind, randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled study, we investigated the effects of adding TRN to the conventional treatment in 14 patients with congestive heart failure for a 4-week period. Compared with placebo, taurine significantly improved the New York Heart Association functional class (p less than 0.02), pulmonary crackles (p less than 0.02), and chest film abnormalities (p less than 0.01).

A benefit of taurine over placebo was demonstrated when an overall treatment response for each patient was evaluated on the basis of clinical examination (p less than 0.05). No patient worsened during TRN administration, but four patients did during placebo.

Pre-ejection period (corrected for heart rate) decreased from 148 +/- 14 ms before TRN treatment to 137 +/- 12 ms after taurine (p less than 0.001), and the quotient pre-ejection period/left ventricular ejection time decreased from 47 +/- 9 to 42 +/- 8% (p less than 0.001). Side effects did not occur in the patients during TRN. The results indicate that addition of TRN to conventional therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of patients with congestive heart failure.”

Usefulness of taurine in chronic congestive heart failure and its prospective application.

“We compared the effect of oral administration of TRN (3 g/day) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (30 mg/day) in 17 patients with congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, whose ejection fraction assessed by echocardiography was less than 50%. The changes in echocardiographic parameters produced by 6 weeks of treatment were evaluated in a double-blind fashion. In the TRN-treated group significant treatment effect was observed on systolic left ventricular function after 6 weeks. Such an effect was not observed in the CoQ10-treated group.


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