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The effect of taurine supplementation on physiological and thermoregulatory responses in humans during rest and exercise in hot environmental conditions / JENNIFER PEEL

Swansea University Author: JENNIFER PEEL

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    Copyright: The Author, Jennifer Sarah Peel, 2024

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DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUThesis.66881

Abstract

This thesis details the meta-analytical and experimental work conducted to investigate the effects of dietary supplements, specifically taurine, on physiological and thermoregulatory responses in humans during heat exposure. Meta-analysis determined that the ergogenic effects of many dietary supplem...

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Published: Swansea University, Wales, UK 2024
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
Supervisor: Waldron, M.; Heffernan, S., M.; McNarry, M., A.; Kilduff, L., P.; & Nevola, V., R.
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa66881
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Abstract: This thesis details the meta-analytical and experimental work conducted to investigate the effects of dietary supplements, specifically taurine, on physiological and thermoregulatory responses in humans during heat exposure. Meta-analysis determined that the ergogenic effects of many dietary supplements on endurance exercise performance appear affected by the heat. Supplements established to be efficacious in thermoneutral conditions, such as caffeine and creatine provided no performance benefit, while amino acids (e.g. taurine) demonstrated the greatest ergogenicity. Of the supplements meta-analysed for their thermoregulatory effects, several amino acids, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories, and those affecting fluid balance, offered the greatest benefits during heat exposure. Conversely, supplements enhancing nitric oxide bioavailability had no effect on thermal balance, and caffeine induced a thermogenic effect when ingested in the heat. Overall, taurine had the greatest performance and thermoregulatory responses, and was, therefore, selected as the focus of the subsequent empirical data chapters. Within the experimental studies of the thesis, taurine supplementation augmented thermal sweating during fixed metabolic heat production in hot conditions, including increased whole-body sweat loss, local sweat rate and sweat gland activation, alongside enhancing cutaneous vasodilation. Greater thermal sweating translated to heightened evaporative heat dissipation and reduced heat storage, as modelled by partitional calorimetry. Improved thermal tolerance was also observed, through a delayed transition to uncompensable heat stress. Drivers of the thermal sweating response and the measurement techniques used to assess these were established to be sufficiently reliable to control thermal sweating and detect likely changes, respectively. This indicates that the findings regarding taurine’s effects on thermal sweating are genuine and unaffected by these influencing factors. Taurine may exert these thermoregulatory effects through its vaso-active and osmoregulatory roles, though this requires further investigation. Nevertheless, taurine may offer a potential dietary supplementation strategy to support thermoregulation in hot environmental conditions that permit dry and evaporative heat transfer.
Item Description: A selection of content is redacted or is partially redacted from this thesis to protect sensitive and personal information.
Keywords: taurine, heat, thermoregulation, sweating, evaporative cooling, vasodilation
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering