TUDCA, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, is a bile salt that’s an emerging supplement for liver protection. If you paid close attention in high school biology, you may remember the gallbladder as an organ that secrets bile that aids in digestion. In particular, the digestion of fat.
Well TUDCA is a bile acid (or bile salt). These salts are the components of bile that help digest and absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), and breakdown down lipids like cholesterol.
A 2017 study even suggested that it can fight against bad bacteria.
It has a wide range of benefits, which is why it has become more and more popular as a supplement.
While liver function may seem esoteric, it’s one of the biggest and most important organs in our body. By improving liver health, we support everything from metabolism to insulin sensitivity.
Alongside liver health, there are more varied and specific benefits of TUDCA supplements.
This study showed it improved non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases. While absolutely NOT something that will make drinking alcohol okay for your liver, if you done a lot of damage, a TUDCA supplement can help offset this.
However, this supplement, and companies aren’t really allowed to say this but we’re not a supplement so we can, is designed for people who take steroids.
Particularly in bodybuilding, steroids and other performance-enhancing substances can take a toll on the liver. Tudca can support the liver to help offset some of these risks.
So if you’re a serious bodybuilder or another athlete, who is (hopefully responsibly) taking substances, TUDCA can save you from the worst effects, at least when it comes to your liver.
It also has some interesting research of other benefits, like this 2012 study which improved mechanisms responsible for Alzheimer’s Disease, suggesting it as a potential therapeutic.
Since it’s a bile acid, TUDCA’s role is to breakdown excessive fats like cholesterol. If left to their own devices, these fats can cause gallstones.
May Support Metabolic Health
Other preliminary research has suggested that TUDCA may improve metabolic health by reducing stress to the cell’s endoplasmic reticulum (yes, we’re pulling out all the high school biology stops today).
For example, it may improve insulin resistance, diabetes, and provide general blood sugar support. This is also the suggested mechanism for TUDCA’s neurological and cognitive benefits, as well as potential eye health benefits.
Choosing the Right TUDCA Supplement
A lot of TUDCA supplements, and supplements in general, are total crap. Tudca in particular has a ton of companies that underdose the TUDCA and overcharge. So we’re here to share some of the best TUDCA products out on the market.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
Morphogen Nutrition is a company you may not have heard of. They’re known among their cult-like following for their steadfast, honest, no-BS approach to supplementation.
Their TUDCA product is one of the finest examples of this.
Each capsule contains a clinically-effective 350mg of Tudca, but it also contains 50mg of Astragin, which are saponin extracts designed to improve the bioavailability and absorbability of certain ingredients.
Tudca on its own is of questionable bioavailability, so when products show they recognize this, and add ingredients that can synergistically improve the effectiveness, that’s huge.
Additionally, Morphogen has some of the strictest manufacturing standards in the industry. Every single batch comes with a certificate of analysis and lab results, so you know that what’s in every single bottle is what it says. It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan.
While it’s a bit more expensive than other products, because it contains synergistic ingredients, you can take less and get the same effect. Simply, there’s no better TUDCA product on the market. That’s why Morphogen TUDCA is our #1 pick.
Double Wood Supplements is known for its high-quality, health-focused products. They’re third-party tested and GMP-certified. Their TUDCA product is simple: all it contains is TUDCA. So while they may lose out on some bioavailability, for the price, quality, and dose, they’re a great option.
60 capsules with 500mg cost just $28. It’s the best deal from a reputable company you’ll find.
Jarrow Formulas Bile Acid Factors isn’t a strict TUDCA product, but it contains TUDCA along with other ingredients that support the digestion of fat. So if your goal is to use TUDCA to improve digestion, then this is a fantastic option.
Jarrow is a cGMP third-party tested company.
Bodybio TUDCA contains 250mg capsule of TUDCA. It has zero fillers or additives and is gluten-free. Overall, it’s a high-quality option for TUDCA.
Max Life Naturals manufactures its TUDCA product in an FDA-approved facility. Like our other two products so far, they produced the highest quality products.
They don’t have any extra ingredients, and they are a bit pricier than Double Wood. Each bottle comes with 60 capsules with 500mg of TUDCA for $35.
HumanX’s product contains a blend of other ingredients, including milk thistle, which can also support liver health. The serving says 100mg, but it says that’s part of a “proprietary blend” including extra ingredients, so we can’t say how much of it is actually TUDCA.
The company also has FDA quality testing standards though, and that’s a big reason why they make our list. With 60 servings for $35, it’s competitively priced.
Nutricost is probably a brand you’ve heard of. Again, they’re third-party tested and GMP-certified. They have a 250mg and a 500mg option. The 500mg option is more expensive than our other options, but if you want to try a 250 mg dose, you can get 30 servings for just $25.
Some supplements you can take and absorb without a problem. Other supplements are much more effective if they include specific delivery mechanisms, like we talk about in our list of the best NMN supplements. In this case, TUDCA works more effectively if it contains synergistic compounds, which is why Morphogen is in the #1 spot. Simply, it’s the most effective TUDCA product on the market.
The supplement industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, which means companies can get away with a lot. We only included companies on our lists that jump hoops to get third-party verification that what’s on the bottle, and in what doses, is exactly what you’re getting.
Most TUDCA products out there are expensive and underdosed. That’s a bad combo. We only included products with effective doses at reasonable prices, and gave a boost to a company like Double Wood, who provide a fantastic value for the dose and the cost.
Per this study comparing TUDCA and UDCA, TUDCA is a “taurine conjugated” form of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). Basically, it has a taurine attached to it, which is where the T comes from.
As a dietary supplement, they seem to be comparable.
TUDCA has no known serious side effects. At high doses (1500mg), some users have reported diarrhea. Given its role as a bile acid, it makes sense that too much can impact your bowel movements.
We used to source TUDCA from bear bile. This is terrible, both from an animal cruelty standpoint, environmental standpoint, and practical standpoint. All of the products on our list derive TUDCA synthetically.
Consult your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement. We are not doctors, and we don’t play them on the internet.