TUDCA, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, is a bile salt that’s an emerging supplement for liver protection. That is main reason people use it as a supplement, but that’s not the only.
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.
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.
To choose the right one for you, it depends on your goal. Some center on liver support, others on digestion. It will also depend on your budget and what you’re willing to spend, as the best products are a bit more expensive.
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Best TUDCA For Liver Protection: Morphogen TUDCA
Best TUDCA For The Value: Double Wood Supplements TUDCA
Best TUDCA for Fat Digestion: Jarrow Formulas Bile Factors
Best TUDCA for Competitive Bodybuilders: Morphogen TUDCA
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 and gluten-free.
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. You will pay a little more for it, but that’s to be expected with higher quality products.
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.
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.
Despite their brand new, the cost isn’t all that different other similar products, like Double Wood. That said, it’s a solid, reliable option.
All Max Nutrition’s TUDCA differentiates itself thanks to its combination of 250mg of TUDCA along with 27.5mg of choline. Why choline? Well, choline plays many roles in the body, but one of them is its important for fat digestion and liver function. So if you supplement with choline already, or are looking in particular for TUDCA + support with fat digestion, this is a great option.
All Max is a well-respected bodybuilding-focused supplement brand, with an established track record for quality and safety.
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.
This is a big problem, in my opinion, as transparency should be key with supplements.
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.
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, which provides a fantastic value for the dose and the cost.
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.
TUDCA is what’s known as a bile salt, which means it’s naturally in bile from humans and many other mammals. This makes it a popular for those with impaired gallbladder function as well as those who eat a high-fat diet. For example, if you’re following a ketogenic diet, then you’re consuming lots of fats. TUDCA can support with fat digestion and absorption.
We highlighted Jarrow’s Formula product, because it contains an array of bile acid salts that can support fat digestion.
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.
It may have some neuroprotective benefits, however, we still need more research. I wouldn’t rush to add it to your nootropic stack.
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.
There aren’t any brands that focus just on TUDCA. For these products, they come from companies that provide an array of products. In our opinion, Morphogen Nutrition, Double Wood Supplements, and Jarrow Formulas stand out because of their high-quality formulas and provide track record.
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 may be popular for bodybuilders thanks to a number of factors. Again, the elephant in the room here is steroid use. Steroids damage the liver, and TUDCA may help protect it, which is why it’s popular among bodybuilders.
Additionally, bodybuilding often requires a diet high in animal products, which may mean a high-fat diet. TUDCA, by supporting fat digestion, can also help bodybuilders in this realm.
Finally, TUDCA has been researched for its potential to improve insulin sensitivity, which would help physique competitors make more effective use of carbohydrates. However, as noted in this Randomized Controlled Trial, it only has been shown to improve liver and muscle insulin sensitivity, so it may not affect blood glucose levels.
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.
With that said, sticking with the recommended 250-500mg dose has shown to be safe. With that said, if you have a concern based on your specific situation, talk to your healthcare provider.
Because of its role in the digestive system, we recommend starting with a small dose to make sure your stomach reacts okay.
The highest dose used in studies for insulin sensitivity and liver support is 1750mg. Compared to a standard 500mg dose, this is quite a lot. It’s unclear what the best dose is, but this appears to be the high end. On the low end, you may want to start with 250mg and see how you respond.
However, we still need more research to determine the optimal dose.
In most studies, participants take TUDCA with a meal because of its role as a bile acid.
We used to source TUDCA from bear bile. In fact, in traditional Chinese medicine, bear bile has been used for thousands of years. However, this is terrible, both from an animal cruelty standpoint, environmental standpoint, and practical standpoint. I, for one, don’t want to wrestle bears for their bile.
All of the products on our list derive TUDCA synthetically.
No, they are not. Even though they’re sourced synthetically, in this process TUDCA supplements require animal products.
No. TUDCA products almost always use capsules, so there’s no coloring or flavoring at all. That’s the case for every product on our list. TUDCA tastes terrible, so there’s little use in trying to make it into a delicious drink.
Even though we don’t need to wrestle bears to get TUDCA anymore, the TUDCA creation process isn’t as inexpensive as making many other supplements. Because of this, you may find TUDCA to be a little on the pricy side. However, compared to other liver interventions, a supplement is a relatively low cost option.
TUDCA is not like a pre-workout supplement that you’ll feel right away. It will likely take a few weeks of consistent use to see any changes.
Disclaimer: Consult your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement. We are not doctors, and we don’t play them on the internet.