The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 85, Issue 10, pp 855–860 | Cite as

Effects of Taurine Supplementation on Growth in Low Birth Weight Infants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Shun-li Cao
  • Hong JiangEmail author
  • Shi-ping Niu
  • Xiao-hu Wang
  • Shan Du
Original Article



To summarize the available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the effect of taurine supplementation on growth in low birth weight infants (LBW).


PubMed, EmBase, and Cochrane Library electronic databases were searched for published articles through March 2017. Analysis was done to examine the effect of taurine supplementation on growth, and sensitivity analysis was performed by removing each individual study from meta-analysis.


Results of 9 trials totaling 216 LBW infants in the present meta-analysis were collected and analyzed. The conclusion of included studies demonstrated that taurine supplementation significantly reduced length gain (WMD:-0.18; P < 0.001), plasma glycine (WMD:-106.71; P = 0.033), alanine (WMD:-229.30; P = 0.002), leucine (WMD:-64.76; P < 0.001), tyrosine (WMD:-118.11; P < 0.001), histidine (WMD:-52.16; P < 0.001), proline (WMD: -84.29; P = 0.033), and asparagine-glutamine (WMD:-356.30; P < 0.001). However, taurine supplementation was associated with higher levels of acidic sterols (WMD:0.61; P = 0.024), total fatty acids (WMD:7.94; P = 0.050), total saturated fatty acids (WMD:9.70; P < 0.001), and unsaturated fatty acids (WMD:6.63; P < 0.001). Finally, taurine supplementation had little or no significant effect on weight gain, head circumference gain, plasma taurine, threonine, serine, citrulline, valine, methionine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, ornithine, lysine, arginine, glutamate, hydroxyproline, aspartate, dietary cholesterol, endogenous neutral sterols, cholesterol synthesis, and medium-chain triglycerides.


The findings suggest that although there are several significant differences in plasma indeces, no significant effect on growth in LBW infants was observed with taurine supplementation.


Taurine supplementation Growth Low birth weight infants Meta-analysis 



The authors thank all the members of their study team for their wholehearted cooperation in this endeavor.


SLC and HJ carried out the studies, participated in collecting the data, and drafted the manuscript. SPN and XHW performed the statistical analysis and participated in its design. SD helped to draft the manuscript. Dr. Guoqiang Cheng, Department of Neonatology, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University will act as guarantor for this paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest


Source of Funding

Affilited Hospital of Qingdao University.

Supplementary material

12098_2018_2609_MOESM1_ESM.bmp (2.3 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Flow diagram of the literature search and the study selection process. (BMP 2304 kb)


  1. 1.
    UNICEF. Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition (no. 4). Available at: Accessed in April 2017.
  2. 2.
    UNICEF. Low birth weight: country, regional, and global estimates. Available at: Accessed in April 2017.
  3. 3.
    Darlow BA, Graham PJ, Rojas-Reyes MX, Vitamin A. Supplementation to prevent mortality and short- and long-term morbidity in very low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;8:CD000501.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fenton TR, Premji SS, Al-Wassia H, Sauve RS. Higher versus lower protein intake in formula-fed low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;4:CD003959.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kennedy AJ, Voaden MJ. Free amino acids in the photoreceptor cells of the frog retina. J Neurochem. 1974;23:1093–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Orr HT, Cohen AI, Lowry OH. The distribution of taurine in the vertebrate retina. J Neurochem. 1976;26:609–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lake N, Marshall J, Voaden MJ. High affinity uptake sites for taurine in the retina. Exp Eye Res. 1978;27:713–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tyson JE, Lasky R, Flood D, Mize C, Picone T, Paule CL. Randomized trial of taurine supplementation for infants less than or equal to 1,300-gram birth weight: effect on auditory brainstem-evoked responses. Pediatrics. 1989;83:406–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zamboni G, Piemonte G, Bolner A, et al. Influence of dietary taurine on vitamin D absorption. Acta Paediatr. 1993;82:811–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wasserhess P, Becker M, Staab D. Effect of taurine on synthesis of neutral and acidic sterols and fat absorption in preterm and full-term infants. Am J Clin Nutr. 1993;58:349–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Okamoto E, Rassin DK, Zucker CL, Salen GS, Heird WC. Role of taurine in feeding the low-birth-weight infant. J Pediatr. 1984;104:936–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Michalk DV, Ringeisen R, Tittor F, Lauffer H, Deeg KH, Bohles HJ. Development of the nervous and cardiovascular systems in low-birth-weight infants fed a taurine-supplemented formula. Eur J Pediatr. 1988;147:296–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cooke RJ, Whitington PF, Kelts D. Effect of taurine supplementation on hepatic function during short-term parenteral nutrition in the premature infant. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1984;3:234–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bijleveld CM, Vonk RJ, Okken A, Fernandes J. Fat absorption in preterm infants fed a taurine-enriched formula. Eur J Pediatr. 1987;146:128–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Galeano NF, Darling P, Lepage G, et al. Taurine supplementation of a premature formula improves fat absorption in preterm infants. Pediatr Res. 1987;22:67–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jarvenpaa AL, Raiha NC, Rassin DK, Gaull GE. Feeding the low-birth-weight infant: I. Taurine and cholesterol supplementation of formula does not affect growth and metabolism. Pediatrics. 1983;71:171–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. Int J Surg. 2010;8:336–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jadad AR, Moore RA, Carroll D, et al. Assessing the quality of reports of randomized clinical trials: is blinding necessary? Control Clin Trials. 1996;17:1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    DerSimonian R, Laird N. Meta-analysis in clinical trials. Control Clin Trials. 1986;7:177–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ades AE, Lu G, Higgins JP. The interpretation of random-effects meta-analysis in decision models. Med Decis Making. 2005;25:646–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Higgins JP, Thompson SG, Deeks JJ, Altman DG. Measuring inconsistency in meta-analyses. BMJ. 2003;327:557–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tobias A. Assessing the influence of a single study in the meta-analysis estimate. Stata Tech Bull. 1999;47:15–7.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Egger M, Davey Smith G, Schneider M, Minder C. Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test. BMJ. 1997;315:629–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Begg CB, Mazumdar M. Operating characteristics of a rank correlation test for publication bias. Biometrics. 1994;50:1088–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Duvall S, Tweedie RA. Nonparametric “trim and fill” method of accounting for publication bias in meta-analysis. J Am Stat Assoc. 2000;95:89–98.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Verner A, Craig S, McGuire W. Effect of taurine supplementation on growth and development in preterm or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007;4:CD006072.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Heird WC. Taurine in neonatal nutrition--revisited. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2004;89:F473–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Murakami S. The physiological and pathophysiological roles of taurine in adipose tissue in relation to obesity. Life Sci. 2017;186:80–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ahmadian M, Roshan VD, Aslani E, Stannard SR. Taurine supplementation has anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory effects before and after incremental exercise in heart failure. Adv. Cardiovasc Dis. 2017;11:185–94.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shun-li Cao
    • 1
  • Hong Jiang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shi-ping Niu
    • 3
  • Xiao-hu Wang
    • 4
  • Shan Du
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsAffiliated Hospital of Qingdao UniversityQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsAffiliated Hospital of Qingdao UniversityQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of NeonatologyZibo Maternity and Child Health Care HospitalZiboPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of NeonatologyZiboPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Department of NeonatologyZiboPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations