Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid commonly found in Mammalian Tissues. A major portion of taurine is sourced from our diet even though it can be synthesized within the body. Experimental information suggests that taurine could be beneficial for Cardiovascular diseases [1]

Taurine is taken as a supplement and has been proven to lower your risk of heart disease and improve your overall performance in extracurricular activities. [2]

Where Does Taurine Come From?|Benefits & Side Effects of Taurine

What is Taurine & Where Does Taurine Come from?

Taurine is an intracellular Sulphur containing, amino acid, which is found in abundance in the human body. Mammals are able to source taurine endogenously by synthesizing methionine and cysteine in the presence of Vitamin B16 where as other species source it through their diets [3].

The source of taurine:

Taurine is primarily obtained from the diet and especially when you consume eggs, meat, and seafood. Taurine is found in high concentrations in the heart and the retina of humans. It is also found in the brains, intestines, skeletal muscles and the Kidneys. [4] The easiest way to get taurine is to purchase it as a tablet or powder. Taurine can be bought for under 10 dollars (which will be ample for intake up to 50 times and will last you for close to two months)

There is also a concentration of Taurine in energy drinks and other supplements; there is 600-1000 mg in an 8-ounce value. It is made synthetically and not from animals [5].The average diet will bring you around 40-400 mg of taurine in a day [6].

Taurine does not undergo any changes in the intestines and it is absorbed very efficiently by the stomach.[7]

Taurine deficiency is usually associated with depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, and epilepsy. [8]

Some of the metabolic actions of taurine include detoxification, osmoregulation, and bile acid conjugation. Clinically Taurine has been used successfully in treating various conditions like Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, hepatic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, hypercholesterolemia, epilepsy and other seizure disorders and macular degeneration. [9].

Currently, it was to found to be an effective agent for treating alcoholism. [10] .Apart from this, Taurine is proven to treat many conditions, and it was found to have positive inflammatory effects and limitation of cancer cell proliferation. [11] [12]. Also, fish protein rich in Taurine decreases the chances of stroke from 80% to 10%. [13]

Surprising Health Benefits of Taurine

Let’s explore the multiple benefits of Taurine. Taurine can be found in several organs in the body and in a way it is omnipresent.

It plays a beneficial role in maintaining the electrolyte balance of the cells [14],forming bile salts, regulation of calcium within cells [15], supporting the central nervous system and regulating the immune system and anti-oxidant functions. [16] [17].

Taurine’s Function In Helping Fight Diabetes

Taurine is beneficial for diabetics as it plays a helping hand in blood sugar control.

Research suggests that increased intake could prevent the chances of type 2 diabetes. It is done by reducing blood sugar levels and building up insulin resistance. Experimental and research data also suggest that Taurine has a positive impact in fighting Type 1 diabetes. [18] [19]

Taurine was also found to help decrease diabetic induced joint pain by mitigating glycation and combating physiological changes of collagen. [20]

Taurine has anti-oxidant effects which will reduce the inflammation, and it helps in the modulation of cell membranes fluidity and health. The anti-oxidant properties are produced by combining free ions and oxidant metalloproteins in the blood [21] ,so it will act as a pro-oxidant in terms of high blood glucose situations. [22]

Taurine also helps reduce the overall oxidative stress found in the cardiac muscle tissue [23]

The beneficial effects of taurine supplementation on diabetes cannot be ignored.

Aiding Angiogenesis

The process of forming new blood vessels would sound alarming as it would lead to poor cardiovascular health and cancer metabolism.

Extracellular Taurine can activate angiogenesis. It helps in angiogenesis by Akt- and ERK-dependent cell cycle progression without vascular inflammation. It also helps endothelial cell proliferation. Taurine is found to decrease endothelial dysfunction and increase the blood flow in type 1 diabetic smokers (young males). [24] [25].

Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Taurine

Certain experiments have shown that there is a link between high levels of taurine and lower death rates from heart disease. The study also factors in reduced cholesterol levels and blood pressure with high levels of Taurine [26]

Taurine eases the resistance to blood flow and reduces the nerve impulses that cause the blood pressure to increase. [27] [28]

Benefits of Taurine on Exercise Performance

Extensive research has proven Taurine can

  • Aid in the removal of waste products that leads to fatigue and muscle burns. [29]
  • Actively protect the muscle from cell damage and oxidative stress [30]
  • Help in fat burn during aerobic exercises. [31]
  • Improve the performance of trained athletes (Cyclists and runners). [32]

Benefits of Taurine on Kidney, Lungs and Liver Health

Taurine is found to help kidney by protecting it against ischemia/reperfusion injury and also toxin-induced and diet induced oxidative stress. [33] [34] [35] [36]

Taurine also helps the lungs from oxidant-induced stress, by reducing inflammatory responses caused by the reaction of HOCL with other compounds. [37]. Taurine can protect the liver from acetaminophen-induced toxicity and other toxins. [38] [39]

Well, it is important to explore The Pros & Cons of Taurine.

Understanding the Side Effects of Taurine

There is no proven side effect for taurine when consumed in recommended doses. The highest dosage this deemed to be safe is around 3gm taurine in a day(supplemental form in addition to food consumed) [40]. Although taking high dosages is not proven to have any problems, it is not advised to take it.

Taurine Side Effects: As with every other amino acid supplement, people with kidney problems are not recommended to take this substance. Pregnant women are also advised to not take the substance [41] [42]

Taurine Deficiency

Although the effects of the deficiency of taurine are minimal in humans (as we can synthesize it), non-human species who do not have the ability to synthesize taurine will have problems if taurine intake is lacking. One example can be the feline species (cats) whom experience impaired muscular functions and ocular degeneration and other diseases when taurine is not present in their diet. [43] [44].

Conclusion

From the experimental research findings, we can conclude that Taurine has the potential to be very beneficial for preventing and curing many diseases. Taurine’s role in preventing heart disease and stroke is very much needed right now.

It can also serve as a cure to several lifestyle-related diseases like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes [type 1 and type 2]. It was also found to increase fat burning and induce performance with cyclists and runners. When consumed regularly it can also reduce cholesterol levels and improve the blood flow.

Recently it was found as a capable agent to fight alcoholism. As medical research evolved and more and more tests are conducted, the full potential of the ‘wonder molecule’ could be understood.

Currently, Taurine can be consumed in recommended dosages without a prescription. With its relatively minimum market rate, if successful taurine can be an effective alternative to many fat burning products.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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