What is Taurine?
Taurine is a type of amino acid found in many foods and often added to energy drinks. Many people take taurine as a supplement, and some researchers refer to it as a “wonder molecule.” Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid that occurs naturally in your body. It is concentrated mainly in your brain, eyes, heart, and muscles.
Humans can produce taurine, but not in sufficient quantities under all conditions. Therefore, taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid for humans, and nutritionists recommend getting some from the diet. Some people who can quickly become taurine deficient include premature and newborn infants and chronic liver, heart, and kidney disease patients.
Functions Of Taurine In The Body
Taurine, found in several organs, has widespread benefits. Its direct roles include:
- Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance in your cells
- Forming bile salts, which play an essential role in the digestion
- Regulating minerals such as calcium within your cells
- Supporting the general function of your central nervous system and eyes
- Regulating immune system health and antioxidant function
How does taurine work?
Taurine has essential functions in the heart and brain. It helps support nerve growth. It might also benefit people with heart failure by lowering blood pressure and calming the nervous system. Taurine might help prevent heart failure from becoming worse.
Health Benefits of Taurine
May Fight Diabetes
Taurine may benefit people with diabetes, potentially lowering blood sugar levels and improving various risk factors for heart disease.
May Improve Heart Health
Taurine may reduce your risk of heart disease by improving several key risk factors, such as cholesterol and blood pressure.
May Boost Exercise Performance
Taurine may also have benefits for athletic performance. It has been shown to remove waste products that lead to fatigue and cause muscle burn. It also protects muscles from cell damage and oxidative stress.
Benefits of Taurine and Your Eyes
Taurine has a surprisingly wide range of potential health benefits. It may improve various other functions in your body, such as eyesight and hearing in specific populations. Taurine is also present in large quantities in your eyes, with research showing that eye problems may occur when these levels start to decline. Increased concentrations are believed to optimize eyesight and eye health. Because it helps regulate muscle contractions, taurine may reduce seizures and help treat conditions such as epilepsy.
Signs of Taurine Deficiency
A lack of taurine in the body may lead to a range of health complications, including kidney dysfunction, developmental disorders, damage to eye tissues
cardiomyopathy, which is a significant risk factor for heart failure.
Are There Any Side Effects To Taurine?
Some of the side effects of Taurine may include nausea, dizziness, a headache, and difficulty walking. According to the best available evidence, taurine has no adverse side effects when used in the recommended amounts. While there have been no direct issues from taurine supplements, athlete deaths in Europe have been linked to energy drinks containing taurine and caffeine.
What is The Proper Dosage of Taurine?
A safe or effective dose of taurine has not been determined. Amounts that have been used in clinical trials range from 1.5-6 grams of taurine per day in two or three divided doses (for congestive heart failure) and 1.5-4 grams of taurine daily for up to 3 months (for hepatitis).
Up to 3 g of supplemental taurine per day has been found to be safe for adult consumption. There is strong evidence that there are no side effects at doses up to and under this value. Scientists do not recommend an amount greater than 3 g per day.
Taurine is also sold in capsule form in health food stores and online. Look for the Supplement Facts label to get information, including the number of active ingredients per serving and other added ingredients (like fillers, binders, and flavorings).
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD SOURCES FOR TAURINE
Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish, dairy products, and human milk, and it’s also available as a dietary supplement. While research is mixed, some studies suggest that taurine supplementation might improve athletic performance.
Humans’ primary source of taurine is dietary, and taurine is naturally present in Shellfish (oysters, mussels, and clams), Other meat and dairy products, Sea vegetables (such as seaweed). Human breast milk also contains taurine. The amounts of taurine in breast milk vary depending on the diet of the mother. Omnivorous mothers were found to have one and a half times the amount of taurine in their milk as vegetarian mothers.
Taurine levels within the body have decreased due to surgical injury, chemotherapy, heroin addiction, Tylenol overdose, and many other numerous disease-causing conditions such as trauma, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, and liver disease.