Taurine

Taurine is a nonessential amino acid. It is produced in the liver from other amino acids.

Sources

TaurineSome foods rich in taurine include:

  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Fish
  • Red meat

Taurine may also be obtained through supplements and certain energy drinks.

Benefits

Taurine has been used in either prevention or treatment of various medical conditions, including the following:

  • Acute hepatitis
  • Alcoholism (particularly, alcohol withdrawal)
  • Blood clots
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Manic depression (bipolar disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes

Taurine also has additional benefits:

  • Antioxidant
  • Cell membrane upkeep
  • Component of bile (fat digestion, blood cholesterol level control)
  • Control of magnesium, potassium and sodium movement
  • Heart muscle strength
  • Heart rhythm stabilization
  • Immune system support

Deficiency

A taurine deficiency may occur when the body does not have sufficient amounts. Taurine deficiency can be caused by low cysteine or vitamin B6 levels. Some symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Epilepsy
  • Hyperactivity
  • Low brain function
  • Pathological lesions
  • Retarded growth
  • Retinal degeneration

Side Effects

Taurine is general considered safe when it is properly used in normal doses. Normal dosage is up to 6 grams per day, but may be less in some situations. Some chemotherapy medications may have interactions with taurine. Before using taurine, talk with a doctor or medical professional to learn about any other cautions or contraindications that may be present, and in particular regarding your situation.