Taurine Background and Benefits
Taurine is the common name for 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid. It is a common component of animal tissue that comprises up to 0.1 percent of a human's total body weight. Taurine is most highly concentrated in bile and the large intestines.
The German scientists Leopold Gmelin and Friedrich Tiedemann first isolated taurine in 1827 from ox bile, and the name taurine comes from the Latin word "taurus" meaning bull. Taurine is derived from the amino acid cysteine and is chemically known as an amino sulfonic acid, although it's typically referred to as just an amino acid.
Taurine is synthesized by the pancreas in mammals. The most common dietary sources of taurine are meat and fish, so strict vegetarians receive a negligible amount of taurine in their diets. Taurine is also synthesized in commercial quantities, usually by reacting sodium bisulfite with ethylene oxide. The reaction of azirdine in sulfurous acid is a less common means of synthesizing taurine. Commercial uses of taurine primarily include pharmaceutical products and pet food.
Taurine plays an essential role in many parts of the body, especially the cardiovascular system, central nervous system, retina and skeletal muscle. It is specifically used in biological functions such as antioxidation, calcium signaling, membrane stabilization and osmoregulation.
Uses of Taurine
The most common use of taurine in nutritional supplements is to support cardiovascular functions. Early research also suggests that daily supplements of taurine may help to maintain normal liver function. Some studies show that taurine may increase performance in endurance exercises such as running and bicycling.
Taurine may improve fat burning and time to exhaustion for endurance exercises due to its role in the initial phase of fat metabolism.
Taurine supports the normal functioning of skeletal muscles.
Taurine may help support heart health and healthy blood pressure.
Taurine may help support healthy liver function and maintain healthy concentrations of lipids and free amino acids in the liver.
Signs You May Need Taurine
A taurine deficiency is rare in humans since they normally manufacture taurine naturally. Taurine supplements are most beneficial for people who follow a strict vegetarian diet, as this can prevent them from obtaining adequate amounts of cysteine needed to derive taurine.
People with heart conditions and those with liver conditions may also have low taurine levels. A study of rats that received low taurine diets showed that they were more vulnerable to liver damage from carbon tetrachloride.
Other Ingredients That May Be of Interest
L-Methionine - Methionine is an essential amino acid in all animals, including humans. It is used in many biochemical pathways.
L-Cysteine - Cysteine is the amino acid from which taurine is derived. The thiol group in cysteine gives it antioxidant properties that maintain cellular health.
MSM - Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organosulfur compound that is a source of biologically active sulfur.
SAMe - S-Adenosyl methionine (SAMe) is a common cosubstrate used in many metabolic reactions involving methyl group transfers.
Synonyms and Similar Forms of Taurine
L-Taurine, Magnesium taurinate