Taurine: principles, functions, dosages, contraindications and related studies


Taurine is a natural compound and one of the most abundant amino acids in human body. Taurine can be found in many fitness and energy drinks. Taurine is good for the brain, such as reducing anxiety and reducing the activity of brain cells to calm and relax.

Bezoar drink image from: Flickr
Bezoar drink image from: Flickr

What is taurine?

The presence of taurine in many energy drinks, as well as in other performance-enhancing supplements, has led many to mistake it as a stimulant.

In contrast, taurine is actually an inhibitory neurotransmitter that inhibits the excessive firing of neurons in the brain and reduces their activity, inhibits the excitatory components of caffeine and sugar, and promotes sedation and relaxation.

What are the functions of taurine?

  • Promoting brain and intellectual development: taurine can promote the synthesis of DAN, RNA and protein in the brain. Since infants and young children are unable to produce their own products, taurine is often added to milk powder.
  • Prevention of visual loss: clinical trials have shown that retinal dysfunction symptoms such as macular degeneration and fundus hemorrhage are associated with a lack of taurine, so taurine is the nutrient that maintains vision.
  • Strengthen heart function: taurine can increase the amount of blood expelled by the heart and improve myocardial contractility, but also can prevent the loss of potassium from the heart muscle caused by arrhythmia, maintain cardiovascular health.
  • Enhance body function, enhance immunity: taurine in the white blood cell has an important role, it can enhance the function of phagocytes, make it destroy more invading bacteria in the body.
  • Strengthen the liver detoxification: fat metabolism needs bile, and taurine is involved in the production and secretion of bile, so taurine can make the liver play its detoxification and biochemical function.
  • Effective prevention of diabetes: taurine can promote the secretion of insulin, effectively prevent the body’s blood sugar is too high, maintain a constant, to avoid the occurrence of diabetes.
  • Maintenance of gastrointestinal health: taurine produced bile acid can promote intestinal peristalsis, so that food in the intestinal retention time, reduce the chance of intestinal bacteria abnormal reproduction.
  • Treatment of epilepsy: taurine has anticonvulsant effect, which can effectively resist epilepsy, and maintain brain health.

Related research

Taurine is often advertised to maintain the nervous system and promote calm, although it has not yet been tested in humans, but animal studies have provided some evidence for its anti-anxiety effects.

Taurine also improves memory, mood, and other cognitive abilities when combined with other ingredients in energy drinks such as caffeine or Red Bull.

In this combination, however, the effects of taurine cannot be isolated. In addition, researchers have proposed taurine as a drug for treating degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, but clinical trials are needed to prove the argument.

The animal study “taurine can reduce anxiety in mice” tested the efficacy of taurine as an anti-anxiety drug. The mice were given different doses of taurine during the first 30 minutes of the evaluation anxiety test, and it was found that taurine enhanced their positive behavior during the test and showed anti-anxiety effects.

Taurine has been shown to have an anti-anxiety effect in animal experiments, acting as a central nervous system regulator or antianxiety agent.” the researchers concluded. ”

Recommended dose

Although the human body can synthesize taurine, but only a small part, and after a long time of study, work, physical labor will be slowly consumed, and can not meet the general needs of the day.

In addition, when the level of taurine in the human body is insufficient, we will feel tired, dizzy, poor spirit, memory loss and other symptoms, and even affect the health of the human body.

Thus, taurine can be ingested from protein-rich food sources such as animal meat (pigs, cattle, mutton), breast milk, fish, shellfish, and so on.

In addition, taking a taurine supplement is a safer and more convenient option.

Retail taurine supplements are typically given at doses of 500-1000 mg, with no side effects associated with taking up to 3 grams of taurine per day.

Contraindications of taurine use

Taurine for most people, as long as the recommended safe dose, there are generally no safety concerns and other side effects.

But pregnant or breast-feeding women, liver and kidney function is not good to take.

People with bipolar disorder should also consider taking it, as there have been cases of extreme manic depression after drinking an excessive amount of taurine energy drinks.

If you have other concerns, it is best to discuss them with your doctor before taking them.

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