Taurine is a type of amino acid found in many foods and is often added to energy drinks. Many people take taurine as a supplement, and some researchers refer to it as a “wonder molecule.”

For which diseases is Taurine prescribed

Taurine, which is found in various organs, has widespread benefits.

Their direct roles include:

  • Maintain adequate hydration and electrolyte balance in your cells.
  • The formation of bile salts, which play an important role in digestion.
  • Regulates minerals like calcium within your cells.
  • Supporting the general function of your central nervous system and eyes.
  • Regulation of the health of the immune system and antioxidant function.
  • As it is a conditionally essential amino acid, a healthy person can produce the minimum amount required for these essential daily functions.

However, on rare occasions higher amounts may be needed, making taurine essential for some people, such as those with heart or kidney failure, as well as premature babies who have received intravenous feeding.

When a deficiency occurs during fetal development, serious symptoms such as impaired brain function and poor glycemic control have been observed.

Indications on how to use Taurine

The main sources of taurine are foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, and dairy products. Although some processed vegetarian foods contain added taurine, they are unlikely to offer sufficient amounts to optimize your levels.

Taurine is also often added to soda and energy drinks, which can provide 600–1,000 mg in a single 8-ounce (237 ml) serving. However, drinking soda or energy drinks in high amounts is not recommended due to other ingredients that can be harmful.

Because the form of taurine used in supplements and energy drinks is generally made synthetically, not derived from animals, it is suitable for vegans. The average diet provides about 40–400 mg of taurine per day, but studies have used 400–6,000 mg per day.

The main dietary sources of taurine are foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, and dairy products. Smaller amounts occur in some plant foods. It is also added to many energy drinks.

The most common doses of taurine are 500 to 2,000 mg per day. However, the upper limit of toxicity is much higher, even doses above 2,000 mg appear to be well tolerated.

Research on the safety of taurine suggests that up to 3,000 mg per day for a lifetime is still safe. While some studies may use a higher dose for short periods, 3,000 mg per day will help you maximize benefits while staying within a safe range.

The easiest and most cost-effective method to achieve this is through powdered or tablet supplements, which can cost as little as $ 6 for 50 doses.

Taurine side effects

Based on the best available evidence, taurine has no negative side effects when used in recommended amounts.

While there have been no direct problems with taurine supplements, athlete deaths in Europe have been linked to energy drinks containing taurine and caffeine. This has led several countries to ban or limit the sale of taurine.

However, these deaths may have been caused by the large doses of caffeine or some other substances that the athletes were taking.

As with most amino acid supplements, problems can arise in people with kidney problems.

Taurine contraindications

Taurine is possibly safe for adults and children when taken by mouth in adequate amounts. Taurine has been used safely in adults in studies lasting up to a year. It has been safely administered to children up to 4 months.

People enrolled in research studies have not reported any side effects related to the use of taurine. However, there is a report of brain damage in a bodybuilder who took approximately 14 grams of taurine in combination with insulin and anabolic steroids. It is not known if this was due to the taurine or other drugs that were taken.

Cautions and warnings about Taurine

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of taurine in pregnancy and during breast-feeding. Avoid using it.

Bipolar disorder: There is some concern that taking too much taurine could make bipolar disorder worse. In one case, a 36-year-old man with adequately controlled bipolar disorder was hospitalized with symptoms of mania after consuming several cans of an energy drink containing taurine, caffeine, inositol and other ingredients (Red Bull energy drink) over a period of 4 days. It is not known if this is related to taurine, caffeine, inositol, a different ingredient, or a combination thereof.

Trademarks and presentations of Taurina

Premature babies are thought to lack the necessary enzymes to convert cystathionine to cysteine ​​and therefore can become deficient in taurine. Taurine is present in breast milk and has been added to many infant formulas, as a precautionary measure, since the early 1980s. However, this practice has never been rigorously studied and as such has yet to be shown to be necessary or even beneficial.

Some energy drinks contain taurine, including Red Bull®. Numerous studies suggest that Red Bull® and other similar energy drinks may be effective in reducing fatigue and improving mood and stamina.

However, these drinks contain other ingredients, which may also offer benefits in these areas, such as caffeine and glucuronolactone. The effect of taurine alone in energy drinks has not been studied. Therefore, the effectiveness of taurine in energy drinks is unclear and more research is still required.

More information from Taurine

Taurine has been shown to have several health benefits, such as a lower risk of disease and better athletic performance. Despite common belief, this amino acid is not extracted from bull urine or bull semen. The name is derived from the Latin word taurus, which means ox or bull, so it can be the source of the confusion. Taurine is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid. It serves several important functions in your body.

Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish, dairy products, and breast milk, and it is also available as a dietary supplement. While the research is mixed, some studies suggest that taurine supplementation might improve athletic performance.

Other studies suggest that taurine combined with caffeine improves mental performance. However, more research is needed and this finding remains controversial, as does the use of taurine in energy drinks.

Be aware that there may be large amounts of other ingredients in energy drinks, such as herbal stimulants, caffeine, or sugar. Too much caffeine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, interrupt your sleep, and cause anxiety. Added sugar can provide unwanted added calories.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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