Often considered an amino acid, but not really an official amino acid, taurine is a well known supplement among body builders and fitness enthusiasts. It is actually a sulfonic acid and a very important compound for many functions in the human body. Body builders use it to increase endurance and speed up recovery time after work outs.
In the past, taurine has been considered a non-essential nutrient because of the fact the human body can manufacture it. However, new research is leading many to consider it as “conditionally essential.”
While the human body can manufacture taurine, there is plenty of evidence to show that supplementation has many health benefits and not just to body builders and those who engage in high level fitness activity. It may perhaps be one of the most overlooked supplements that can provide health protection as well as aiding with existing conditions. Studies have shown the useful benefits of taurine on a wide variety of conditions and it is truly a supplement that you may want to consider.
In fact, such are the benefits of this amino acid that it is described in one scientific study, published in the Journal of Biomedical Science, as a “wonder molecule.” The same study attributes Japanese longevity partially to high intakes of taurine, probably due to fish consumption.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, then you may want to pay even extra attention to the benefits of taurine supplementation as this compound is only found naturally in meat, fish, and eggs. Vegetarians and vegans do not get much, if any, taurine from dietary sources.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of taurine supplementation:
Taurine & Cardiovascular Benefits
As noted above, taurine is well known in the body building community for it’s benefits of helping muscles recover faster after work outs and to increase endurance. We also know that it plays a role in cardiovascular health and fitness and helps to regulate and lower blood pressure while also keeping the heart muscle strong. When given to patients that have suffered heart failure, they are able to increase their exercise potential to a greater degree than those who do not receive supplementary taurine.
With the safety of taurine having been confirmed at very high dosages, even beyond ten grams per day, this may be one of the most important supplement choices behind magnesium for continued heart health and longevity.
Taurine & Eye Sight
Taurine plays an important role in vision with the retina having significant levels of it. However, as we age, these levels decrease which may play a part in vision loss as we age. While supplementing with taurine might not help improve your vision if you have begun to experience age related vision loss, it may help to decrease the rate of loss. Children that suffer from retinal dysfunction and who are given additional taurine supplementation often have their dysfunction improve.
Nerve transmissions in the form of electrical charges occur in the retina of the eye, and taurine is vital in regulating this activity.
Taurine For Magnesium & Calcium Regulation
We know that most people in North America are deficient in magnesium and this deficiency is responsible for a number of maladies. Taurine helps magnesium to be more effective at the cellular level, and assists with retaining this vital mineral. A deficiency in taurine can lead to similar symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, and the importance of high levels of taurine cannot be stressed enough.
Magnesium and taurine together are synergistic in nature, and supplementing with both have shown tremendous improvements in several health complaints. If you are concerned about your magnesium levels (more here about foods high in magnesium), you may also wish to consider a daily taurine supplement. By regulating water and mineral salts, this important compound helps to maintain the movement of both potassium and magnesium across cell membranes, and assists with overall absorption.
In the above noted study published in the Journal of Biomedical Science, the authors state it very precisely when they write, “Both T (taurine) and M (magnesium) are basically important for the maintenance of life.”
Taurine For Liver Support
There is enormous evidence that high levels of taurine can both prevent and treat a variety of forms of liver disease including non-alcoholic fatty liver. The liver can also be affected adversely by too much iron, and a recent study published in Molecular Medicine Reports showed that supplementation with taurine provided support to this organ and reduced oxidative stress while preserving liver function.
Another studied published in 2009 showed that taurine helped reverse alcoholic liver disease in rats. While this does not prove that it will help humans with this disease, there is good evidence that it will prevent and reverse human alcoholic liver disease, if supplemented on a regular daily basis.
For those who want to detoxify their liver, taurine ought to be one of the first considerations above anything else, as it has been shown that increased intake does work to cleanse and heal this vital organ. There is also the additional benefit that it lowers both cholesterol and triglycerides.
Skeletal and Muscular Benefits With Taurine
In 2006, the Federation of American Society of Experimental Biology conducted a study which showed that decreased levels can lead to skeletal and muscular issues during exercise. However, increasing taurine levels via supplementation before exercise improved these functions with the additional benefits of increased energy. In addition, in a separate study, men who took 3 grams of taurine a day for seven weeks had decreased body fat and reduced their weight during the period. The study indicated that taurine was the responsible agent for the body fat and weight reductions.
Considering that exercise decreases taurine levels and that this decrease may be in addition to already low levels of taurine (as we age, our bodies produce less and less of it), supplementation is highly recommended for active individuals.
Can Taurine Help With Male Libido?
When you realize just how important it is to so many functions in the human body, it is no surprise that many believe it can assist with libido issues, especially in men as they age. Is there evidence for this?
Yes – on two different levels as well. One recent study showed that supplementation could increase testosterone levels, and healthy T-levels are of course important to male libido. Taurine happens to be the found in the male sexual organs and is generally in more abundance than any amino acids. In a study involving rats, supplementation was found to increase testosterone significantly in rats that had low testosterone levels.
In addition, taurine also acts on blood vessels, relaxing them while increasing blood flow. In this way, it could be a natural Viagra and appears to work in a similar manner to nitrates in beet juice. Even more exciting is that while smoking can cause arterial problems, studies conducted at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland indicate that extra taurine can actually heal nicotine related artery problems. This condition called endothelial dysfunction was reversed in smokers who were given 600 mg of taurine a day.
So, for some men who experience both libido or erectile dysfunction, this amino acid may be an inexpensive cure. It might not work for all men, but the possibility of both raising testosterone levels while also improving arterial blood flow make it a worthwhile option to consider, especially as it is so relatively inexpensive compared to other treatments.
Healthy Moods, Healthy Minds
Taurine is one of the most abundant molecules in the brain, and it is no surprise then that lower levels are likely to cause mood disorders. While studies on the use of taurine supplementation for depression are mixed at this time, there is definitely much evidence to support its use for anxiety as well as other mood and brain problems, including prevention of epileptic seizures.
It’s been shown to increase cognitive function in both adults and children, while also aiding with mental focus and reducing the harmful effects of stress. Perhaps children diagnosed with ADD ought to be given taurine supplements before they are prescribed expensive and harmful medications?
Those who suffer from sleep disorders may also want to consider taurine along with a good magnesium supplement, as it has been shown that these two work together and promote restful sleep, which is also required for mental alertness and healthy brain activity.
How To Get More Taurine
For natural taurine intake, you will need to eat lots of meat, fish and eggs. But even though, it is unlikely you will get anywhere near on a daily basis, the amounts that are being used in clinical studies, which are generally around 3 grams per day. In order to obtain this, you will need to supplement.
Taurine comes in both capsules and in powder format, and while the capsules are convenient, the powder is far more economical. For example, we recently saw capsules of Taurine, 1000 mg each, 100 capsules total for $12.99. One thousand mg is the same as 1 gram, therefore the total amount of taurine in the bottle is 100 grams.
On the other hand, buying it in bulk powder from a reputable distributor such as “Allmax” significantly reduces the price. Four hundred grams of powder, 4 times as much, was only a few dollars more at $15.99.
While taking capsules may be convenient, purchasing high quality taurine in bulk and measuring it out using the approximate ratio of a 1/4 teaspoon to a gram, mixed with water or juice is far more economical.
As we age, there is little doubt that taurine supplementation is helpful, along with magnesium for ultimate benefits.
We’ve only listed a few of the known benefits of taurine supplementation and there are many more. We’ll devote a few more articles to some specific uses and show how science is now suggesting to some researchers that taurine might be one of those miracle workers at keeping us young by ensuring healthy and efficient deep cellular function.
If you’re ready to discover the many wonderful benefits of increased taurine levels, we’ve found the best price for the highest quality and it’s available right here.
Clinical dosage of taurine is usually about 3 grams per day, or 3/4 teaspoons. However, higher amounts may be taken as it is considered extremely safe with the human body requiring large amounts of it for healthy function.
Tell us about your experiences with taurine, in the comments below!
Zeng K, Xu H, Mi M, et al. Dietary taurine supplementation prevents glial alterations in retina of diabetic rats. Neurochem Res. 2009 Feb;34(2):244-54.
Taurine supplementation reduces oxidative stress and protects the liver in an iron-overload murine model. Mol Med Rep. 2014 Nov;10(5):2255-62. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2014.2544. Epub 2014 Sep 5.
Effect of taurine on alcoholic liver disease in rats. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;643:313-22. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-75681-3_32
Taurine-magnesium Coordination Compound Attenuates Hypoxia/Reoxygenation Induced Ion Channel Dysfunction in Rat Ventricular Myocytes. Drug Res (Stuttg) 2013; 63(04): 185-191
Taurine and vitamin C modify monocyte and endothelial dysfunction in young smokers. Circulation. 2003 Jan 28;107(3):410-5.
Taurine in health and diseases: consistent evidence from experimental and epidemiological studies. J Biomed Sci. 2010; 17(Suppl 1): S6. doi: 10.1186/1423-0127-17-S1-S6