Taurine is an amino acid, naturally found in the bile of certain animals. It is also found in the tissues and other organs like brain, retina, heart and blood cells of animals including humans. Taurine falls in the category of conditional amino acids, which means that the body has the natural ability to produce it on its own. However, infants who are not breast-fed and persons suffering from diseases, lack in bodily ability to produce taurine. For them, it has to be fed from external sources. Taurine is one of the ingredients found in meat and fish. It is also added as one of the ingredients in infant milk formulas. Taurine is known for its health properties and hence, consumption of the same will bestow the eater with good nutrition. In this respect, the diet of vegetarians and vegans is found to be lacking in taurine.
Taurine contains powerful antioxidants. Hence, it is widely used as a cure to a number of health problems. It is available in a supplement form also. However, these supplements should be taken as per the advice of the physician. The effects of long term use of taurine are being studied. Any excess taurine in the body is usually expelled out by the kidneys through urine.
- Taurine is prescribed in various disorders of the brain like seizures, epilepsy, autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and mental fatigue and anxiety.
- Research conducted on mice suggested that taurine supplementation provided rest to their brains and calmed them down from hyperactivity.
- Taurine increases the receiptivity of the cells located in the deep tissues of the brain. This ensures better concentration, mental alertness and focus.
- It regulates the central nervous system and regulates the sleep and wakeful patterns.
- Taurine strengthens the visual receptor cells present in the retina. It also strengthens the optic nerve and macula.
- It is found to be effective in treating diseases like diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. As one ages, the rods and cones in the eye tend to degenerate often resulting in gradual blindness. However, timely intervention and intake of prescribed supplements like taurine aided in recovery from such conditions.
- Taurine contributes to heart health. The heart pumps blood and oxygen to the various parts of the part of the body, incessantly. Doing this activity, non-stop, tires the heart if it is not supported by a good lifestyle and necessary nutrition. As the heart muscles age, they become tardy in their functioning. Arterial blocks, building up of high cholesterol and blood clots along the path of circulation, all cause such conditions as heart failure, infarction, atherosclerosis etc. However, taurine supplements combined with regular physical exercise helps one to maintain perfect heart health.
- Taurine strengthens the heart muscles by reducing the amount of bad cholesterol and lowering the blood pressure.
- Taurine acts by balancing the high blood sugars.
- Studies conducted on the effect of taurine on diseases caused due to long-standing diabetes, like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, diabetic cardiomyopathy and diabetic retinopathy, proved that it was highly helpful in treating them.
For the health of sports persons:
- Athletes and other sports persons found taurine supplement increased their strength and reduced fatigue. They could practise for longer hours without muscle aches.
- Taurine helps by reducing the lactic acid in the muscles. This, in turn, helped the athletes to carry out their work-outs without pain or soreness.
Supports the liver:
- Taurine was found to be helpful in patients with liver cirrhosis, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
- Taurine helped in detoxifying the liver, reducing liver injury and brought under control, the elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.