What Is Taurine?
Taurine is an amino acid. This substance is present naturally in human beings and is mainly concentrated in the brain, eyes, heart, and muscles. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are essential for the growth and repair of muscles. However, taurine is an exception.
Taurine is a common additive in food and drink. Energy drinks, sports drinks, supplements—even baby food—now contain taurine. How many of us think to ask what taurine is?
Taurine is a simple amino acid that is one of the key building blocks of life. Amino acids are the basic units of proteins, which are essential for muscle building. Anyone interested in fitness and exercise probably also want to build muscle to some degree. Taurine is not an essential amino acid, meaning that our bodies don’t require it to function.
We should explore taurine because it is so popular. Since so many young people are drinking energy drinks that contain taurine, we should learn more about what taurine is.
There is a general consensus among doctors, researchers, and fitness enthusiasts that taurine has a lot of benefits. Researchers believe that taurine can have benefits for a wide range of health issues, from mental health to childhood development. What is taurine, what are the real benefits of taurine, and are there any potential ill effects of taurine?
The article explains the science behind taurine and how it could potentially improve our health if we include it in our diets. What is taurine? And how does it work?
This means that while your body is capable of manufacturing it, sometimes your body can’t make enough of it. Taurine is a type of amino acid that is considered to be “conditionally essential.” This means that while your body is normally able to produce it, there are times when it may not be able to make enough of it. The body only produces 11 of the 20 amino acids. The remaining nine amino acids are called essential amino acids. We need to consume these essential amino acids through our diet. There are also what scientists classify as conditionally essential amino acids. There are also amino acids that scientists classify as conditionally essential. We only need these amino acids under specific conditions.
Amino acids that are ordinarily not essential may become necessary during times of illness or stress. Taurine falls into this category. We only need the amino acid under specific conditions.
Many people require supplemental taurine because our bodies can only produce a limited amount. Taurine supplements are beneficial for people with heart disease or diabetes. Taurine is added to a formula specifically made for premature babies to assist with fetal brain development, as taurine is fundamental to this process.
There are some popular myths about taurine. For example, taurine is not obtained from urine or semen of bulls. This is an urban myth that is gross. The word “taurine” is derived from the Latin word for bull, “Taurus”. The only connection bulls have to the text is explained below.
Taurine works in several physiological processes. These include:
- Regulating the volume of body cells
- Stabilizing cell membranes
- Adjusting the amount of calcium in cells
- Producing bile salts
Taurine can be produced by our bodies, and supplementing with taurine may be helpful for various functions.
Where Does Taurine Come From?
Most of the taurine in the human diet comes from animal sources like meat, fish, and dairy. Taurine was first discovered in cow bile. The name “taurine” comes from the Latin word taurus, which means bull or ox. Concentrations of taurine are generally low in plant-based foods. Eating a balanced diet that includes meat generally gives you about 8-400 mg of taurine a day. Taurine is an amino acid that is found in high concentrations in breast milk, and is essential for the development of nursing babies.
Taurine can also be made through synthesis and biosynthesis.
Synthetic taurine is produced through a process called ammonolysis. The taurine is produced by putting two complex chemicals through a controlled chemical reaction. The chemicals contain the elements of taurine.
Taurine is created by taking the basic biochemical components that are found in living organisms and further processing them biochemically. The process of producing taurine synthetically is complicated and essentially mirrors the process that takes place in the body to produce taurine naturally.
What Does Taurine Do?
Taurine is found in several organs in our bodies. The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, heart, and muscle cells. skeletal muscle tissue, and retinas are all parts of the nervous system. Taurine is found in leukocytes, or white blood cells, which are part of the immune system.
Taurine found in the body serves several functions:
- Maintains proper hydration and electrolyte balance
- Forms bile salts that are essential for digestion
- Supports the general functions of the central nervous system and eyes
- Regulates the immune system
- Sustains antioxidant function
Taurine is an amino acid that is essential for certain body functions. The body can usually produce enough taurine to maintain these functions. However, in some cases, higher amounts may become necessary. People with heart disease, kidney failure, and premature infants often need taurine supplements.
If a pregnant woman doesn’t have enough taurine, it can affect the development of the baby’s brain and make it hard to manage blood sugar levels later in life.
Taurine is becoming increasingly important, according to studies. This is contrary to what doctors previously believed. More and more doctors are suggesting that people supplement their taurine intake beyond what their bodies naturally produce.
Your body can produce taurine, but you need to get it through diet and supplements to reach the optimal amount.
Because taurine plays such an important role in the body, taking supplements can provide many benefits, including making the body more sensitive to insulin, preventing and treating problems with the cardiovascular system, preventing and treating fatty liver disease, reducing seizures, and improving tinnitus.
Why Do People Supplement with Taurine?
People use taurine most often as an ingredient in energy drinks, rather than as a supplement.
When people supplement with taurine, it is often for reasons that are the opposite of what you would expect from its association with energy drinks. Taurine is a common supplement that is taken to reduce anxiety and calm your mind.
Some people take taurine to try to reduce muscle cramps during exercise, when drinking fluids and taking potassium haven’t helped.
Some people see taurine as a supplement that can improve their overall health. Since taurine is found in many tissue including the heart and has antioxidant properties, it’s believed that a small amount of taurine each day can improve health.
What Are the Benefits of Taurine?
The most relevant topics to discuss when it comes to putting taurine into your mouth or not are as follows.
Taurine and Sleep
Taurine is one of many compounds in the body that increase with prolonged periods of wakefulness, similar to how melatonin does. It can activate receptors known as GABA(A) in the thalamus, which regulates sleep, and is involved in the creation of melatonin itself in the pineal gland.
In other words, taurine is a substance that is present in your body and affects the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. The longer you are awake, the more taurine builds up in your body and makes you feel sleepy.
There are not many studies on taurine supplementation and sleep. The effects of the drug vary greatly depending on the species, with amazing results in fruit flies, minimal effects in rats, and lackluster results in a single human study.
There does not seem to be enough evidence from human studies to show that taking taurine supplements would help improve sleep. Taurine is a molecule that is important for sleep, but more research is needed to determine if it can help people through supplementation.
Taurine and Obesity
Taurine has an important role in reducing inflammation in fat cells, but during obesity, taurine levels in the body are reduced.
Taurine intake may help to reduce inflammation and reverse some of the harmful effects of obesity. Past research has shown that taking 1,500 mg of taurine over the course of eight weeks can improve human health in various ways.
Taurine did not cause more weight loss than placebo, even though it improved inflammation.
obesity causes a decrease in taurine, and taking taurine supplements can bring the levels back up. Although there may be some health benefits to this method, it is not very effective in terms of fat loss.
Taurine and Depression
Taurine has been investigated as a possible link between poor sleep, obesity, depression, and anxiety in a few studies. It seems to be relevant to women yet not men. Many people supplement taurine in order to relieve depression and/or anxiety.
However, human studies are lacking. There is a clear link between taurine levels and depression and anxiety, however, it is not proven whether ingesting it has any effect.
The mechanisms for this are unclear and spread out. It seems that taurine can help reduce anxiety by activating both the GABA(A) receptors and glycine receptors. One rat study suggested that taurine helps prevent depression and anxiety in response to stress.
While there are some indications that taurine may help with depression and anxiety, overall there is relatively little research on the topic. There is some evidence that taurine may help to reduce stress and improve mood in people, however more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Taurine and Diabetes
. A few studies have been conducted to examine the role taurine plays in diabetes.
It seems that taurine in the body, independent of supplementation, is associated with better responses to healthy diets during type II diabetes; those with a lower taurine status had worse changes in blood glucose and insulin resistance after they started eating better. Diabetics may find sulfur-rich foods helpful as they are a source of taurine.
Diabetes can also cause damage to blood vessels due to oxidative stress. This is why giving taurine to diabetics can help protect their blood cells and vessels from damage.
Taurine does not seem to have a large effect on people with high blood glucose levels, but it may help protect them in general. There is not enough evidence to suggest whether it can improve insulin sensitivity or reduce elevated glucose.
Taurine and Exercise
The most relevant aspect of taurine to our purposes is that it has been studied in relation to improving exercise capacity. The effectiveness of taking this varies from person to person.
Taurine supplementation appears to have protective effects during exercise and to increase exercise capacity in individuals who have previously suffered heart damage.
Taurine does not appear to enhance high-intensity exercise capacity in people without heart problems. It’s possible thatCreatine may help to reduce muscle soreness by protecting the muscle cells during intense exercise (without interfering with the inflammatory response).
Taurine may improve performance in a 3 km run compared to a placebo.
To sum up, taurine may be a good idea for people who have suffered cardiovascular damage before, as it may help protect them from further damage and also improve their endurance and reduce soreness.
Although taurine supplementation may provide power and strength, it does not appear to be beneficial.
Taurine supplementation may protect the heart during exercise, especially endurance exercise, and in cases of heart damage. Although it may not appear to, this would likely increase one’s strength and power.
Taurine Side Effects
The majority of doctors believe that taurine is safe for people to consume. Researchers have found that the levels of taurine in energy drinks are generally not high enough to cause any negative effects.
Some people have adverse reactions to taurine, such as is found in common energy drinks, that include diarrhea and constipation. However, the study said that these problems could be due to the added sugar and caffeine found in these drinks.
People with adrenocortical insufficiency may experience decreased body temperature and high levels of potassium if they consume too much taurine.
A different study found that taurine can have harmful consequences for people who suffer from epilepsy.
Other side effects of taurine may include:
- Difficulty walking
The side effects of consuming too much taurine are rare, but they can occur. If you have a medical condition and are worried about the side effects of taurine, you should talk to a doctor before taking taurine supplements or eating products that contain taurine.
The Bottom Line
Taurine is a good antioxidant supplement that has benefits for obesity and heart health. It may also improve endurance exercise performance.
Although it’s prevalent in energy drinks, it’s not as great as one would assume. The inclusion of vitamin B in energy drinks is most likely due to the fact that it was present in the first product that was deemed effective, and subsequently, people saw no reason to change the ingredients.
Overall, energy drinks are healthy, won’t cause harm if consumed in moderation, and may even have some benefits.
This isn’t the most impressive product, but at least it’s not powerful enough to cause problems if it’s accidentally put into energy drinks and marketed to people without them knowing.