L-Taurine plays an important role in the function of the adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands. Its contained in energy drinks like Red Bull and Red Rain, and it actually offers a huge list of health benefits – so much so that almost anyone would probably benefit from taking taurine. But you don’t need to down a Red Bull to get the benefits of taurine. The better way to get your taurine is by taking it in capsule form, as a health supplement. Read on to discover the amazingly long list of benefits that taurine can offer you or someone you care about.
I have very effectively used taurine for treating adrenal fatigue, low thyroid, anxiety and exhaustion. It was prescribed for me by a holistic practitioner following a saliva test when I was suffering the effects of an untreated pituitary tumor. To this day (quite a number of years later), even drinking a Red Rain energy drink which contains taurine has a very beneficial effect on me – it calms and energies me at the same time, or provides which ever my body needs most at the moment. It also gives me a slight mood lift. It gets me through the day, without any sort of a buzz, just a healthy-feeling energy.
However, I have come to learn that taurine, in fact, does even more good for the body that just this ( and when you have suffered with adrenal insufficiency as I have, “this” was life altering).
Taurine is an amino acid and acts as a neurotransmitter within the body. I was a little taken aback recently when I decided I should probably start taking it again since my thyroid seemed to be enlarging a little, and I was feeling very exhausted, and taurine was very beneficial when it was prescribed to me when I was suffering badly from these symptoms in the past. So I decided to do a little research on taurine as a refresher, to remind myself on exactly how taurine had benefited me. I was stunned by the long list of benefits it offers, well over and above the basics I knew about. I had no idea. Its enough to persuade me to just stay on taurine permanently, even after the symptoms I use it for improve.
Since the list of taurine benefits is so exstensive, let’s first start by getting dosage information out of the way:
Recommended Dosage for Taurine
Recommended dosage per Dr. Lam: Between 1 and 3 g a day, there is usually no problem. At a dosage of more than 5 g a day, taurine may occasionally cause loose stool. The general dosage for people who have edema, high blood pressure, and seizure disorders ange from 0.5-4 g a day. In high doses, taurine may increase slightly the secretion of stomach acid.
These are SOME of the amazing benefits of taurine:
The amino acid taurine is a potent brain nutrient, lowers blood pressure, protects the heart, and fights inflammation, and more. Boosting taurine levels can contribute to better cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurologic health. Taurine promotes cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, electrolyte balance, hearing and eyesight function, and immune modulation. It also increases exercise endurance and improves athletic performance due to taurine’s antioxidant activity and protection of cellular properties.
Taurine functiona as an antioxidant.” Antioxidants protect the body’s cells from damage that results from certain chemical reactions involving oxygen (oxidation). Taurine is also said to improve mental and athletic performance. Improves mental performance: With aging, taurine concentrations decrease in the brain, leading experts to believe that higher taurine levels correlate with better memory and mental function.
Stimulates the release of growth hormone which causes muscle growth and reduces body fat.
L-Taurine may help insomnia, in a few cases.
L-Taurine produces melanin, the pigment of the skin and hair.
L-Taurine helps with states of depression and anxiety.
L-Taurine helps produce norepinephrine, which is an appetite suppressant.
L-Taurine plays an important role in the function of the adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands.
L-Taurine increases red and white blood cells.
L-Taurine elevates mood.
L-Taurine may be helpful for brain, heart, and digestive support.
L-Taurine promotes healthy brain cell activity.
L-Taurine supports healthy heart function.
In animal research, taurine protected against heart failure, reducing mortality by nearly 80%. Its benefits are so broad and extensive that scientists have described taurine as “a wonder molecule.”
Taurine is found abundantly in healthy bodies. However, certain diets, particularly vegetarian or vegan diets, lack adequate amounts of taurine. Aging bodies often cannot internally produce an optimal amount of taurine, making supplementation vital.
Those interested in longevity should consider supplementation with this vital and super low-cost nutrient. Studies of people in countries with the longest life spans found that they had high levels of taurine.
Because of taurine’s essential role in the body, supplementing with taurine can provide numerous health benefits, including restoring insulin sensitivity, mitigating diabetic complications, reversing cardiovascular disease factors, preventing and treating fatty liver disease, alleviating seizures, reversing tinnitus, and more.
Taurine for Weight Loss
Human studies show that 3 grams per day of taurine for 7 weeks reduced body weight significantly in a group of overweight or obese (but not-yet-diabetic) adults.14 Subjects saw significant declines in their serum triglycerides and “atherogenic index,” a ratio of multiple cholesterol components that predicts atherosclerosis risk.
Animal research reveals that obesity itself causes a decline in plasma taurine levels, which, in a vicious cycle, further promotes obesity.19 The observed decline in taurine levels was seen in mouse models of both genetic obesity and diet-induced obesity. Fortunately, in the same study, taurine supplementation interrupted the cycle, helping to prevent obesity and its consequences.19
If you have low taurine, your nervous system will be over-responsive to stress. A chronically excited nervous system means persistently high cortisol, and often, an increase in body fat. If you have any experience with fat loss, you know that the body is most agreeable about giving up its fat stores when it is calm and not stressed or overly stimulated. The simple stress-lowering effect of taurine will help you improve body composition and lose weight.
Taurine to Burn Fat
Taurine helps the body metabolize fat, making it essential for energy production and a lean physique. But, it’s also necessary for many aspects of health because beneficial fats play a role in the health of every cell in the body.
Taurine For Stress
Even the most serene individuals often say they’d like to have less stress in their lives. Taurine can help us get there.
Taurine is an amino acid that calms the nervous system by facilitating the production of the neurotransmitter GABA. By helping to raise GABA levels, taurine will allow your body to manage anxiety so that your thoughts don’t go spiraling out of control and you don’t get the associated cortisol and adrenaline spikes that go with anxiety and stress.
Taurine for Insulin Health
Taurine is a well known supplement for improving insulin sensitivity. Taurine makes the cells more sensitive to insulin binding and glucose uptake by multiple mechanisms.
Taurine for Bile Production and Digestion
Taurine is one of the most vital ingredients of bile. Bile is necessary for proper digestion of fat and also absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Bile is also responsible for regulating the levels of cholesterol serum in the body.
Taurine To Increase Testosterone
Taurine as an Antioxidant: Fights Oxidative Stress
Taurine for Exercise Performance and Recovery
Taurine for the Heart
Magnesium and Taurine for Better Sleep
Taurine For Better Brain Function
Taurine for Diabetes and Glucose Control
It is a known fact that taurine concentrations are lower among diabetics than they are in healthy individuals.20 Given the above information about low taurine levels promoting obesity, it is clear that the low levels of taurine only serve to promote the interdependence of diabetes and obesity.20 Fortunately, human studies have shown that supplementing with just 1.5 grams of taurine a day can restore taurine levels to those in healthy control subjects, and additional animal research has shown that taurine supplementation can help prevent the onset of type II diabetes.20,21
Normal taurine concentrations are essential in controlling diabetes and the impact of its consequences. Animal studies have found that having adequate taurine concentrations helps control diabetes by reducing blood glucose and restoring insulin sensitivity.22 But it doesn’t stop there. Taurine helps prevent—and even reverse—many of the consequences associated with the disease.
Additional animal and cell culture studies have revealed that taurine supplementation is effective against diabetic complications as well. Taurine supports nerve fiber integrity, potentially slowing or reversing painful diabetic neuropathy.26-29 And in the retina, another target of destructive elevated blood glucose, taurine fights glucose-induced oxidant stress and preserves the health of light-sensing cells in diabetic retinopathy.30-32 Kidney damage, another consequence of diabetes, can be minimized with taurine supplementation in diabetic animals.33
Taurine for Potent Retina Protection
Taurine is especially vital when it comes to eye health. Adequate levels can help prevent age-related vision loss; conversely, a deficiency can lead to troubling vision problems. While taurine is found in very high concentrations in the retina, it declines significantly with age.46-48 Evidence is strong that taurine is vital in maintaining optimal retinal function.50
For optimal results using taurine for eye health, combine with a zinc supplement. Zinc isn’t mentioned in most of the articles I have read on taurine, but I did read one article which stated: “Along with zinc, taurine helps in maintaining good eye health”, therefore my inclination would be to be sure to include the zinc. Why the others articles don’t mention it, I don’t know, but in the event that zinc is critical for this application, I wouldn’t take the chance of skipping it.
Taurine for Reversing Tinnitus
Taurine plays a vital role in hearing. In fact, studies have found that in some cases, taurine can reverse the biochemical processes behind hearing loss.53,54 Other studies have demonstrated that taurine can almost completely eliminate the ringing in the ears associated with tinnitus.55
Animal studies using human equivalent doses of 700 mg to 3.2 grams per day of taurine over the course of several weeks demonstrate near-complete resolution of tinnitus with taurine supplementation (the animals had been trained in tasks that are sensitive to distraction by tinnitus).55 And a human pilot study has shown encouraging results, with 12% of people responding to taurine supplementation.58
Taurine for Seizures
While there are many types and many causes of epilepsy (seizures), a disruption in the function of excitable brain tissue underlies all of them. Animal studies reveal that taurine depletion makes seizures more likely, while supplementation with taurine is capable of preventing seizures induced by a number of drugs and chemical toxins.59-61
Taurine Prevents and Treats Liver Disease
Increasing evidence suggests that taurine may help treat the most common cause of liver disease in the US, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (or NAFLD). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat accumulates in the liver, and it can be caused by insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Over time, the end result is the loss of liver function, leading to liver cirrhosis.
The human liver is our master detoxifying organ, screening our blood flow many times over each day for substances that can damage our bodies. Taurine is an integral part of the liver’s self-protective mechanisms.
Studies show that taurine defends liver cells against free radicals and toxins, helping to reduce the severity of oxidative stress-induced liver injury.62 This is vitally important in alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, both of which can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure.63,64
Some of the benefits of taurine:
- Taurine assists in the proper utilization of calcium, potassium and sodium in the body.
- It helps in maintaining the health of the cell membranes.
- It is known to help in hydrating the brain and improving brain function. It is also believed to help in relieving anxiety, hyperactivity and epilepsy.
- Deficiencies of taurine may create problems in vision and fat metabolism.
People suffering from metabolic disorders may benefit from additional intake of taurine since such conditions can result in loss of the nutrient through the urine.
Associated risks: Taurinehas been used safely by adults in studies lasting up to one year. However, there is one report of brain damage in a body-builder who took about 14 grams of taurine in combination with insulin and anabolic steroids. It is not known if this was due to the taurine or the other drugs taken. Excess taurine is typically excreted by the kidneys.