Taurine, also known as 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is a conditional amino sulfonic acid. Unlike essential amino acids, taurine can be manufactured by the human body, and it is also found in animal-based food products. Patients who cannot make enough taurine often need to take taurine supplements, and many athletes also use these supplements. For example, taurine is often added to infant formula since newborns cannot produce sufficient taurine, and patients fed through feeding tubes typically use products fortified with taurine. In addition, this amino acid is often added to energy drinks. The most recent studies suggest taking between 1.5 to six grams of taurine each day over three months is considered safe. Patients who have underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes should check with their physician before using taurine supplements.
The information provided below explains the function of taurine, where to get it, and the potential side effects and benefits associated with this nutrient.
Role In The Body
Taurine is concentrated primarily in the heart, brain, retina, and platelets, and it is also found in the large intestine, where it is a major component of bile. In terms of its role in the body, taurine helps in the formation of bile salts, which break fats down into fatty acids, allowing the digestive system to absorb them. In addition, taurine helps regulate the movement of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium as they travel in and out of cells. This mechanism helps the body maintain the proper balance of electrolytes, and it also aids in the prevention of dehydration. In the eyes, taurine is believed to support and improve the health of a patient’s rods and cones, both of which are important visual receptors. The nutrient also helps with the regulation of the immune system, and it acts as a neurotransmitter.
Get details on common sources of taurine next.