Taurine

General Info

Absorption

Taurine undergoes digestion in the stomach and is absorbed from the small intestine.

Dietary Origins

Fish and meat are the best food sources for taurine. Humans, except for infants, are able to make taurine from another essential amino acid methionine (me-thahy-uh-neen, -nin).

Overview

Taurine is an essential amino acid, which is important for optimal health. Tuarine is readily available in diets that contain foods from animal sources. The body also produces taurine in the process of breaking down other amino acids, but under certain conditions some individuals are not able to make enough taurine, making it an essential nutrient for those people. Taurine is essential for pre-term and newborn infants because they have not yet developed the enzyme system that allows them to produce taurine. Thus, taurine is an essential nutrient for infants. Taurine is concentrated in parts of the body that have high electrical activity such as the, brain, eye, and heart.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

There is no known toxicity or precaution associated with taurine.

Functions in the Body

Absorption

Taurine is a component of bile acids and as such it helps regulate the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins.

Cardiovascular functions

Taurine helps regulate blood pressure, cardiac contraction, heart rhythm, and platelet aggregation.

Detoxifying Agent

Taurine is a detoxifying agent that helps protect liver cells against toxins.

Inhibitory Neurotransmitter

Taurine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps to stabilize nerve cell membranes. Which aids in treating seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

Symptoms & Causes of Deficiency

In pre-term and term infants, taurine deficiency results in bile acid secretion, impaired fat absorption, liver malfunction, and vision disturbances, all of which can be reversed by taurine supplementation. Based on what is known about taurine it could also be speculated that a deficiency could result in, elevated blood viscosity, and decreased cardiac function.