Taurine: Explore the Benefits and Side Effects
Taurine is an amino acid that has been gaining popularity as a dietary supplement and medicine. It is found in animal proteins such as meat, seafood, and dairy products. Taurine is also available in supplement form, which can help you meet your taurine needs.
In this article, we will explore the benefits and side effects of taurine as a medicine and dietary supplement.
What is Taurine?
Taurine is a naturally occurring sulfur-containing amino acid. It is particularly concentrated in your brain, eyes, heart, and muscles . Although amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of protein, taurine isn’t used to build proteins in your body. Instead, it’s considered a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning it becomes essential only in times of illness and stress .
Sources of Taurine
The main sources of taurine are animal proteins such as meat, seafood, and dairy. Plants contain no appreciable amount of taurine . Consequently, people eating a vegan or vegetarian diet consume less taurine. They tend to have lower taurine levels than those who regularly eat animal proteins . Even so, taurine deficiency is unlikely. This is thanks to your body’s ability to make taurine in your liver from other amino acids .
Benefits of Taurine
It has several benefits for your body. Here are some of the most significant ones:
Supports Immune Health
Taurine plays a crucial role in supporting immune health. It helps regulate the immune system by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress . This can help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Improves Nervous System Function
It also plays an essential role in improving nervous system function. It helps regulate neurotransmitters such as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and glycine . This can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.
Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Taurine has been shown to help prevent heart disease by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels . It also helps improve blood flow by relaxing blood vessels.
May Help Treat Diabetes
It may also help treat diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance . This can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent complications associated with diabetes.
May Help Improve Athletic Performance
It has been shown to improve athletic performance by reducing muscle damage caused by exercise . It also helps reduce fatigue and improve endurance.
Side Effects of Taurine
Taurine is generally safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses. However, high doses may cause some side effects such as:
High doses may cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and stomach cramps .
Some people may experience headaches when taking high doses.
High doses may cause insomnia or difficulty sleeping .
How to Take Taurine Supplements
Supplements are available in capsule or powder form. The recommended dosage as supplements varies depending on the condition being treated. However, most studies have used doses ranging from 500 mg to 3 grams per day .
It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking medication.
It is an essential amino acid that has several benefits for your body. It supports immune health, improves nervous system function, helps prevent heart disease, may help treat diabetes, and may improve athletic performance.
While supplements are generally safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses, high doses may cause some side effects such as digestive issues, headaches, and insomnia.
If you’re considering taking them as a supplements or using it as a medicine, it’s important to talk to your doctor first..