Taurine is the most abundant thiamine-containing acid in mammalian body tissues (roughly present in the brain, immune cells, retina and internal organs), regarded as a conditional essential amino acid, mainly involved in physiological functions are: cell osmotic pressure regulation, formation of bile salts, calcium flow regulation, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and stable cell membranes. Note 8
Although taurine is not necessary to make up protein, it can be required in large quantities under certain conditions (such as premature birth, chronic liver disease, heart or kidney failure) to meet the body’s needs.
The human body produces a small amount of taurine, and most of it is ingested through food, natural sources include meat, poultry, dairy products and other foods, plant sources are rare.
What are the recommended empirical benefits of taurine?
1. Beneficial for heart failure
Heart failure is often caused by abnormal heart muscle structure or function, resulting in the inability of the ventricles to efficiently fill and output blood, mainly in the elderly, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
The main symptoms are frequent shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and swelling of veins in the feet, legs, abdomen and neck
A double-blind controlled study (12 weeks, 16 patients with heart failure due to coronary heart disease) showed that taurine supplementation helped improve myocardial oxygen demand, ECG indicators, exercise capacity, and blood taurine levels. Note 1
For patients, these clinically significant numerical improvements represent improvements in physical function, quality of life, and survival.
Another randomized controlled study (2 weeks, in patients with heart failure) found that taurine supplementation had anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory (C-reactive protein and platelet) effects. Note 2
*Summary: Taurine has a positive effect on heart failure, but further confirmation is still pending due to the small sample size of the relevant studies
2. Beneficial hepatitis symptoms
Hepatitis refers to sudden or chronic inflammation of the liver due to viruses, drugs, toxins, alcohol or immune disorders, especially hepatitis B and C transmitted by blood viruses, which may lead to liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and even hepatocellular carcinoma if not properly treated.
A controlled study (4 months, 24 patients with hepatitis C) showed that oral taurine improved liver damage index (ALT and AST), oxidative stress (thiobarbituric acid relative substances) and blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) compared with placebo. Note 3
Another controlled study (3 months, 30 patients with liver damage due to chronic alcoholism) also pointed out that oral taurine can help improve a variety of clinical indicators, such as ALT, AST, triglycerides, cholesterol, TBARS, and enzymes that favor ethanol metabolism: alcohol dehydrogenase and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Note 4
*Summary: Taurine has antioxidant properties that may slow liver damage caused by hepatitis, but more research is needed
3. Reduce the incidence of stroke
Stroke is the number one cause of disability, increasing exponentially every 10 years after the age of 55, and it is estimated that there are about 800,000 stroke cases in the United States each year, of which 600,000 are first-time, and the risk factors are high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and smoking.
A prospective case-control study (14,274 white women) found no clear association (no protective effect) with blood taurine concentrations associated with stroke events. Note 5
However, after further investigation, it was found that the blood taurine value of non-smokers showed an inverse relationship with stroke events, indicating that taurine can bring benefits to some ethnic groups.
*Summary: There is no significant correlation between blood taurine concentration and stroke incidence, but it may be beneficial in some ethnic groups, and more research is needed
4. Lower blood lipids
Hyperlipidemia is the most common abnormality found in health checkups and the primary causative agent of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
It is estimated that about 20.39% of the 11-7 age group have cholesterol problems, which are more pronounced after the age of 40, rising to 41.2%, and nearly half of the patients do not take appropriate treatment due to no obvious discomfort, resulting in a significant increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease in the future.
A randomized, double-blind controlled study (7 weeks, 30 overweight and obese students) showed that oral taurine helped reduce weight in addition to lowering triacylglycerol and atherosclerosis ratio (TC/HDL ratio). Note 6
The mechanism behind it may be related to taurine’s activated cholesterol hydroxylase (7 alpha-hydroxylase), which regulates low-density lipoprotein receptor activity and promotes apolipoprotein A1 production.
*Summary: Taurine has a hypolipidemic effect, but relevant studies are still limited and need more empirical confirmation
5. Reduce chemotherapy side effects
Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for cancer, but there may be side effects and toxicity to specific organs during treatment, which often reduces patient cooperation and hinders the progress of treatment.
Side effects of chemotherapy, especially nausea and vomiting, are the most common, and depending on the degree, malnutrition, dehydration, and electrolyte metabolism imbalance may occur.
A randomized, double-blind controlled study (6-month study of 40 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia) showed that taurine supplementation helped reduce fatigue compared with placebo, in addition to reducing nausea, vomiting, or odor and taste disturbances associated with chemotherapy. Note 7
The mechanism behind it is related to the inhibition of nerve conduction substances by taurine, the change of muscle metabolism, and the reduction of pro-inflammatory hormone disorders.
*Summary: Taurine may reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and improve patients’ quality of life
Are there any side effects of taurine?
Taurine is an extremely safe ingredient for most people to use in appropriate doses without any significant side effects.
If you wish to supplement with taurine due to various medical conditions, it is recommended to consult a local qualified medical professional before use, and the intake of nutrients from the natural diet is still the first priority.
Contraindications to use (safety precautions)
Do not use by pregnant women, nursing mothers, and people with poor liver and kidney function (due to unknown safety)
Use with caution in patients with bipolar disorder, as patients have experienced manic symptoms after drinking excessive amounts of taurine-containing functional beverages (but it is not known whether they are related to other ingredients, such as caffeine or inositol)