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Taurine is an amino acid that is abundant throughout the nervous system.1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14553911https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17053427 Taurine performs many essential roles in the body and is essential for cardiovascular function. It is most concentrated in the heart, muscle tissue, and brain. Taurine is most abundant in meats and fish3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16702333, and is not found in plants.
In fact, people on vegan diets have been shown to have negligible amounts of taurinehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17053427, and this amount is low even in most omnivorous diets. Therefore, taurine is an absolutely essential amino acid for vegans and vegetarians, and may prove useful even in meat-rich diets. It provides benefits to both physical and mental health, and is a well-rounded supplement that is often forgotten about or misunderstood.
Taurine may have a therapeutic effect on people with congestive heart failure5https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/clc.49600805076http://science.sciencemag.org/content/184/4142/1187, and in overweight adults it can lower weight and cholesterol levels.7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15221507 It posses both strong anti-inflammatory1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1455391119https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1572320420https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894431/21https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12436209and antioxidant properties15https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704325/16https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20074672f referencenumber=18]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20360629, and protects the body from cell death and tissue damage.14https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894431/
Taurine effectively crosses the blood-brain barrier7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/128981278https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4407108 and confers many mental health benefits. Taurine induces a calming effect9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12436202 on the mind, and protects against glutamate neurotoxicity11https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18951478. It has been shown to produce anxiety reducing effects12https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1654015713https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15240184, and this likely comes from modulating and increasing levels of both GABA and glycine in the brain.14https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17728537 GABA and glycine are two primary inhibitory neurotransmitters in mammalian brains that can lead to improved mood, relaxation, and restful sleep.
Interestingly, taurine also causes long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, which is a long-term strengthening of synapses.10https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15147512 LTP is heavily implicated in memory formation, especially long-term and episodic memory.
Taurine is commonly included in energy drinks to due its heart-health and anxiety-reducing properties, however it’s in far too low of an amount to be of any use.
Taurine Dosage Information
A standard dose of taurine is about 1000mg, but doses as high as 3000mg per day have shown no side effects when used over the long-term.
Taurine has a very neutral taste and is water soluble, easily added to any drink.
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