What is taurine? You must be reading the ingredients on a can of Red Bull; or you heard Taurine comes from an imaginable part of a bull’s anatomy. If you really want to know… Taurine is actually a very interesting amino acid.
Taurine is a nonessential amino acid found naturally in the body and in foods (mainly in animal protein). Its name is derived from Bos Taurus (ox bile) which was first isolated more than 150 years ago. Taurine differs from most of the typical amino acids, as it is not fused into proteins, but exists as a free amino acid in most animal tissues.
Energy Drinks, Supplements, and Advisory’s
Taurine is used in energy drinks because of its detoxifying effect, facilitating excretion of substances that are not necessarily needed by the body. It intensifies the effects of insulin and is responsible for a better implementation in the metabolism of glucose and amino acids. It can additionally help anabolism.
The highest supplemental limit for which you can be quite assured no side effects will occur has been suggested to be <= 3g a day. Always consult with your doctor for any concerns or second opinions about taurine consumption.
Fortunately, taurine excess is eliminated from the body in urine, so ingesting a little more of it is not a big problem. Don’t drink 4 red bulls thinking you’ll just excrete the immense leftover either. It’s still very dangerous to over consume energy drinks. Personally, I treat it like alcohol – appreciate and keep it minimal. Like most anything else; your body and system become accustomed to too much of something, thus requiring more time, effort, and money to keep satiated.
A person taking prescription medications should talk to your doctor about side effects taurine; especially if you want to consume the kinds of drinks that contain it. It is possible that taurine may interact adversely with certain types of medications or have unexpected effects on certain medical conditions.
For example, a person taking anticoagulants, which are drugs that prevent blood clotting and helping platelets, should know that taurine can thin the blood, so you should ask a doctor if it’s is safe to consume.
In general, energy drinks contain less than six grams (0.21 oz) of taurine in a single drink. Many health officials recommend limiting the use of energy drinks, however, due to high doses of other nutrients, combined with caffeine, can present adverse effects in some people.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised to avoid the use of taurine. There is no evidence that the side effects of taurine adversely affect unborn children or babies. Until the investigation has shown that consumption is safe for babies, some doctors think is best avoided.
Red Bull & Vodka?
If you combine it with alcohol, the result can be even more dangerous. This is because the alcohol, caffeine, and taurine collectively act on the nervous system in different ways: alcohol is depressant while caffeine and taurine are stimulants. Thus the combination produces changes in heart rate, even causing arrhythmias and other pathologies.
Another important issue is that once caffeine and taurine have been filtered out of the blood, the body is even more tired and needs to mobilize new glucose and metabolize even more energy to reach normal levels and restore stability. Those hangovers are hurting you – go easy!
The complicated, need to know details:
Taurine is an important factor for development and maintenance of morphology and normal functions of the retina, and has a significant role during brain development, modulating the processes of differentiation, migration, development and regeneration of the central nervous system (CNS). Taurine also incorporates itself in a large set of other physiological phenomena, including inhibition of neurotransmitters, stabilization of the cell membranes, adipose tissue regulation, and calcium homeostasis. Taurine is not incorporated in enzymes and proteins, but has an important role in the metabolism of bile acids.
It is also effective in the treatment of diabetes and gallstones, where taurine is a normal component of bile (do not forget that glycine and methionine are the other essential amino acids for proper functioning of the gallbladder ). Taurine is known to bind to certain bile salts, and thus improves its ability to digest fat. Animal studies have shown that supplementation with taurine can inhibit the formation of gallstones, but has not yet been tested in humans.
Taurine acts as an emulsifier of lipids in the small intestine, promoting intestinal absorption, since it is one of the most abundant bile acids. Taurine also acts as a transmitter and strengthens metabolic cardiac contractions.
Some studies have shown that a lack of taurine in the first 2 weeks of life permanently affects the level of individual amino acids in the brain. The increased level of glutamic acid can make the body more prone to seizures during certain stressful situations, such as high fever, excessive stimulation, trauma, dietary changes or any of these circumstances in combination with genetic factors or brain damage.
Recommendations for the use of taurine:
There are daily recommendations established for this amino acid, according to some studies, daily necessities are between 3-6 grams / day. There are few stories in research on toxicity intake of taurine. Always consult your doctor if unsure.
Effects of taurine in muscles:
Taurine proved to be linked to the drive mechanisms – our skeletal muscle systems, affecting the transmission of electrical impulses to the muscle fibers. This is particularly important to ensure optimum performance of muscles.
The muscles show a specific response with taurine; fast fibers (fast twitch type II) are more affected than slow fibers (slow twitch type I). It is argued that taurine helps the growth of muscle fibers when training with high intensity routines.
Effects of taurine in the nervous system:
Taurine is found in significant levels in the tissues of the central nervous system – taurine helps in CNS regulation. If the transmission of nerve impulse does not happen correctly, neuromuscular level muscle contraction is compromised, and sports performance will not be achieved.
A Taurine deficiency can trigger or cause:
- Central nervous system complications
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Cardiomyopathy or heart related issues
- Macular degeneration(AMD or ARMD)
- Interruptions and problems with fat digestion
- Ocular/Retinal issues and disorders
Precautions and Facts to consider:
Folks with liver or kidney disease should not eat large amounts of amino acids without the advice of a medical professional.
Taurine deficiency in patients with long-term parenteral nutrition may be involved in cholestasis (stopping the flow of bile).
Lactating or pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking supplements of taurine.
Do not take if suffering from stomach ulcers or other stomach/digestive issues.
Blood levels of taurine decline with advancing age.
- Vitamin B6.
Foods rich in taurine:
Animal origin: beef, pork, chicken (thigh), fish, octopus, seafood, dairy, eggs.
Plant origin: algae, almonds, beans, hazelnuts, chickpeas, lentils, brewer’s yeast, soybeans.
Other: breast milk.
Diseases in which use may be advisable:
- These are some of the diseases in which the use of taurine may be recommended:
- Morphine addiction.
- Macular degeneration.
- Insulin-dependent diabetes.
- Excessive exercise.
- Epilepsy should be caused by abnormal amounts of glutamic acid in the brain.
- Cerebral hyperexcitability.
- Poisoning by chemicals.
- Malabsorption of fats.
- Children fed canned milk.
- Central nervous system disorders: Anxiety. Anguish. Depression. Stress. Schizophrenia. Behavioral disorders.
- Cardiac disorders.
- Ocular disorders retina.
- Inadequate protein intake.
- Heart failure due to damaged blood flow.
- Disease of the heart valves.
Additional research suggests that taurine can help prevent macular degeneration, gallstones, and complications of diabetes. Taurine improves the absorption of fat in some individuals with cystic fibrosis. Taurine can prevent seizures in some cases, but research is conflicting. Vegetarians, the elderly and people with malabsorption syndromes may require additional taurine.