| Food & Diet

Taurine ~ The Energy Drink Amino Acid

By Tyler Woodward

Contents:

What Is Taurine:

What Is Taurine

Taurine is a naturally occurring sulfur containing amino acid that was originally isolated from the bile acid of from which it received its name taurine. Taurine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that humans can produce it from other amino acids. Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids found in the body, but is predominantly found in excitatory tissues like the heart, brain and eyes. Taurine plays a number of roles in the body including: 

  • Aids In Bile Synthesis
  • Acts As A Neurotransmitter
  • Regulates Intracellular Calcium
  • Regulates Autophagy
  • Protects Against Inflammation

Taurine Synthesis

Taurine can by synthesized from cysteine as long as there is adequate amounts of Vitamin B6 and cysteine present in the diet. Cysteine is also a conditionally essential amino acid that requires adequate amounts of Vitamin B6 and methionine to be created. Although the body can synthesize taurine, assuming it has sufficient amounts of the prerequisite nutrients, we do not produce enough taurine to meet our body's requirements. In fact, the majority of our taurine intake comes through our diet, specifically the consumption of meat and seafood. For these reasons vegetarians and vegans are much more likely to be deficient in taurine due to a lack of taurine in their diet. 

Additionally, under stressful conditions like a caloric deficit, excess oxidative stress, hormonal imbalance, or other nutrients deficiencies the body can make taurine an essential amino acid as this restricts the body's ability to produce it. This is why taurine is sometimes referred to as a "conditionally essential" amino acid.

Benefits Of Taurine:

Benefits Of Taurine

Taurine has been shown to exert a number of beneficial effects in the body including:

  • May Increase Insulin Sensitivity † - 
  • May Act To Protect The Heart †
  • May Increase Exercise Performance † - 
  • May Help To Reduce Depression And Anxiety † - 
  • May Fight Neurodegenerative Diseases Like Parkinson’s And Alzheimer’s †
  • Reduces Neuroinflammation & Systemic Inflammation
  • Prevents Against (Excess) Excitation In The Brain

Read More: How Long Does a Liver Detox Take? (and how to do it!)

Mechanisms Of Taurine:

Regulates Calcium Homeostasis

Read More: Why Is Beef Liver Nature's Superfood

Best Food Sources Of Taurine:

Best Taurine Containing Foods

  • Shellfish 
  • Beef Liver 
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Beef Jerky 
  • Lamb
  • Fatty Fish

While supplements are generally not as ideal as food sources, supplemental taurine has been shown to very effective with minimal negative effects, making supplemental taurine (yes even redbull) relatively safe and healthy for use.

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