Taurine is a sulfur-containing beta-amino acid that is ubiquitous in the body and is especially plentiful in electrically excitable tissues, including the heart, retina, brain, and skeletal muscle. It is also non-proteinogenic, indicating that it does not become integrated into proteins during translation.

Production of Taurine

Taurine, a conditionally essential nutrient, is produced in the liver and can be obtained from certain foods like beef, dark meat poultry, and shellfish. It is produced in the body, but under certain conditions, it may not meet all functional needs. Low plasma taurine levels are associated with conditions like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, so the average adult should not be concerned about overt symptoms of taurine deficiency.

Taurine, an omnipresent body substance, plays a crucial role in various physiological functions such as cell protection, osmoregulation, mitochondrial function modulation, cell membrane stabilization, calcium homeostasis, energy metabolism, neuromodulation, and antioxidant actions.

Important benefits of Taurine

  1. Essential Amino Acid: Taurine is found in virtually every cell of the body and is required for proper heart function, gastrointestinal health, and nervous functioning. It's abundant in human breast milk and essential for early development.
  2. Liver Health: Taurine promotes bile synthesis, which is essential for detoxifying the liver by breaking down lipids and draining out toxins such as alcohol and heavy metals.
  3. Mitochondrial Health: It stabilizes the mitochondrial membrane, increasing energy production and supporting muscular health, which makes it popular with athletes.
  4. Vision Preservation: Vital for retinal health, taurine prevents degenerative eye conditions. Deficiencies can lead to severe eye diseases, so supplements like Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) are recommended for eye health.
  5. Gut Integrity: Strengthens intestinal cell walls, preventing harmful substances from leaking into the bloodstream, which can trigger autoimmune diseases.
  6. Musculoskeletal Relief: Supports gallbladder function, which reduces neck and shoulder discomfort by increasing bile flow and decreasing inflammation.
  7. Stress Reduction: Reduces cortisol and epinephrine levels, which might aid with stress management and perhaps lower blood pressure.
  8. Auditory Health: Helps to relieve tinnitus by activating Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, which block excessive auditory impulses.
  9. Blood Sugar Regulation: It acts as an antioxidant, enhancing insulin sensitivity and preventing pancreatic damage, which is beneficial for diabetes management.
  10. Reproductive Health: It improves hormone balance by aiding cholesterol absorption in the liver, which is essential for producing sex hormones.
  11. Neurological Support: Abundant in the brain, taurine helps regulate neural activity and may prevent neurodegenerative diseases by protecting against harmful plaques.
  12. Dietary Sources: These are best sourced from foods like scallops, turkey, and seaweed or through supplements like ox bile or TUDCA, which improve digestion and overall health. Avoid energy drinks, as they contain processed taurine mixed with high levels of caffeine.

How does taurine work?

Taurine is a vital nutrient that plays a significant role in cell protection, regulating cell volume, calcium homeostasis, and stabilizing cell membranes. It also exerts antioxidant effects, possibly by regulating antioxidant enzymes and inhibiting mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation. Taurine also provides cardioprotective effects by decreasing oxidative stress, modifying blood lipids, and reducing blood pressure through vasodilation and reduced production of angiotensin II. It also enhances muscle contraction by increasing the calcium-storing ability of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and increasing the sensitivity of force-generating proteins to calcium. In endurance exercise, taurine aids performance by increasing fat use for fuel, reducing glycogen contribution, and improving mitochondrial function.

Taurine may not receive as much attention as other nutrients, but its benefits for overall health and well-being are undeniable. From supporting heart health and exercise performance to enhancing brain function and immune response, taurine plays numerous essential roles in the body. Whether you're an athlete looking to boost performance, someone concerned about heart health, or simply seeking to improve overall wellness, incorporating taurine into your daily regimen could yield significant benefits. As always, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it aligns with your individual health needs and goals.


  1. Surai, Peter F., Katie Earle-Payne, and Michael T. Kidd. "Taurine as a natural antioxidant: From direct antioxidant effects to protective action in various toxicological models." Antioxidants12 (2021): 1876. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/10/12/1876
  2. Waldron, M., Patterson, S. D., & Tallent, J. (2018). The effects of taurine on repeat sprint cycling after low or high cadence exhaustive exercise in females. Amino Acids, 50(7), 765-771.


  1. Schaffer, Stephen W., et al. "Effect of taurine and potential interactions with caffeine on cardiovascular function." Amino acids46 (2014): 1147-1157.


  1. Louzada, Paulo Roberto, et al. "Taurine prevents the neurotoxicity of β‐amyloid and glutamate receptor agonists: activation of GABA receptors and possible implications for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders." The FASEB journal3 (2004): 511-518.




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