Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that occurs naturally within the body in certain foods like fish and meat. It is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body’s muscle tissue, brain, and many other organs. Amino acids are essential because they are the building blocks of proteins, and protein is what the body uses to grow and repair tissue.
L-Taurine is the L isomer of the Taurine molecule, which means it is the most abundant and important compound of Taurine. That’s why L-Taurine and Taurine are often used interchangeably.
There are many benefits of L-Taurine. It plays an important role in body functions, like balancing electrolytes, regulating calcium levels in specific cells, and creating bile salts in the liver that aid digestion (bile salts help break down fatty acids in the intestines).
As new benefits of Taurine continue to be recognized and researched, it has quickly gained popularity as a dietary supplement.
How Taurine works in the body:
- Taurine improves glucose tolerance
- Increases insulin action
- Acts as an antioxidant that helps sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium functions
- It helps the body maintain the right concentration of solutes
- Regulates the amount of water in the body’s fluids
- Balances electrolytes in the body
- Supporting the development of the nervous system
- Removes lactic acid
Interesting History of L-Taurine
To fully understand the benefits of L-Taurine, it helps to explore the history of how Taurine was first discovered and the science of how it works.
Taurine was first isolated in 1827 by two German scientists, Leopold Gmelin and Friedrich Tiedemann. The name Taurine comes from the Latin word “taurus” which means bull, since Taurine was isolated from ox bile. In mammals, Taurine is synthesized in the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland that plays a vital role in digestion and controls blood sugar levels.
It’s interesting to note Taurine is a principal compound of the amino acid pool in the milk in many species, so it’s passed from mothers to offspring. Since fetuses and infants can’t produce Taurine, they depend on the Taurine supplied by the mother. This is why commercial use of Taurine includes pet food due to its benefits for mammals.
Benefits of L-Taurine in the Human Body
L-Taurine helps protect the liver by regulating liver function and producing bile salts, which break down fats in your intestines. Research also shows L-Taurine can help prevent non-alcoholic liver disease, a condition that occurs due to insulin resistance which causes fat accumulation in the liver.
Boosts Athletic Performance
Taurine helps ease soreness and pain because it aids in removing lactic acid. Plus, L-Taurine helps to protect muscles from injury because it helps control oxidative stress and inflammation. For these reasons, sports experts and nutritionists often recommend Taurine to assist in athletes’ physical performance.
Studies in animals and humans indicate that 3 grams of Taurine daily for 7 weeks can help reduce body weight, lower body lipids, and improve glucose tolerance. This is beneficial because those factors in obesity can lead to diabetes. Furthermore, healthy individuals tend to have higher amounts of Taurine in their systems than people with diabetes.
Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risks
The benefits of L-Taurine for cardiovascular health are still being widely studied, but the reach thus far is promising. Taurine can help reverse heart disease factors and heart-related complications by reducing the resistance of blood flow in blood vessel walls (which lowers high blood pressure), lowering the Body Mass Index (BMI), and restores the stiffness and thickening of arteries. The right amount of L-Taurine in your plasma protects against Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a condition where your heart becomes enlarged and can’t efficiently pump blood.
Lowers Risk of Dental Disease
Many patients with dental health issues like chronic periodontal disease are encouraged to take L-Taurine due to its antioxidant properties. Since Taurine enhances antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation products (TBARS) that fight free radicals that can cause oxidative stress, Taurine can improve the healing process.
Improves Eye Health
Taurine is found naturally in the retina. Studies show low Taurine levels can cause retinal complications that can lead to vision loss. Adding L-Taurine supplements can improve retina function by avoiding cell degeneration. It’s interesting to note that many contact lens solutions contain Taurine since it benefits overall eye health.
Studies in patients with Taurine have shown it can reduce tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and reverse biological hearing loss. It does this because Taurine may prevent the hair cells within the ear from becoming damaged, which is a crucial contributor to hearing loss.
How is L-Taurine Best Absorbed?
While Taurine is in some popular energy drinks, the best way for the body to absorb L-Taurine is in powder form. Energy drinks with Taurine can be misleading because those drinks may contain large amounts of sugar. Studies suggest Taurine is best utilized by the body if taken in capsule form.
How Do I Know If I’m Getting Enough L-Taurine in My Diet?
Studies show that the most common dietary sources of L-Taurine are meat and fish, which means strict vegetarians have low amounts of Taurine in their diets. If you want to make sure you are getting all of the benefits of L-Taurine your body needs, Elite Testing & Wellness offers Micronutrient Testing, a blood test intended to identify micronutrient deficiencies and excesses.
Why Should I Work With Elite For My Micronutrient Testing?
Elite Testing is the best choice to get micronutrient testing in Atlanta, because we provide expert testing and therapies to maximize your health. Start your journey to better health by calling us today at (404) 689-6860 or book online to set up your appointment.