L-Taurine Amino Acid - Effects, Benefits, Supplements

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L-Taurine Amino Acid - Effects, Benefits, Supplements
Reprinted by permission from Bill Faloon of the LIfe Extension Foundation

Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid produced from cysteine by the body and found abundantly in the body, particularly throughout the excitable tissues of the central nervous system where it is thought to have a regulating influence.  However, l-taurine is deficient in many diets and may be considered conditionally essential under certain circumstances.

Taurine May Reverse Damage Done by Smoking and Helps Protect Against Heart Disease
Smokers may want to increase their intake of fish to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.  This advice comes as a result of a study finding taurine, an amino acid present in fish, able to restore normal blood vessel function in smokers.

Proper vessel function is key to preventing hardening of the arteries.  Cigarette smoke produces changes in blood vessels, causing them "to behave like a rigid pipe rather than a flexible tube," explains Dr. David J. Bouchier-Hayes, principal investigator of the study.  Such rigidity prevents the vessels from dilating in response to increased blood flow, resulting in a condition called endothelial dysfunction, an early sign of atherosclerosis and a primary cause of heart attacks and stroke.

The study investigators recruited 15 healthy smokers and 15 healthy non-smokers.  Initially, the smokers' blood vessel diameter was smaller than non-smokers'.  After taking 1.5 grams per day of taurine for five days, the smokers' blood vessel diameter increased, equaling that of non-smokers.  Study results were published in the January 7, 2003 issue of Circulation.

This is not the first study to associate taurine with a decreased risk of heart disease. Researchers at the University of South Alabama found that congestive heart failure responds favorably to taurine therapy [Amino Acids 2000; 18(4):305-18].  A large-scale study in Japan drawing from 24 populations in 16 countries revealed a strong, inverse association between levels of taurine excretion and ischemic heart disease [Hypertens Res 2001 Jul;24(4):453-7]. An Australian study discovered taurine to be one of the key properties in fish that protect against cardiovascular disease [Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2001;10(2):134-7].

Individuals seeking to boost their taurine intake can choose from all types of fish, including fatty fish, mild fish, white fish and/or taurine supplements.  Other supplements that help to protect against endothelial dysfunction are vitamin C and folic acid.

L-Taurine Powder -- 300 gm bottle

Supplement Facts:  Serving Size - 1 Teaspoon

Amount Per Serving

L-Taurine amino acid

2.7 gm

Dosage and Use: 
One to four grams daily are suggested for effects.  L-Taurine is nontoxic and well absorbed.  May be taken either with meals or on an empty stomach.

Capsules --
1000 mg, 50 capsules

Supplement Facts:  Serving Size - 1 capsule.  Servings/Container - 50.

Amount Per Serving

L-Taurine amino acid

1000 mg

Other ingredients: rice flour, magnesium stearate, gelatin and water.

Dosage and Use:  Take one to four capsules daily or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.  This product can be taken with or without food.

Warnings Information:
  • Keep out of reach of children,
  • Do not exceed recommended dose,
  • If you have a bad reaction or side effects, discontinue use immediately,
  • When using l-taurine amino acid supplements, please inform your physician.

Pricing Information:  L-Taurine Amino Acid Supplements


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