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Taurine

Other name(s):

2-aminoethane-sulphonic acid

Unsubstantiated claims:

Please note that this section reports on claims that have NOT yet been substantiated through scientific studies.

Taurine is claimed to help regulate the nervous system, and has been used to treat anxiety, seizure disorders and the hyperactivity associated with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

It is considered useful in treating atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and hypertension, and may play a role in the prevention of heartbeat irregularities.

Taurine may also be instrumental in helping treat breast cancer.

Recommended intake:

Amino acids (AAs) are available as individual AAs or in proprietary AA combinations, as well as part of multi-vitamin formulas, proteins and food supplements. The forms include tablets, fluids and powders. However, adequate protein in the diet should provide a sufficient source of all amino acids.

There are no conditions that increase the requirements for taurine.

Side effects, toxicity and interactions:

The use of a single amino acid supplement may lead to a negative nitrogen balance, decreasing metabolic efficiency and increasing the workload of the kidneys. In children, taking single amino acid supplements may also harmfully affect growth parameters.

Always avoid taking individual amino acids in high dosage for prolonged periods.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use taurine supplements. Breast milk contains high levels of taurine as compared with cow's milk. Cow's milk-based formulas are supplemented with taurine.

Additional information:

Click here for a list of reputable websites with general information on nutrition.