Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taurine - Today's "Focus" Ingredient

Taurine. It is found in my fizzy tabs. What in the world is that?!
When I googled Taurine, and ingredient in Fizz tabs, I had no idea what this ingredient was, other than it helps one focus and give clarity to mind. Interestingly enough, I found many links citing taurine as a benefit for this or that. Some of the lists leads read:
From the Mayo Clinic site: Taurine is an amino acid. Some research suggests that taurine may improve athletic performance. states: Taurine is a substance that supports cardiovascular health. It is an additive in dog and cat food.
A January 2011 post at writes this about taurine: Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid that is found in high levels in the skeletal and heart muscles of humans, as well as in white blood cells, and the central nervous system. It is also found in some plants, such as seaweed, fungi and bacteria. Taurine is a main ingredient in bile and aids in the digestion of fats and the absorption of vitamins that are fat soluble. It is a necessary acid that our body produces naturally. While we know for sure that taurine aids in the breakdown of fats and absorption of vitamins, there are many other claims that have been made concerning its usefulness in the human body. In infants and some animals, specifically cats, taurine is a requirement for eye health and development. Premature infants who cannot naturally produce taurine must have formula with taurine added to ensure proper development. Taurine has many known benefits, although some have not been definitively proven. It may reduce high blood pressure in adults and is being tested as a potential treatment for bipolar depression. Studies on mice have shown that taking taurine supplements while on a high fat diet kept them from gaining weight. In other studies, diabetic rats saw improvement in losing weight, and lower blood sugar levels.
Taurine is possibly best known as a health supplement, and is used in a variety of products. Bodybuilders take supplements of taurine coupled with creatine which may help in reducing muscle fatigue and soreness. Energy drinks, which are becoming hugely popular, especially among the teen and young adult set, often list taurine as one of its main supplemental ingredients.
University of London researchers claim that taurine may counteract the effects of heavy drinking on the liver because it prevents fat from building up in the organ. Although this is not the intended or most responsible use of taurine, news of this have led many to believe that drinking an energy drink with high levels of taurine may be the perfect “morning after” treatment after a night of heavy drinking.

A site called BodyBuildingForYou has a very interesting article on taurine, but the site does not allow me to cut and paste. It is an interesting read, however, so check it out.  Per the article, studies of taurine may have benefits to cardiovascular health by reducing the tendency for blood platelets to stick together, forming blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Cystic fibrosis is also discussed in the article with perhaps beneficial ties from consuming taurine.
One of my favorite neurosurgeons, Dr.Russel Blaylock himself, mentions taurine in a number of his newsletters. Here are some excerpts:
Dec.-Jan 2005 issue: While heredity plays a vital role in our ability to detoxify, it is now known that the most important factor is nutrition. Many flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables greatly enhance our detoxification ability. These include curcumin (from the spice turmeric), quercetin, hesperidin and luteolin. In addition, special plant substances, such as indole-3 carbinol (broccoli), glutathione and taurine stimulate detoxification.Regarding heart health in his October 2004 issue Blaylock writes: Taurine has been known for a long time to reduce atherosclerosis. More recent studies indicate that it does so by reducing total cholesterol, reducing LDL-cholesterol entry into the walls of blood vessels and reducing lipid peroxidation (the oxidation of fats in the walls of blood vessels). In addition, taurine prevents thrombosis, the blood clots that actually cause heart attacks and strokes. No adverse effects have been seen in taking taurine. It also has been shown to protect the brain.
In the November 2005 issue of the Blaylock health report, he writes this concerning the liver: several powerful nutrients have been shown to help protect liver cells from damage inflicted by toxins and toxic medications. Grapefruit, quercetin and curcumin all reduce the toxicity of acetaminophen as well as a number of other toxins. N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) and methionine are also both effective in treating acetaminophen poisoning. Dramatic improvements in patients with viral hepatitis have been seen when alpha-lipoic acid, silymarin (milk-thistle extract), NAC and selenium were used. Taurine, indole-3 carbinol, the carotenoids, acetyl-L carnitine and natural forms of vitamin E are also powerful nutrients that can help protect the liver.
Taurine. Who knew that one word, unbeknownst to me several months ago, could have so much written about it. Supplements and their ingredients… it’s a bevy of knowledge just waiting to be consumed.

To your health!
Rita S.

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