Taurine is an amino acid-like compound and a component of bile acids, which are used to help absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Taurine also helps regulate the heart beat, maintain cell membrane stability, and prevent brain cell over-activity.
Taurine is found mostly in meat and fish. Except for infants, the human body is able to make taurine from cysteine—another amino acid.
Taurine has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
|Science Ratings||Health Concerns|
Congestive heart failure
Pre- and post-surgery health
High blood pressure
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes
and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.
Most people, including vegans (vegetarians who eat no dairy or eggs), do not need taurine supplements. While infants require taurine, the amount in either human milk or formula is adequate. People with diabetes have been reported to have lower blood levels of taurine than non-diabetics.1
For the treatment of various medical conditions, doctors typically recommend 1.5 grams to as much as 6 grams or more per day.
Taurine has not been reported to cause any severe adverse effects.
Are there any drug
Certain medicines may interact with taurine. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.
1. Franconi F, Bennardini F, Mattana A, et al. Plasma and platelet taurine are reduced in subjects with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: effects of taurine supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61:1115–9.
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The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.