Taurine is an organic acid which is a major component of bile found in many animals and humans. There are examples when people suffer from its deficiency. Take a look at how and why this occurs.
2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, or taurine is found in the lower intestines of animals and humans where the bile is produced. It is a derivative of the sulfur-containing (sulfhydryl) amino acid cysteine. Taurine is produced from the essential amino acid methionine and it is related non-essential amino acid cysteine. It is synthesized in the pancreas through the cysteine sulfinic acid pathway.
There are many sources of taurine in seafood and meat and those who are vegetarians, usually suffer from taurine deficiency. It is not known to be energy giving, but is an essential requirement in the body. When there is a shortage of taurine in the human body, there are a few symptoms which are observed. These are mentioned in the following paragraphs along with their prevention and treatments. Take a look!
- Though the deficiency is a relatively less hyped topic in the medical world, it is a fairly important amino acid which helps to detoxify the body.
- It also plays an important role in the proper functioning of metabolism, brain and visual pathways and nervous system.
- Stabilizing cell membranes by allowing passage of the sodium and potassium ions in and out of the cells in your body. When people suffer from the deficiency, they are caused by some particular reasons.
- Zinc,vitamin A, vitamin B6, methionine and cysteine are needed for its production and lack of these leads to the deficiency of taurine.
- There are certain enzymes which are needed for the production of this amino acid, one of them being cysteinsulfinic decarboxylase. It is commonly found in fish, meat and eggs.
There are very few symptoms shown by the deficiency. These can be very serious;
- Impaired vision
- Weight gain
- Kidney problems
The only way to prevent it is to provide taurine supplements through medication, if you are a vegetarian. If not, increased consumption of fish and eggs will help you get rid of the symptoms.
- Taurine has a major function of fighting cellular troublemakers that may damage the cardiovascular system in many ways and accommodates over 50 percent of the total free amino acids of the heart.
- It is used in the treatment of other seizure disorders, muscular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, hepatic disorders, alcoholism and cystic fibrosis.
- Used as a treatment for congestive heart failure like cardiovascular diseases, hypercholesterolemia, epilepsy.
- It helps gallbladder to function properly by forming tauracholate (helps increase cholesterol elimination in the bile) from bile acids. It also regulates the heartbeat and maintains cell membrane stability.
- Another benefit which can be affected due to the deficiency is that it is a potential treatment of arrhythmias which follows ischemia.
These deficiencies are also observed in animals like cats and dogs, but the effect they have is entirely different. With so many effects of the deficiency on our health, you must have got an idea of how important taurine is. So, make sure you have healthy levels, as these are very important in maintaining your health.