Taurine is a dietary supplement usually added to energy or stimulant drinks. For its numerous benefits, the supplement is gaining considerable attention worldwide. To know more about this healthy supplement, read this HealthHearty article.
Taurine is a semi-essential amino acid, which is generally found in the heart muscle, white blood cells, central nervous system, and the skeletal muscle. It is basically a crystalline, free form of amino acid that acts as a soothing, inhibitory neurotransmitter, which helps in stabilizing the heartbeat and electrical activity of the nerves in the body.
Though taurine is a building block of all amino acids and derivative of sulfur containing amino acid called cysteine, it is different from other amino acids, as it is not incorporated into proteins. However, this organic compound plays an important role in metabolism and is essential for the proper functioning of the ‘sodium/potassium ATPase pump’, that maintains the ion balance between the surrounding cells and the extra cellular fluid.
Taurine supplement is a nutritional supplement, comprising ingredients like vitamin C, zinc, vitamin B, L-methionine, L-carnitine, and caffeine. Hence, besides being an energy booster, it has various other positive benefits to offer.
- Inadequate taurine levels in the body can lead to reduction in nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is a chemical compound that promotes muscle contractions, which further widens blood channels for proper blood circulation and oxygen distribution. Hence, it can play an important role in body building by increasing the nitric oxide production in the body.
- Taurine concentrations are found to be maximum in the heart, hence it benefits cardiovascular health by subduing the tendency of blood platelets from sticking to or combining with each other. These sticky platelets eventually convert into blood clots that can block the arteries of the heart and the brain, causing heart attacks or strokes. It is also beneficial for patients with hypertension, as the elevated taurine levels can lower their blood pressure.
- Reduced taurine levels in the body can affect liver function and fat absorption. Hence, intake of the supplement can help overcome these deficiencies by promoting easy digestion of fats and controlling cholesterol levels in the body.
- This amino acid is also known to play a significant role in the brain. Reduced levels of taurine have been associated with conditions like autism and bipolar disorder, hence the supplement can help in preventing these disorders and promote proper growth and development.
- Apart from the heart, it is also found in high concentrations in the retina and helps combat diabetes. This also plays a significant role in long-term potentiation and protects the organs from toxicity and oxidative stress.
Like two sides of the same coin, these supplements also have some side effects associated with them. However, the side effects come in to the picture only if a person exceeds the recommended dosage. Chest pain, breathing problems, skin rashes, diarrhea, constipation, etc., are some probable side effects of these supplements that can show up due to its excessive intake.
People who are at a risk of having taurine deficiency include, infants, women, and vegetarians. Since newborn babies are unable to produce taurine in their bodies, they may suffer from its deficiency. Though many formula feds contain taurine, research shows breast-fed babies contain higher taurine levels than formula-fed babies. Hence, breast feeding is the best way to overcome taurine deficiency in infants.
Women usually have taurine deficiency due to the presence of certain female hormones that inhibit its production and since the amino acid is predominantly found in dairy products, fish, meat, etc. vegetarians are also prone to suffer from its deficiency. Hence, for such people, taurine supplement can be the best option to subdue its deficiency and the subsequent adverse effects.
To reap the maximum benefits of this magical dietary supplement, you should incorporate it in your daily routine. However, its dosage may vary as per your age, gender, eating habits, and health conditions. Hence, before taking this supplement, it is recommended to consult your health care provider, to prevent any side effects.