The Unsung Amino Acid – Taurine

Taurine is the most abundant amino acid you have probably never heard of. It is an amino acid but is not an essential amino acid, which is probably why it is not well known. Taurine supports the function of the heart, skeletal muscle, and the central nervous system. Taurine is necessary for the chemical reactions that produce normal vision and deficiencies that are associated with retinal degeneration. Taurine may also help prevent and possibly reverse age-related cataracts. According to a study in 2012, taurine protected against the death of retinal nerve ganglion cells in animals. Because taurine is an antioxidant, it is instrumental in preventing age-related vision loss such as macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.

Taurine fights oxidative stress, especially in diabetes. It may improve blood sugar control and help reduce high blood pressure by decreasing the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessels. Supplementing with taurine has been found to reduce inflammation and artery thickening which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Surprisingly, taurine may also improve hearing! In one human study, 12% of participants supplementing with taurine completely eliminated ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

High dietary intake of taurine is one of the factors responsible for the remarkable longevity of the Okinawans. In animal research, taurine protected against heart failure reducing mortality by nearly 80%!  Some scientists refer to taurine as “a wonder molecule”.

Please speak with an associate in our Natural Living department to choose your taurine supplement. We currently carry the Now Foods and Solgar brands.  The recommended dosage for adults is 1000mg to 3000mg per day. There are no known side effects when taken in reasonable doses. Natural sources of taurine are found in meat, fish, and dairy, with smaller amounts found in plant-based foods.

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