Taurine is a semi-essential sulfur amino acid that is a common ingredient in energy drinks like Red Bull. It plays a role in muscle maintenance and has gained popularity among bodybuilders.
Research indicates that a shortage of taurine in the body results in reduced nitric oxide production, which in turn causes a decrease in blood and oxygen flow to the muscles.
Taurine is synthesized from the essential amino acid methionine and its related nonessential amino acid cysteine in the liver.
Taurine works together with glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) , functioning as a neuroinhibitory transmitter.
It functions in tissues by stabilizing cell membranes, aiding the transport of potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium in and out of cells. Taurine helps generate nerve impulses and aids in osmoregulation, the maintenance of proper concentrations of ions inside the cell.
Taurine is used by the body in the visual pathways, the brain and nervous system, and in cardiac function. Taurine controls the movement of ions into and out of cells - such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium ions - to electrically stabilize cell membranes and support healthy brain and heart function.
Taurine is incorporated into one of the most abundant bile acids, chenodeoxychloic acid, where it serves to emulsify dietary lipids in the intestine, promoting digestion and the metabolism of fats. It is required to help absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
Sometimes referred to as L-taurine or 2-aminoethane sulfonic acid, taurine is abundant in meat and fish. Good sources of taurine include brewer's yeast, eggs and other dairy products and fish and red meat. Unlike true amino acids, taurine is not integrated into proteins. This makes it one of the most abundant free amino acids (the second most abundant amino acid in the muscle amino acid pool after glutamine) in many tissues, including the brain as well as the skeletal and cardiac muscle.
Taurine is a water-soluble antioxidant with an ability to scavenge and neutralize the reactive oxygen species hypochlorite secreted by leukocyte immune cells. It is found in high concentrations in the white blood cells. Studies show Taurine deficiency can compromise the immune system.
Other metabolic actions of taurine include cellular growth, detoxification, membrane stabilization and modulation of cellular calcium levels.
Taurine is used by bodybuilders and other strength athletes working improve physical performance. It is involved in reducing muscle fatigue and acts as a cell volumizer, similar to creatine, drawing water into the muscle.
Warning: If you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medications or have any medical condition consult your physician before use. Keep out of reach of children. Store in a cool, dark & dry place.