The importance of the amino acid Taurine for many years was not fully understood. Over recent years however the fact that it does play a very important role has become clearer.
Taurine is now known to play a major role in the brain and other excitable tissue such as the heart.
It also plays a major role in detoxification.
The dietary source of taurine is synthesis from methionine and cysteine with magnesium, B6 and B5 as co-factors.
Normally the body makes all the taurine it requires however under certain conditions such as excessive stress, physical exertion, sickness or injury the body may not be able to manufacture enough.
Taurine may also become deficient in the body due to lack of animal protein (the source of methionine and cysteine), from malabsorption or from deficiency of vitamins/minerals needed for its synthesis. Ie magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency is not uncommon in NZ and can be a factor in many conditions where the muscles cramp, twitch or ache, in Osteoporosis, in anxiety states and possibly even in allergic conditions.
Taurine is present in relatively high concentrations in the heart and modulates activity.
A taurine deficiency is now known to be one cause of cardiac arrhythmias.
The theory behind this fact is that when glucose is introduced into a taurine deficient heart muscle, potassium and sodium leave the cell and the sodium/calcium ratio rises within the cell, which can cause an arrhythmia.
Supplementation reverses the calcium/potassium imbalance.
In cases where chemical sensitivity causes cardiac arrhythmia supplementation has
also been shown to help.
Taurine also inhibits epinephrine (stress related) induced cardiac arrhythmias.
Taurine is also found in high concentrations in brain tissue and taurine supplementation has been shown to alleviate some seizure conditions. It is thought that it stabilizes glutamic acid/GABA ratios and likely also stabilizes calcium.
Abnormally low taurine levels are also a common feature found in chemically sensitive people, as taurine together with glycine are the major amino acids associated with the
removal of toxic chemicals from the body.
Sensitivities to environmental chemicals such as chlorine, bleach, alcohols, petroleum solvents and ammonia may result where taurine is deficient.
Go to On-line shop for Taurine