Table of Contents > Herbs & Supplements > Taurine Print

Taurine

Image

Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • 2-Aminoethanesulfonate, 2-amino ethane sulfonic acid, 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, 2-aminoethylsulphonic acid, 2-phthalimidoethanesulphon-N-isopropylamide, acomprosate, chlorotaurine, Aminosyn®-PF, chlorotaurine, D-cystine, dibicor, glycochenodeoxycholic acid, glycocholic acid, N-chloro taurine, taltrimide, taurine bromamine, taurochenodeoxycholic acid, taurocholic acid, taurolidine, tauromustine, tauro-UDCA, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, Trophamine®, TUDCA, Twinlab®, ursodeoxycholic acid.
  • Note: Taurine derivatives, such as taltrimide (2-phthalimidoethanesulphon-N-isopropylamide), acamprosate, chlorotaurine, N-chloro taurine, taurolidine, tauromustine, and tauroursodeoxycholic acid, lack specific discussion in this review.

Background
  • Taurine was discovered in ox (Bos taurus) bile and was named after taurus, or bull. A nonessential amino acid-like compound, taurine is found in high amounts in the tissues of many animals, especially sea animals, and in much lower levels in plants, fungi, and some bacteria. Taurine is important in several metabolic processes of the body, including stabilizing cell membranes in electrically active tissues, such as the brain and heart. It also has functions in the gallbladder, eyes, and blood vessels, and may have some antioxidant and detoxifying properties.
  • Some energy drinks contain Taurine, including Red Bull®. Numerous studies suggest Red Bull® and similar energy drinks may be effective in reducing fatigue, and improving mood and endurance. However, these drinks contain other ingredients, which may also offer benefit in these areas, including caffeine and glucuronolactone. The effect of taurine alone in energy drinks has not been studied. Thus, the effectiveness of taurine in energy drinks is unclear and further research is still required.
  • Several taurine derivatives are being studied for medical use for seizures, cancer, and liver disorders.
  • The efficacy of taurine has been studied for diabetes, high blood pressure, cystic fibrosis, liver disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and nutritional support. Taurine is added to many infant formulas based on the decreased ability to form taurine in infants; however, although promising in many fields, additional study is needed before a firm conclusion can be made for these uses.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Early evidence suggests that taurine may aid in auditory maturation, fatty acid absorption, and increased serum taurine levels. However, additional study is needed in this area.

B


In early research, a combination antioxidant and omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplement containing taurine demonstrated beneficial effects on visual acuity in individuals with dry age-related macular degeneration. Although promising, the results are limited by the small amout of research in this area and by the lack taurine therapy alone. Further research is needed before any firm conclusions can be made.

C


Taurine deficiency may lead to abnormal heart rhythm. Cases of individuals with frequent arrhythmias have shown that 10-20g of taurine daily prevented certain heart arrhythmias, although the prevention of pauses was lacking. Although promising, well-controlled clinical trials investigating taurine for this use are needed before any firm conclusions can be made.

C


Early research suggests that taurine may be beneficial as an add-on to traditional medications for symptoms of congestive heart failure. Taurine may be superior to coenzyme Q10, although further study is warranted to confirm these findings.

C


The interest in taurine for individuals with cystic fibrosis is based on its potential to increase effects of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), as well as its potential to increase nutritional status. However, results are mixed. More study is needed to drawn a firm recommendation in this area.

C


In early research, taurine (Twinlab®) showed variable effects on the endothelial function of type 1 diabetic patients, including reductions in flow mediated dilation and augmentation index, but a lack of effect on blood pressure, heart rate, and ejection duration. Further research is needed before any firm conclusions can be made in this area.

C


It has been proposed that diabetes patients have decreased taurine levels. Currently, there is limited available evidence to conclude for or against the use of taurine in the treatment of diabetes.

C


In early research, taurine-containing eye drops reduced protein levels in the tear pools of contact lens wearers. According to investigators, these results suggest that taurine reduces the production of tear proteins likely involved in contact lens-induced dry eye. Although promising, research in this area is limited, and further research is needed before any firm conclusions can be made.

C


In early research, taurine has demonstrated beneficial additive effects when used with conventional medications. Although promising, the results are limited, and further high research is needed.

C


Energy drinks containing taurine, along with other ingredients such as caffeine and glucuronolactone, have been available for about a decade. Overall these drinks have been suggested to decrease sleepiness associated with driving, increase concentration, mood, and memory, and positively affect well-being and vitality. Further study is required to examine the effect of taurine alone.

C


Early evidence suggests that taurine may be beneficial in people with seizures. However, additional study is needed in this area.

C


Taurine, both alone and in combination with other agents commonly found in energy drinks, has been investigated for its effects on exercise performance. Variable effects, if any, were seen in early research with taurine alone, although, beneficial effects from combination studies were mainly supportive of taurine's effects for exercise performance. Further research is needed for this indication before any firm conclusions can be made.

C


Taurine may offer benefit to individuals fed a high fat and high cholesterol diet. More study is needed to make a firm conclusion.

C


Early results suggest that taurine may be beneficial in lowering blood pressure in individuals with borderline hypertension. Additional study is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

C


Early study suggests that taurine aids in the ability of iron supplements to increase hemoglobin, red blood cell count, and serum ferritin. Additional study is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

C


Currently, the evidence in support of taurine in liver disease is small and additional research with positive results is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

C


Mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) is a genetic disorder caused by mutations in mitochondrial DNA. Early research has suggested beneficial effects; but, although findings are promising, further research is necessitated.

C


In early research, taurine has shown variable effects on mental performance. Further research investigating the effects of taurine monotherapy is needed before any firm conclusions can be made in this area.

C


In early research, taurine in combination with branched chain amino acids (BCAA) suggested a positive effect against exercise-induced muscle soreness. Although promising, available research is limited in this area and the effects of taurine alone are unclear. Further research is needed in this area.

C


Early research indicates that taurine may result in improvements in myotonic complaints. Although promising, additional study is needed to confirm these findings.

C


The use of taurine has been examined in total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in various areas (trauma, cancer, and long term care). Early research is promising, but more study is needed in this area.

C


Currently, there is insufficient available evidence to conclude for or against the use of taurine in the treatment of obesity. Further research is required in this field before conclusions can be made.

C


Taurine may act as an antioxidant. The results from early research are encouraging; however, more trials are needed in this field before a firm conclusion can be made.

C


Currently, there is insufficient available evidence to make a conclusion for or against the use of taurine as a vaccine adjunct.

C


Taurine supplementation may reduce visual fatigue. Until further information is available, no firm conclusion can be made.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Acne vulgaris, ADHD, aerobic fitness, alcohol dependence, Alzheimer's disease, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, autism, bile secretion problems (biliary atresia), bipolar disorder, blood disorders (uremia), breast cancer, cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), cardiovascular health, chemical sensitivities, cholestasis (non-pregnant), dehydration, diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage due to diabetes), digestive aid (fat absorption), Down's syndrome, fatty liver, Huntington's chorea/disease, intrauterine growth retardation, ischemic heart disease, macular degeneration (vision loss), malnutrition, mood stabilization (depression), multiple organ failure, muscle atrophy (muscle loss), myocarditis/endocarditis (inflammation of heart tissue), nervous system function (neurobehavioral development), neurodegenerative diseases, nutritional supplement (sodium electrolyte imbalance), pain, platelet aggregation inhibition, quality of life, retinitis pigmentosa (eye disease), steatorrhea (excess fat in stool), stroke, thalassemia (abnormal formation of hemoglobin), tinnitus (ringing in ear), trauma, vision.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

  • For arrhythmias, 10-20 milligrams of taurine has been taken by mouth daily for unknown durations.
  • For mental performance, 2 grams of taurine has been taken by mouth as a single, acute dose after 24 hours sleep deprivation, with lack of beneficial effect on cognitive performance.
  • For congestive heart failure, 3-6 grams of taurine has been taken by mouth daily for up to one year. In addition, 500 milligrams of taurine (Solgar®) has been taken by mouth three times daily for two weeks.
  • For cystic fibrosis, 18-22 milligrams per kilogram has been used by mouth daily for six months in combination with UDCA with lack of benefit compared to treatment with UDCA alone. Capsules of taurine providing 30 milligrams per kilogram have been taken by mouth daily for four months.
  • For diabetes mellitus type 1, tablets containing 500 milligrams of taurine (Twinlab®) have been taken by mouth three times daily for 14 days.
  • For diabetes mellitus type 2, 1,000-1,500 milligrams of taurine has been taken by mouth daily in divided doses for 30-90 days.
  • For dry eyes, an eye drop solution containing 0.05% of taurine has been used for five weeks.
  • For duodenal ulcers, As an add-on to conventional triple therapy (20 milligrams of omeprazole, 500 milligrams of clarithromycin, and 1,000 milligrams of amoxicillin twice daily), 500 milligrams of taurine (dibicor) has been taken twice daily for seven days, followed subsequently for an additional six week period in combination with 20 milligrams omeprazole.
  • For energy, a single dose of 2,000 milligrams of taurine has been consumed by mouth as part of a 500 milliliter drink.
  • For epilepsy (seizures), 200 milligrams per kilogram has been taken intravenously for 15 days, then once a week for six weeks.
  • For exercise performance, a single dose of 1,000 milligrams of taurine has been taken by mouth with 250 milliliters of water two hours prior to a simulated running test with lack of beneficial effects. Two 1 gram taurine capsules (containing 0.83 grams of taurine each; NOW® Taurine Free-Form Amino Acid) have been consumed by mouth with 500 milliliters of Crystal Light® prior to a cycling test with lack of beneficial effects. 500 milligrams of taurine (Solgar®) has been taken by mouth three times daily for two weeks.
  • For high cholesterol, 6 grams of taurine powder has been taken by mouth daily for three weeks.
  • For high blood pressure, 3-6 grams of taurine has been taken by mouth daily for seven days to two months.
  • For iron deficiency anemia, 1,000 milligrams of taurine has been taken by mouth daily for 20 weeks.
  • For liver disease, 2-4 grams of taurine has been taken by mouth three times daily for up to three months. In addition, 1.5 grams taurine has been taken by mouth in two back-to-back cycles of two months with lack of beneficial effect.
  • For MELAS syndrome, 0.25 grams per kilogram has been taken by mouth daily for an unknown duration.
  • For muscle soreness, a powder containing 2 grams of taurine has been taken by mouth three times daily with meals for 18 days with lack of beneficial effect on delayed onset muscle soreness following high-intensity exercise.
  • For myotonic dystrophy, 100-150 milligrams per kilogram has been taken by mouth for six months.
  • For nutritional support (TPN), 10 milligrams per kilogram has been used daily by adding it to total parenteral nutrition for 24 months.
  • For obesity, 3 grams of taurine has been taken by mouth daily for seven weeks.
  • For surgery, 5 grams of taurine has been taken intravenously as a single rapid dose 1-3 hours prior to surgery.
  • For vaccine adjunct, 9 grams of taurine has been taken by mouth on the same day and one day prior to receiving the flu vaccine.
  • For visual fatigue, 3 grams of taurine has been taken by mouth daily for 12 days.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • For cystic fibrosis, 30-40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight has been taken by mouth daily for seven days to six months. 500-1,500 milligrams of taurine has been taken daily for one year with lack of beneficial effects.
  • For nutritional supplementation (infant formula), a formula containing 30-65 milligrams per liter or 10.8 milligrams per kilogram have been used by mouth daily for periods of 20 days to 16 weeks with lack of beneficial effect on weight gain, length, head circumference, visual acuity, or auditory acuity. Formula supplemented with 6 milligrams per deciliter and 40 micromoles per deciliter of taurine has been taken by mouth until three months of age or taken for three months in low birth weight infants. Formula supplemented with 470 micromoles per liter of taurine has been used by mouth for six days in pre-term and full term infants. 45 milligrams per liter of taurine added to Similac Special Care® formula in low weight infants has been used by mouth until release from hospital or infant attained weight of 2,500 grams. Aminosyn®-PF or Trophamine® intravenous formulations containing doses of taurine ranging from 6-21.6 milligrams per kilogram have been used daily with lack of benefit on conjugated bilirubin levels.
  • For nutritional support (TPN), 10.8 milligrams per kilogram has been taken by mouth daily during the first 10 days of life.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Taurine is an amino acid and it is unlikely that there are allergies related to this constituent. However, allergies may occur from multi-ingredient products that contain taurine.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Taurine is likely safe when used by mouth in adults at 3 grams daily for up to one year.
  • Taurine is possibly safe when used by mouth in children at 30 milligram per kilogram daily for up to four months.
  • Taurine may also cause acute kidney failure, ataxia (uncoordinated movement), cardiac arrest, changes in cholesterol (including changes in triglyceride levels, increases in very low-density lipoproteins [VLDL]), confusion, constipation, dark urine, death, decreased endothelial function, decreased fecal fatty acid excretion, decreased heart rate, drowsiness, fever, increased bile conjugation, increased fat absorption, increased platelet aggregation, mania, seizures, vomiting, and worsening of cystic fibrosis.
  • Taurine may cause changes in blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs or herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Taurine may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Taurine may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
  • Use cautiously in people with high VLDL cholesterol or high triglycerides due to potential for further increases. Also use cautiously in people on cholesterol lowering agents due to potential for conflicting effects.
  • Use cautiously in people with the potential for mania.
  • Use cautiously in combination with agents processed by the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system or agents that affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity.
  • Use cautiously in people with seizure disorders, as taurine derivatives, specifically taltrimide, may increase seizure frequency.
  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of energy drinks containing taurine, caffeine, glucuronolactone, B vitamins, and other ingredients, then consuming alcohol or exercising, due to deaths most likely from dehydration and cardiac arrest.
  • Avoid use if pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence, although taurine is a natural component of breast milk.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

  • Avoid use if pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence, although taurine is a natural component of breast milk.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Taurine may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary
  • Taurine may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Taurine may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
  • Taurine may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood, and alter the intended effects. People taking any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
  • Taurine may also interact with agents for eyes, agents for gallstones, agents for pain, agents for the heart, agents for the skin, agents that affect GABA, agents that are toxic to kidneys, Alzheimer's agents, anesthetics, antifibrotic agents, anti-inflammatory agents, caffeine, cancer agents, carbamazepine, cholesterol lowering agents, diltiazem, doxorubicin, growth hormones, iron, liver toxins, mental improvement agents, methamphetamine, nerve agents, performance enhancing agents, phenytoin, seizure agents, sodium laurate, stomach ulcer and stomach acid agents, taltrimide, and tamoxifen.

Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements

  • Taurine may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary
  • Taurine may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Taurine may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
  • Taurine may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood, and alter the intended effects. People taking any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions
  • Taurine may also interact with Alzheimer's herbs and supplements, anesthetics, antifibrotic herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, antioxidants, B vitamins, caffeine, cancer agents, cholesterol and cholesterol lowering herbs and supplements, glucose, glucuronolactone, glutamine, growth hormones, herbs and supplements for eyes, herbs and supplements for gallstones, herbs and supplements for pain, herbs and supplements for the heart, herbs and supplements for the skin, herbs and supplements that are toxic to kidneys, iron, liver toxins, mental improvement herbs and supplements, nerve agents, performance enhancing herbs and supplements, seizure herbs and supplements, stomach ulcer herbs and supplements, tyrosine, vitamin D, and vitamin E.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Atluri DK, Veluru C, and Mullen K. An alternative treatment for muscle cramps in patients with liver cirrhosis. Liver Int 2013;33(3):496-497.
  2. Balshaw TG, Bampouras TM, Barry TJ, et al. The effect of acute taurine ingestion on 3-km running performance in trained middle-distance runners. Amino.Acids 2013;44(2):555-561.
  3. Calabro RS, Italiano D, Gervasi G, et al. Single tonic-clonic seizure after energy drink abuse. Epilepsy Behav. 2012;23(3):384-385.
  4. Elshorbagy AK, Kozich V, Smith AD, et al. Cysteine and obesity: consistency of the evidence across epidemiologic, animal and cellular studies. Curr Opin.Clin Nutr Metab Care 2012;15(1):49-57.
  5. Han X and Chesney RW. The role of taurine in renal disorders. Amino.Acids 2012;43(6):2249-2263.
  6. Hansen SH and Grunnet N. Taurine, glutathione and bioenergetics. Adv.Exp.Med Biol 2013;776:3-12.
  7. Hasokawa M, Shinohara M, Tsugawa H, et al. Identification of biomarkers of stent restenosis with serum metabolomic profiling using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Circ.J 2012;76(8):1864-1873.
  8. Koletzko B, Bhutta ZA, Cai W, et al. Compositional requirements of follow-up formula for use in infancy: recommendations of an international expert group coordinated by the Early Nutrition Academy. Ann Nutr Metab 2013;62(1):44-54.
  9. Kumari N, Prentice H, and Wu JY. Taurine and its neuroprotective role. Adv.Exp.Med Biol 2013;775:19-27.
  10. Manzi P and Pizzoferrato L. Taurine in milk and yoghurt marketed in Italy. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2013;64(1):112-116.
  11. McLellan TM and Lieberman HR. Do energy drinks contain active components other than caffeine? Nutr Rev. 2012;70(12):730-744.
  12. Oehlenschlager J. Seafood: nutritional benefits and risk aspects. Int J Vitam.Nutr Res 2012;82(3):168-176.
  13. Ra SG, Miyazaki T, Ishikura K, et al. Additional effects of taurine on the benefits of BCAA intake for the delayed-onset muscle soreness and muscle damage induced by high-intensity eccentric exercise. Adv.Exp.Med Biol 2013;776:179-187.
  14. Schaffer SW, Jong CJ, Warner D, et al. Taurine deficiency and MELAS are closely related syndromes. Adv.Exp.Med Biol 2013;776:153-165.
  15. Simonart T. Newer approaches to the treatment of acne vulgaris. Am J Clin Dermatol 12-1-2012;13(6):357-364.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

62 Marshall St
Rochester, NY 14607
585-454-2667
585-454-0343 (fax)
Email Our Store
Driving Directions

  STORE HOURS
 Mon8:00am-8:00pm
 Tue8:00am-8:00pm
 Wed8:00am-8:00pm
 Thu8:00am-8:00pm
 Fri8:00am-8:00pm
 Sat9:00am-7:00pm
 Sun10:00am-7:00pm
 

Co-op Connections

Follow us on Instagram!

Follow us on Twitter!

Join our Facebook community!

Email newsletter sign up

Email Newsletter Archive
Click here>>

Download latest issue of The Rutabaga Rap

Rutabaga Rap Archive
Click here>>

About Our Co-op

FLOWER
Learn about the FLOWER discount program>>

Current Job Openings
See current openings>>

Top 10 Reasons for Shopping
Learn more>>

Why become an owner?
Learn why>>

Owner Application
Download (pdf)>>

All About Co-ops
Learn more>>

Our Board of Directors
Learn more>>

Global Ends Policy
Learn more>>

Bylaws
Learn more>>

Advertise in Our Newsletter
Learn more>>

Job Application
Download (pdf)>>

Discover your local co-op!