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What is Taurine FAQ: Top 10 Questions Answered!

Is Taurine from bull testicles? Is Taurine actually dangerous? What IS Taurine? If you’ve ever wondered any of these questions then welcome to our Ultimate Taurine FAQ! In this article, we’ll explore the Top 10 questions about Taurine – including what it is and how it works.

This is a great start for anybody who’s ever wondered exactly what it is that’s in their energy drink. Or anyone who has ever asked something like: ‘Why do ‘they’ put Taurine in my energy drink?’ For more information on Taurine, read through our informative post ‘What do people use Taurine for?

pretty girl happy smiling

1.    Is Taurine a plant?

No, Taurine is not a plant. Taurine is a naturally produced chemical compound found in plants and animals. Our human bodies produce Taurine by themselves and it is found especially in the intestines and in bile (stomach acid). Taurine is similar to an amino acid and is used in many energy drinks because of it’s apparent energizing benefits.[1]

 

2.    Is Taurine bull testicle juice?

Again, nope! Taurine is not bull testicle juice. Taurine supplements are laboratory produced compounds and are not animal derived in any way. Even vegans can enjoy Taurine supplements as they do not harm animals in their production. However, like almost every supplement on Earth, scientists have at some point tested Taurine on animals to find out things about it.[2]

3.    Is Taurine a sugar?

Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid – similar to an amino acid but with an added sulfur-group. It is not a sugar. However, Taurine is often found in energy drinks which contain large amounts of sugar. It is an odorless compound with a melting point of 328 degrees Celsius and a slightly acidic taste. It is slightly acid and is very soluble in water.[3]

 

4.    Is Taurine a source of energy?

big tub of Liftmode taurine, 400 grams Liftmode health supplements: Taurine, 99% purity

Not exactly. Energy sources for humans pretty much only include carbohydrates (like starch and sugar). These are broken down in our body into glucose – our body’s energy molecule. We can’t even break proteins down into glucose so proteins are technically not an energy source either.[4]

However, Taurine does have some energizing effects! Studies have compared Taurine to caffeine and found that Taurine is also a powerful energizing compound.[5] Another study showed that caffeine and Taurine together help to boost cognitive performance and well-being.[6]

 

5.    Is Taurine safe?

Taurine is estimated to have a daily safety limit of 3 grams. Anything under this is safe to use every day. Taurine hasn’t been sufficiently studied at dosages higher than 3 grams per day to be able to know whether it is safe to take in high doses for life.[7]

Taurine is a very safe supplement to take and is produced naturally inside your body. It is a dietary supplement and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease. Taurine supplements may be unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Please speak to your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions but would like to use Taurine supplements.

6.    Is Taurine good for you?

Yes! Taurine is one of the top health supplements available today and is highly underestimated in how important it is for maintaining a healthy body. Scientists recently published a review which looked into all the beneficial roles that Taurine plays in your body and they’ve compiled some astounding facts! Taurine is important for:

Relaxed woman stretching out arms Taurine helps to promote a healthy body
  • The production of bile in your stomach and digestion of food
  • Maintaining stable Calcium levels in your body
  • Protecting your cells from damage
  • Maintaining healthy eyes
  • Maintaining healthy kidney function and hormone levels
  • Supporting brain development in children and adults
  • Destroying free-radicals and working as an antioxidant
  • Carrying electrochemical signals in your brain[8]

 

7.    Is Taurine a functional nutrient?

Taurine is absolutely a functional nutrient! The reasons above show just how functional it is! The most important Taurine functions in your body include helping with physiological processes like maintaining a healthy circulatory system, supporting a healthy immune system, and helping with digestion. Taurine also has important functions in regulating mood and emotional responses as well as cognitive performance.[9]

 

8.    Is Taurine good for stress?

studying in classroom, stressed Taurine may help to reduce feelings of stress

Taurine is great for reducing stress! A review article published in the Journal of Neuroscience showed that many studies have found that Taurine activates GABA receptors in mammalian brains. GABA receptors are responsible for ‘dimming’ signals from your Central Nervous System (CNS) and helping you to relax. At higher doses, GABA is important for helping with sleep.[10]

 

Also, scientists have found that Taurine offers a great deal of protection for your heart. In a recent study, scientists looked into the beneficial effects of Taurine and how it affects your heart. They found that Taurine helps to protect your heart by maintaining healthy blood lipid levels, supporting healthy Calcium levels, and through its potent antioxidant effects![11]

 

9.    Is Taurine a diuretic?

Taurine does not appear to be a diuretic. Many people were confused about Taurine and whether or not it works as a diuretic, so scientists decided to put it to the test. It turns out that the diuretic effects of energy drinks are actually just because of the caffeine (which IS a diuretic). Taurine doesn’t work as a diuretic.[12]

 

10. Is Taurine a cholesterol destroyer?

weight loss cholesterol concept healthy body Taurine is useful in promoting health cholesterol levels

Studies have found that Taurine is effective at maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. One such study was published in the journal of Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology in 1996. The scientists found that Taurine supplements helped to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) in volunteers eating a high cholesterol diet. The total cholesterol level was also lower in the Taurine group than the ‘control’ group (who did not take Taurine supplements).[13]

 

Conclusion

In summary, we’ve found that Taurine is a naturally produced amino acid that is effective at a number of very important processes in your body. It has energizing effects and is often combined with caffeine. Taurine is found in animals but Taurine supplements are laboratory made and not animal derived. Taurine is definitely not bull semen!

 

It is a functional nutrient with beneficial effects in maintaining a healthy circulatory system, healthy hormone levels, protecting your heart, kidneys and eyes, and supporting brain development. Taurine is also a powerful antioxidant, helps to maintain digestion, and works as a powerful neurotransmitter in your brain.

References:

[1]Taurine is listed as an ingredient in many energy drinks. What is taurine? Is it safe?”, MayoClinic.org, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., retrieved on January 5, 2017

[2]  “Non-protein aminos”, VeganHealth.org, retrieved on January 5, 2017

[3] Taurine, PubChem, open Chemistry database, retrieved on January 5, 2017

[4] Jéquier E, “Carbohydrates as a source of energy”, Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Mar;59(3 Suppl):682S-685S.

[5] GE Giles et al., “Differential cognitive effects of energy drink ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and glucose”, Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2012 Oct;102(4):569-77

[6] R Seidl et al., “A taurine and caffeine-containing drink stimulates cognitive performance and well-being”, Amino Acids. 2000;19(3-4):635-42.

[7]Taurine”, Examine.com, retrieved on January 5, 2017

[8] H Ripps, W Shen, “Review: Taurine: A “very essential” amino acid”, Mol Vis. 2012; 18: 2673–2686, PMC3501277

[9] T Bouckenooghe et al., “Is taurine a functional nutrient?”, Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006 Nov;9(6):728-33.

[10] F Jia et al., “Taurine is a potent activator of extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptors in the thalamus”, J Neurosci. 2008 Jan 2;28(1):106-15

[11] YJ Xu et al., “The potential health benefits of taurine in cardiovascular disease”, Exp Clin Cardiol. 2008 Summer; 13(2): 57–65, PMC2586397

[12] A Riesenhuber et al., “Diuretic potential of energy drinks”, Amino Acids. 2006 Jul;31(1):81-3. Epub 2006 Jun 1.

[13] S Mizushima et al., “Effects of oral taurine supplementation on lipids and sympathetic nerve tone”, Adv Exp Med Biol. 1996;403:615-22.