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- Improves mood and mental cognition
- Boosts metabolism
- Potent antioxidant
Taurine is known as a ‘semi-essential’ amino acid because it is still required in our diets even though our bodies also produce it in small quantities. It is a highly functional amino acid and is used in a wide variety of pathways in the body, including protein synthesis. Taurine also has a major role in the CNS and has some interesting effects when taken as a supplement. This remarkable compound has a wide range of benefits, ranging from reduced anxiety to increased testosterone levels and improved libido. Taurine also acts as a powerful antioxidant, removing ‘free-radials’ and bad cholesterol from the blood and protecting the heart and organs. It is highly effective at removing LDLs from the blood and is being studied for its ability to reduce the risk of obesity, both by removing cholesterol and by increasing the baseline level of metabolism (makes the body burn energy faster!). Since taurine is produced by the body, it is considered to be an extremely safe supplement with a host of health benefits. Average dosage of taurine is around 500-2000mg daily.
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Taurine product reviews
“I purchased Taurine more as a means to balance my B-Alanine supplemetnation as there is evidence to show that B-alanine supplementation in the absence of high Taurine diets can have negative physical and cognitive effects. After using both supplements for a couple of months I am dropping the B-Alanine but sticking with the Taurine! I feel a palpable increase in my mood and energy levels after taking taurine and research has shown benefits of Taurine supplementation while weight training." – LiftMode user review
“This stuff is truly amazing. It IS calming and seems to have a relaxing effect in the right dosage, but is ALSO somehow stimulating before workouts. Taste is also very mild, almost sugary, so I don't have to spend the extra time to fill empty gelatin capsules. Doesn't mix/melt well in liquid, at least in my experience, so I find myself usually scooping it directly on my tongue and then gulping it down with some lukewarm water. LOVE it for a pre-workout bump. I take this with a B-12 and caffeine pill, and it's better than any energy drink/shot I've ever had...(plus it's cleaner and cheap! ;)” – LiftMode user review
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- Taurine is the most abundant amino-acid in animal tissue and is naturally synthesized from cysteine in the pancreas
- It has major health benefits including mood-lift, improved cognition, antioxidant effects, metabolism booster, and cardiovascular protective effects, among others.
- The recommended daily limit for taurine supplementation is 3000mg daily
Taurine is a naturally synthesized amino acid and neurotransmitter that is ‘semi-essential’, meaning that synthesized levels are generally not enough and it still needs to be acquired from our diets. It is the amino acid found in the highest concentration in almost all animal tissues as well as in brain fluid. Its role in the body cannot be understated – not only for structure and protein function, but also in its role in the central nervous system. Taurine can act to reduce symptoms of anxiety and improve mood; it increases metabolism and reduces the risk of obesity; it plays a major role in sexual health and libido; works as an amazing antioxidant; and improves mental functions and cognition.
Taurine effects / benefits
Reduces stress and improves mood
Taurine has been shown in two separate animal tests to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. The studies found that taurine did not seem to interact with GABA receptors in its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects, but may act as a modulator in the central nervous system (CNS) or interact with other endogenous systems to reduce stress.
Raises metabolism and promotes fat-burning
Taurine has recently been shown to be effective against obesity, in more than one study. Taurine deficiency has been linked to lower-than-normal resting energy expenditure (slower metabolism) and may be a factor in obesity. Animal studies have found that taurine may also reduce fat deposition by altering certain metabolic pathways - thereby reducing the risk of weight-gain, even in animals on a high-fat diet.
Increases testosterone levels and libido
An interesting animal study found that taurine supplementation produced significant increases in many hormones linked to sexual health, including testosterone, luteinising hormone, nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous oxide (NOS). Importantly, NO has been established as an important treatment for erectile dysfunction. Therefore, there is a hypothesis that low sexual health in old age may be linked to a decline in natural taurine levels. The study showed a significant increase in sexual function in male animals and that taurine stimulated the secretion of testosterone.
Taurine has been found to have significant antioxidant effects which are very important in promoting good health and preventing the onset of disease. Free-radical scavenging is a highly important process in our bodies and prevents the carcinogenic effects of dangerous reactive species like super oxide, nitric oxide and peroxyl radicals. A recent study showed that, even at naturally low physiological levels, taurine has important and efficient antioxidant effects in reducing damage caused by free radicals.
Taurine protects the heart
Apart from its antioxidant effects, taurine has been found to effectively reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) concentrations and improve lipid profiles. In basic terms, this means that taurine is effective at reducing cholesterol levels in the blood and can protect the heart from cholesterol-related diseases. This is important in today’s high-sugar, high-fat diets and the prevalence of obesity in modern Western society. A study on the cardiovascular-protective effects of taurine found that it may be an important preventative supplement against heart disease, as well having the potential to improve current regimes for treating heart diseases.
Improves cognitive function
Taurine has been found to improve the spacial learning and memory ability in animals that were impaired by manganese exposure. Rats given taurine supplements were found to have significantly improved scores in tests on spacial learning and memory than the controls.
Taurine recommended usage
Average dosage of taurine is around 500-2000mg daily. The recommended daily supplement limit for lifetime safety is 3000mg (3g). Doses above this have been tested and appear safe, but lifetime tests have not been conducted.
Taurine side effects / warnings
Taurine is an amino-acid as well as a neurotransmitter and the human body is extremely well adjusted to metabolising and using it in the most beneficial manner possible. This may include use as an amino acid for protein synthesis, otherwise for use in the central nervous system, as an antioxidant in the cardiovascular system or any of the many other possible functions of this wonderful chemical. It is regarded as a very safe supplement with many benefits.
WebMD reports that there may not be enough evidence on safety of taurine supplementation during pregnancy, and that there is a possibility that high doses of taurine may aggravate bipolar disorder.
 “Taurine” Examine.com, retrieved 25-12-2014
 “Taurine induces anti-anxiety by activating strychnine-sensitive glycine receptor in vivo.” Zhang CG, Kim SJ, Ann Nutr Metab. 2007;51(4):379-86. Epub 2007 Aug 29.
“Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) deficiency creates a vicious circle promoting obesity.” Ezaki et al, Endocrinology. 2006 Jul;147(7):3276-84. Epub 2006 Apr 20.
 “Characterization of taurine as anti-obesity agent in C. Elegans”Hye Min Kim1, Chang-Hee Do, Dong Hee Lee, Journal of Biomedical Science 2010, 17(Suppl 1):S33
 “Taurine enhances the sexual response and mating ability in aged male rats” Yang J, Lin S, Feng Y, Wu G, Hu J, Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;776:347-55.
 “Scavenging and antioxidant potential of physiological taurine concentrations against different reactive oxygen/nitrogen species.” Behr GA et al, Pharmacol Rep. 2010 Jan-Feb;62(1):185-93
 “The potential health benefits of taurine in cardiovascular disease” Yan-Jun Xu, MD PhD, Amarjit S Arneja, MD, Paramjit S Tappia, PhD, and Naranjan S Dhalla, PhD MD (Hon) DSc (Hon), Exp Clin Cardiol. 2008 Summer; 13(2): 57–65.
 “Taurine improves the spatial learning and memory ability impaired by sub-chronic manganese exposure” Gou SC et al, J Biomed Sci. 2014 May 24;21:51.
 “Risk assessment for the amino acids taurine, L-glutamine and L-arginine” Shao A, Hathcock JN, Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2008 Apr;50(3):376-99
 “Taurine” WebMD, retrieved 25-12-2014