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Taurine


Taurine



Taurine occurs naturally in food, especially in seafood and meat. The mean
daily intake from omnivore diets was determined to be around 58 mg (range 
from 9 to 372 mg) and to be low or negligible from a strict vegan diet. In 
another study, taurine intake was estimated to be generally less than 200 
mg/day, even in individuals eating a high-meat diet. According to another 
study, taurine consumption was estimated to vary between 40 and 
400 mg/day. 

Physiological functions

Taurine is essential for cardiovascular function, and development and
function of skeletal muscle, the retina and the central nervous system.[20]
Taurine is conjugated via its amino terminal group with chenodeoxycholic 
acid and cholic acid to form the bile salts sodium taurochenodeoxycholate 
and sodium taurocholate. The low pKa[21] of taurine's sulfonic acid group 
ensures this moiety is negatively charged in the pH ranges normally found 
in the intestinal tract and, thus, improves the surfactant properties of 
the cholic acid conjugate. Taurine crosses the blood-brain barrier[22][23]
[24] and has been implicated in a wide array of physiological phenomena 
including inhibitory neurotransmission,[25] long-term potentiation in the 
striatum/hippocampus,[26] membrane stabilization,[27] feedback inhibition 
of neutrophil/macrophage respiratory burst, adipose tissue regulation and 
possible prevention of obesity,[28][29] calcium homeostasis,[30] recovery 
from osmotic shock,[31] protection against glutamate excitotoxicity[32] and 
prevention of epileptic seizures.[33] It also acts as an antioxidant and 
protects against toxicity of various substances (such as lead and 
cadmium).[34][35][36][37] Additionally, supplementation with taurine has 
been shown to prevent oxidative stress induced by exercise.[38] In a 2008 
study, taurine has been shown to reduce the secretion of apolipoprotein 
B100 and lipids in HepG2 cells.[39] High concentrations of serum lipids and 
apolipoprotein B100 (essential structural component of VLDL and LDL) are 
major risk factors of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Hence, 
taurine supplementation is possibly beneficial for the prevention of these 
diseases. In a 2003 study, Zhang et al. have demonstrated the 
hypocholesterolemic (blood cholesterol-lowering) effect of dietary taurine 
in young overweight adults. Furthermore, they reported body weight also 
decreased significantly in the taurine supplemented group.[40] These 
findings are consistent with animal studies.[41] Taurine has also been 
shown to help people with congestive heart failure by increasing the force 
and effectiveness of heart-muscle contractions.




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