New research from the National Institute of Health (NIH) has shown that taurine has the potential to enhance the resistance of the body’s microbiome to infection. The study’s authors write how their experimentation “reveals a process by which the host, triggered by infection, can deploy taurine as a nutrient to nourish and train the microbiota, promoting its resistance to subsequent infection.”
They found that infection induces taurine production in the body, as well as the expansion of taurine utilizers. Additionally, they determined that taurine is a trigger for the activity of a bacteria involved in fighting infection, deltaproteobacteria. This is a major discovery in the medical field, as scientists are currently in a vital search for alternatives to antibiotics in order to avoid the dangerous, growing issue of antibiotic resistance.
Aside from this breakthrough, natural amino acid taurine has a wide variety of possible health benefits that could keep you functioning at your best and help prevent and/or fight a number of various diseases and conditions. Though the evidence is promising, it's important to note that no study is perfect, and you should consult your doctor about what's best for your needs.
Taurine is a popular energy drink ingredient due to the belief that it enhances exercise performance. Some research suggests that taurine may boost energy levels, help fatigue and muscle recovery from exercise, reducing musculoskeletal damage. Studies are ongoing around how taurine impacts one’s athletic performance, the benefits may be more effective with long term use rather than an immediate activation.
Found largely in heart tissues, taurine is involved in the rhythm of the heart and may be useful to people with a number of different heart issues.
Research on both humans and animals show that taurine may help reduce high blood pressure, improve blood flow, and promote artery health.
One study also shows that taurine can help protect against obesity, a serious risk factor of heart disease. Taurine supplementation has been thought to assist exercise for people with heart failure through lowering cholesterol and inflammation levels.
Just as taurine is commonly found in heart tissues, it is also prominent in the brain. It’s thought to protect from brain aging, reducing the likelihood of neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s. Keeping the brain young has a host of benefits, some animal studies have indicated supplementing taurine may improve learning and memory. Another study found that taurine could be a cause of improved cognitive function in people with dementia.
Metabolism and Digestion
While energy drinks provide chemicals and sugar that harm the gut and hamper weight loss, taurine on its own is popular for its ability to help stimulate metabolism.
It’s actually necessary to the body’s metabolic and digestive processes, helping the liver make bile salts that break down fats and oils in the intestines. Taurine also facilitates other biochemical functions like the regulation of glucose, works as an anti-inflammatory and helps with appetite control. Along with this, taurine may aid weight loss by increasing the body's use of fat cells for energy. A study involving cyclists showed that only 1.66 grams of taurine increased their fat burning percentage by 16%!
Eye and Ear Health
A deficiency in taurine is associated with retinal diseases in the eyes, and research has suggested taurine could help treat eye disorders like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy due to this association. Studies with animals have shown that taurine may aid tinnitus, or ringing in the ears and may even have the potential to improve hearing.
Taurine, along with other amino acids, may be used to support blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for diabetes. Studies have demonstrated that taurine has therapeutic effects on diabetic symptoms at the cellular level in animal models, having been shown to suppress hyperglycemia, as well as reducing plasma HbA1c, cholesterol, and triglycerides.