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Taurine
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

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

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Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

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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.

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. 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.

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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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.