Taurine is an organic compound found in the large intestine, which is a major component of the bile used in the digestive process. Since much of the dietary intake of taurine comes from meat and fish, taurine can be taken as a food supplement for vegans and vegetarians. It also forms a common ingredient in energy drinks, where it can counteract the oxidative stress resulting from exercise.
Taurine is responsible for many regulating and stabilising processes in the body and, perhaps most importantly, for preventing the oxidation process which produces damaging free radicals. It can also help to lower LDL blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risks of obesity, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, and has been shown to help prevent congestive heart failure by enhancing the performance of the heart muscle.
As it regulates the process of osmosis in cells, taurine can act as a diuretic, and dietary supplements may help some aspects of epilepsy. Taurine can cross the blood-brain barrier and acts as an anti-anxiety agent in the central nervous system, affecting the neurotransmitters which signal seizures and facial tics. Taurine may also be beneficial in preventing some symptoms of diabetes and diseases of the liver.