Also known as 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, Taurine is an organic acid (an organic compound with acidic properties). It is distributed widely in animal tissues. It is a major component of bile. Present in the large intestine, Taurine constitutes up to 0.1% of the total body weight of humans. It has many basic biological functions, like antioxidation, membrane stabilization, osmoregulation, and so on. Taurine is essential for:
• The development and function of skeletal muscle
• The development and function of retina
• The development and function of the central nervous system
• Cardiovascular function
Taurine is named after Taurus. It means ox or bull, in Latin. Taurine was first isolated from the bile of ox.
Benefits of taurine
Taurine has various health benefits . Following are some of them.
• Weight loss and obesity - Taurine helps to reduce lipid levels in the bloodstream. This helps your body to deal with the excess glucose present in your blood. Reduced lipid levels also mean improved protection against cardiovascular diseases. A high concentration of taurine can be found in your heart. Supplementing taurine through dietary intake will help to keep the heart healthy.
• Eye protection - Taurine is responsible for protecting your eyes from various toxins. As you get old, the taurine level also declines. This means less protection for your eyes. Vision loss related to old age can be due to a lot of factors, however, one of the main factors is the oxidative stress in the retina. This is because of the reduced taurine levels.
• Lowering cholesterol - Taurine improves the body's ability to lower LDL (Low-Density Lipoproteins). LDL is usually referred as the bad cholesterol. LDL may cause the arteries to harden and lead to cardiovascular diseases.
• Liver protection - Taurine protects the liver cells against oxidative damages. This helps the liver to function more efficiently in removing toxic substances from your body. Your liver is the main organ in the body that filters harmful chemicals and toxins from your bloodstream.
• Increased stamina - Taurine helps your muscles to work longer, harder, and safer. It has the ability to increase your muscle contractility, which helps to body to workout more powerfully. Taurine helps to remove the build-up of lactic acid. This essentially means you can work out for a longer period of time.
Meat and fish are rich sources of taurine. Consuming them on a daily basis will ensure that your body will have an adequate level of taurine.