Taurine is a substance similar to amino acids, which does not actually contribute to building proteins. In its free form it is most commonly found in the body’s nervous system, in blood platelets and in muscles.
Parts of it can be synthesised by the liver out of L-Methionine or L-Cysteine in combination with vitamin B6. A diet low in Taurine can easily produce symptoms of deficiency, because the bodys own poor ability to synthesise it.
Functions of Taurine
Taurine is an effective antioxidant, which aids in the detoxification of the body by retaining drugs and poisons in the liver. It neutralises free radicals and protects essential fatty acids and cell walls from oxidation and wastage.
Taurine plays an important role in human growth, especially the development of brain and eyes. It is also a part of the hormone metabolism and can stimulate the production of prolactin and insuline.
Applications of Taurine
Diabetics have low Taurine levels, both in the Thrombocytes as well as in the blood plasma and also often demonstrate a high level of Thrombocyte aggregation. The supplementation of Taurine enables the normalisation of Thrombocytes by reducing their total amount and additional aggregation.
The photoreceptors in the eye’s retina have the highest concentration of Taurine in the human body. Tests on animals have shown that the emptying out of the Taurine stores in the retine lead to the degeneration of photo receptors. The supplementation of Taurine is therefore often recommended in cases of senile caracat and macular degeneration (AMD) affecting older adults and resulting in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field. 2
The movement and quantity of sperm in the male ejaculate has significantly reduced over the last 50 years. Today, more than 15% of all couples are not able to conceive and in 60% of cases the man man contributes to the cause. The statistically shrinking count and motility of male sperm can be counteracted by various minerals including Taurine.
A study has shown a significant correlation between fertility indicated by sperm movement and the concentration of Taurine in the ejaculate. The higher the level of Taurine in the ejaculate, the higher the percentage of highly mobile sperm. The presumed cause is that a sufficiently high concentration of Taurine protects the spermatozoa from damage through oxidisation. 3
Sources and Studies:
- Franconi, F. et al.; Plasma and platetelet tarine are reduced in subjects with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: Effects of Taurin supplementation; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 61 (5), 115-119, 1995 ↩
- Hayes, K., et al.; Retinal degeneration associated with taurine defficiency in the cat; 188, 949-951, 1975; und Lombardini, John: Retinal Function; Brain Research Reviews, 16, 151-169, 1991 ↩
- Holmes, RP, et al.; The taurine and hypotaurine content of human semen; J Androl. 1992 May-Jun;13(3):289-92. ↩