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Taurine

An amino acid. Keywords: headache, diabetes, mood swings, spasms, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, activity of the thyroid gland, kidney problems, gallstones, gout, sperm production, and kidney diseases.

This amino acid contains sulphur - like L-Methionine, L-Cysteine and L-Cystine and the tripeptide L-Glutathione - and plays a number of biochemical roles.

As an electrochemical stabiliser, it is involved in the transport of ions; sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium through cell membranes. It is therefore important for brain, heart, eyes, gall bladder, and general circulation.

Taurine is a lesser-known and structurally very simple amino acid. It is water soluble of small molecular size. Its simple structure means that it - like glycine - does not have an L- or D-form and is therefore not found as a synthetic product.

Taurine does not take part in the formation of peptides or structurally in the build-up of proteins, but can be found in the body as a free molecule, particularly in the brain tissue and in the central nervous system in general, and in the heart and in skeletal muscles. It can be found in all of the body's membranes.

Taurine is synthesized in the body from L-Cysteine but the process requires active Vitamin B6, pyridoxal phosphate, and the necessary enzymes. Although adults can produce some taurine in the organism, it is doubtful whether they can fulfil their need through this biosynthesis. There is some indication that it must be supplemented via food and therefore a sufficient supply depends on the diet composition.

This amino acid cannot be found in appreciable amounts in vegetable protein or dairy products, whereas it is commonly found in meat and fish. The richest food source of taurine is normally not a favourite of our diet - brains!

For good health, the amount of taurine we get from our diets is often insufficient because we often do not eat enough of the foods which contain taurine. Furthermore, the amount of taurine varies in food, which indicates the requirement of dietary supplements.

Infants cannot synthesize taurine and they depend fully on supplements from the mother's milk. Babies that are given breast milk substitute can suffer from a taurine deficiency.

Many carnivorous domestic animals; dogs and cats in particular, sometimes suffer from a taurine deficiency because it is not contained in industrially produced animal food. This deficiency can lead to eye-, renal- and heart diseases and the formation of stones. Feed animals organ meat regularly - kidneys, brain, liver, and heart - to protect them against these degenerative diseases.

Migraine and epilepsy
Migraine and mild epilepsy are among the super-lucrative diseases which rake in millions for the pharmaceutical industry. The medicines used by doctors in the treatment of these diseases have side. While these medicines are often helpful, supplements might relieve symptoms.

In some cases, migraine and mild epilepsy are caused by a nutrient deficiency, including magnesium deficiency. This can be helped by a supplement. If this does not help, add vitamin B6, pyrodoxine. This sometimes helps, but in case it does not, you could take the amino acid taurine. This three-stage rocket has helped thousands of people. Please note that it is important to speak with a medical professional when suffering from any debilitating health problems.

We already know that taurine is primarily found in areas with high electrochemical activity - e.g. brain and eyes. In these areas, the prime task for taurine is to stabilize the nerve cell's membranes.

These membranes receive and transmit constant and sustained electrical impulses caused by ion flow - ionized, i.e. electrically charged atoms such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and others - which rushback and forth across the cells' membranes and in and out of the cells. If the cell membrane is electrically destabilized, e.g. as a cause of a taurine deficiency, the cell begins to fire bursts of electricity at random towards the surrounding tissue. This is the cause of some forms of epilepsy.

We know that stress drains our taurine resources and dramatically increases our need for this amino acid to an extent with which our own biosynthesis cannot cope. Stress is often the immediate precursor of epileptic attacks or migraine. A massive supplement of taurine has can have an immediate effect and a long-term effect.

The heart is another electrochemically sensitive organ. Disturbed heart rhythm is often an electric phenomenon caused by ion deficiency - for instance shortage of magnesium. Other factors must also be considered, for instance possible shortage of the electrochemically stabilizing factor Taurine (pease see "caution" at end of article).

Taurine forms complexes with bile salts which helps trap fat and cholesterol - this prevents the formation of gallstone. It has been used successfully for some forms of epilepsy, especially in co-operative therapy with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and potassium salt. Counteracts potassium deficiency and thereby protects the heart muscles. Supports the insulin production and can therefore beneficial to diabetics. Has shown good effects against an irregular heart rhythm.

Supplements of taurine can neutralize harmful chlorine compounds. People who cannot tolerate chlorine, for example from swimming pools, could suffer from taurine deficiency. Likewise, this can cause some people to not be able to tolerate even small amounts of fish or alcohol.

Therapeutic dosage
50-500 mg. daily. To be taken in the morning and afternoon between meals.

For epileptics: Start with 1 g daily and reduce if possible to a maintenance dose of 50 mg per day. Be aware that high doses can be less effective than low doses. Supplement with vitamin B6 and magnesium.

Caution
People with high potassium levels or a high pulse should not take taurine supplements.
Please see a medical professional if suffering from debilitating medical problems. Supplements can sometimes alleviate symptoms, but it is always a good idea to consult with a medical professional.

Also see "Amino acids in general" and "Amino acid complexes"

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