The active ingredient taurine is known as a component of "energy drinks" (energy drinks) and is also often used in complex dietary supplements and parenteral nutrition solutions (nutrient infusions). As a naturally occurring compound (aminosulphonic acid), it has numerous physiological effects. Here you can read everything important about the use of taurine, effect and side effects.

  • operation
  • application areas
  • Proper application
  • side effects
  • Important instructions
  • history

This is how taurine works

To understand the effect of the substance, first ask yourself "What is taurine?" employ.

Taurine is a degradation product of the protein building blocks (amino acids) methionine and cysteine. Although occasionally referred to as amino acid in the literature, it is not an amino acid in the conventional sense - rather aminosulfonic acid is the chemically correct name.

The human body can produce the compound itself and is not dependent on the external supply - Taurine occurs naturally in various foods, especially in fish, meat and milk. In the body, the substance is found in many types of tissue and fulfills many tasks. These include, for example, the stabilization of cell membranes and the binding of cell-damaging "free radicals" - doctors speak here of antioxidant effect.

The proven Main effects of taurine in the body are the following:

  • It is part of bile acid conjugates and thus involved in fat digestion: it is attached to the bile acids formed in the liver to improve their solubility. These compounds (conjugates) then reach the small intestine after intermediate storage in the gallbladder, where they are decomposed again. The now free bile acids allow an emulsion of dietary fats, whereby they can first be cleaved enzymatically and then absorbed into the blood.
  • Taurine is involved in the development of the central nervous system and the heart; At the heart it also ensures a regular heartbeat (antiarrhythmic effect).

For further possible effects, there are indications from various studies:

  • Anxiety-relieving properties
  • Prevention of glycation (the attachment of sugar to cell structures, thereby impairing their function), especially in the kidney

Taurine is often touted as a cell protection for athletes with frequent overloads, because of its involvement in membrane-stabilizing cell protection mechanisms or its antioxidant effect. However, this effect should be overrated, say experts.

As part of Energy Drinks taurine should make you fit with caffeine. However, the stimulating effect of such drinks is based solely on the high amount of caffeine. The fact that taurine, as often propagated, improves mental and physical performance has not yet been proven in high-quality studies.

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When is taurine used?

Taurine is used in medicines exclusively in the context of the so-called parenteral nutrition. As parenteral nutrition, physicians refer to an artificial diet on nutrient infusions that are introduced directly into the bloodstream. Such nutritional infusions get especially newborns, since the body can not yet form taurine itself - the liver function is not yet mature in them. However, the substance is vital (essential) for them, for example in the development of the retina, for the protection and stabilization of cell membranes, fat digestion (conjugate formation with bile acids) and communication between nerve cells (neuronal transmission). Taurine can also be found in breast milk, but there is no evidence that the intake is necessary or beneficial.

Taurine is also added to some dietary supplements and many energy drinks.

If there is a medical need for it, the intake can also take place in the long term. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has determined that no adverse effects or taurine side effects will occur even with a daily intake of 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

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This is how taurine is applied

Taurine is administered as an infusion solution for parenteral nutrition.

For supplementation, the substance is dissolved in drinks or taken in the form of capsules or pure / mixed taurine powder. It is also part of many energy drinks (along with caffeine).

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What side effects does Taurine have?

Side effects show up only at very high taurine dosage. A daily intake of up to 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight does not lead to any side effects according to experts. There are no studies on the effects and side effects of a dosage beyond this, but apparently higher doses are not recommended.