Taurine is a sulfur-containing, non-essential amino acid produced in the body from the amino acids methionine and cysteine. One of taurine’s main tasks is to facilitate the passage of sodium, potassium, and perhaps calcium and magnesium ions into and out of cells. It also has a role in vision, the brain and nervous system, cardiac function, and bile acids, as well as scavenging free radicals as an antioxidant and promoting cellular growth, sperm motility, and membrane stability. Its activity with bile acids is important in helping reduce cholesterol levels. Taurine may be used to treat congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, epilepsy, and macular degeneration.
The best food sources of taurine are fish, meat, brewer’s yeast, and eggs. The majority of people do not need to take supplemental taurine, but if your healthcare provider recommends it, he or she will prescribe the dose best for your specific medical condition.
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