Taurine: A sulfur-based amino acid derivative with many health benefits



Taurine is a powerful nutrient that is not widely publicized or understood among the general population. Nevertheless, its importance to our health and well-being should not be overlooked. Taurine is found in many foods and can be synthesized in the body from two sulfur-based amino acids: cysteine and methionine. While numerous Internet articles refer to taurine as an amino acid, biochemists don’t define it as such because it contains chemical bonds that make it behave a little differently.

What does Taurine do?

• Taurine detoxifies the liver.
• Taurine protects the kidneys from free radical damage.
• Taurine is used to regulate the heartbeat.
• Taurine increases the action of insulin.
• Taurine inhibits lipid and cholesterol synthesis that are linked to hardening of the arteries.
• Taurine is an important neurotransmitter that the nervous system uses to inhibit adrenal stress responses.
• Taurine reduces the risk of seizures caused by the build-up of too much glutamic acid in the brain.
• Taurine helps the body synthesize vitamin B12 and absorb potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium which are essential for building and maintaining healthy bone density.

Individuals who have low levels of taurine may be more susceptible to heart arrhythmias, skipped beats, and palpitations. Low amounts can also reduce the liver’s ability to eliminate toxic waste products through the bile and out through the colon.

Newborn infants cannot synthesize their own taurine and must obtain it from dietary sources. Human breast milk provides an excellent supply. As we age, the need for dietary taurine increases. Just like essential amino acids, taurine levels tend to be low among those who do not obtain enough of it from their diet.

What foods contain Taurine?

Natural sources of taurine can be found in animal-based foods, especially seafood and meat. Here are several foods that have the highest taurine content:

• Whole mackerel (9.295 grams of taurine per kilogram of dry weight)
• Chicken liver (6.763 grams per kilogram)
• Alaskan salmon fillets (4.401 grams per kilogram)
• Lamb (3.676 grams per kilogram)
• Raw shrimp (almost 50 milligrams per ounce (28 grams))
• Plain yogurt
• Cottage cheese
• Chocolate
• Wheat germ
• Granola
• Eggs
• Avocado

Because taurine is heat-sensitive, much of it is lost by cooking. For instance, to maximize your intake of taurine from meat, consider eating it either rare or medium-rare. While crop vegetables grown on land do not contain taurine, sea algae does, according to a 1997 study reported in the journal “Plant Physiology.” Since taurine is not considered an essential nutrient, there are no established dietary guidelines. It’s believed that most Americans who eat meat consume about 200 milligrams of taurine daily, with 3,000 milligrams considered to be the safe upper limit by many researchers. Consumers can now find taurine as an addition to baby formulas and energy drinks.

The liver plays a key role in ridding the body of harmful environmental toxins such as heavy metals. As stated earlier, taurine helps to detoxify the liver. According to Dr. Mark Sircus, taurine (as well as methionine, cystine, and cysteine) cannot function properly if our bodies do not have access to the correct amount of organic sulfur.

Resources

Glutathione and Taurine
Golden Wellness Center
http://bit.ly/2i6KgZf

What Foods Contain Taurine?
Robin Wasserman | Live Strong
Apr 15, 2015
http://bit.ly/2i8y912

Natural Sources of Taurine
by Sirah Dubois | The Nest
http://bit.ly/2iYcV75

Brand New Study: This Amino Acid Builds Your Bones In Many Ways (And It’s In Yogurt, Chocolate, And More!)
By Vivian Goldschmidt, MA | SaveOurBones
http://bit.ly/2j7WS3Z

The Beginning of the Sulfur Story
Dr. Mark Sircus, AC, OMD, DM
June 28, 2011
http://bit.ly/2i6F7A6

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2 Responses to “Taurine: A sulfur-based amino acid derivative with many health benefits”

  1. Rachael Says:

    This article here says that too much sulfur can cause a thiamine deficiency and even death. Do you agree?

    http://www.stockadebrands.com/articles/all/avoiding-the-sulfur-trap/

    “This article is intended to debunk the myths surrounding the feeding of sulfur for the purpose of parasite control and to bring to your attention the detrimental effects of excessive sulfur in the diet of sheep.”

  2. admin Says:

    Jackie Nix, the author of the aforementioned article, is an animal nutritionist, and her report is focused on the effect of inorganic sulfur and “yellow-dirt” sulfur on animal health. The author explains how excess sulfur is absorbed into the animal’s bloodstream as sulphides. In comparison, what organic sulfur (or methylsulfonylmethane) does in the human body is to transport oxygen to our cells, and then attach itself to toxins that it finds and converts them into harmless sulphates that are disposed of via the bowels. Sulphides and sulphates are different compounds. Over the 18-year history of the Cellular Matrix Study, the study director, Patrick McGean, has noted that individuals who ingest more organic sulfur that is needed will safely excrete the excess in the bowels. In fact, he’s found from talking with customers over the years that people who take in more organic sulfur than what is needed seems to be better tolerated than taking too little.

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