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  • Basic Info
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Generic: Taurine
treats Vaccine adjunct, Obesity, Vision problems, Congestive heart failure, Nutritional support, Myotonic dystrophy, Diabetes mellitus, Iron deficiency anemia, Epilepsy, Surgery, Energy, Liver disease, Nutritional supplement, Hypercholesterolemia, Cystic fibrosis, and Hypertension
               



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Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Acomprosate, glycochenodeoxycholic acid, glycocholic acid, taltrimide, taurochenodeoxycholic acid, taurocholic acid, tauro- UDCA, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, TUDCA, ursodeoxycholic acid.

Background

Taurine, or 2- aminoethanesulfonic acid, was originally discovered in ox (Bos taurus) bile and was named after taurus, or bull. A nonessential amino acid- like compound, taurine is found in high abundance in the tissues of many animals, especially sea animals, and in much lower concentrations in plants, fungi, and some bacteria. As an amine, taurine is important in several metabolic processes of the body, including stabilizing cell membranes in electrically active tissues, such as the brain and heart. It also has functions in the gallbladder, eyes, and blood vessels, and may have some antioxidant and detoxifying properties.

Taurine is a constituent of some energy drinks, including Red Bull®. Numerous clinical trials suggest Red Bull® and similar energy drinks may be effective in reducing fatigue, and improving mood and endurance. However, these drinks contain other ingredients, which may also offer benefit in these areas, including caffeine and glucuronolactone. The effect of taurine alone in energy drinks has not been studied. Thus, the effectiveness of taurine in energy drinks is unclear and further research is still required.

Several taurine derivatives are being investigated for medical use, such as taltrimide as an antiepileptic drug. Other taurine derivatives in various stages of development include acamprosate (antialcoholic), tauromustine (anticancer), and tauroursodeoxycholic acid (liver disorders).

The efficacy of taurine has been investigated for diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), cystic fibrosis, liver disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and nutritional support. Although promising in many fields, additional study is needed before a firm recommendation can be made for these indications. Taurine is added to many infant formulas based on the decreased ability to form taurine from cysteine in this population.

               
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