Taurine

Last updated: March 21, 2017

Summary

Although commonly touted as bull urine, taurine is an innocuous organic acid found in many common meat products. Not only does it aid in antioxidant systems within the brain and body, but it has neuroprotective effects, can improve memory, and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.

Besides these benefits for the brain, this acid has a notable benefit for increasing blood flow in healthy adults [1] and it can enhance athletic performance in some endurance and long-distance athletes [2].

Also Known As

2-aminoethane sulphonic acid, L-Taurine

Editors’ Thoughts on Taurine

I take taurine every day, though not for any of the reasons this article explains. Taurine is a great shuttle for creatine into cells without using insulin spikes. Sometimes I eat relatively low carb and I’d prefer to still efficiently use creatine. I use a product that has both creatine monohydrate and taurine together.

Besides that, sometimes I take a small dosage of taurine within Qualia (approximately 2 – 4 times per week). There is only 500 mg of this acid within the Qualia product, which isn’t overdoing it by any stretch.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor

taurine

Benefits of Taurine

As mentioned above, there are a host of taurine benefits, many of which stem from antioxidant properties. It not only oxidizes free radicals (common to most antioxidants), but it also helps to remove toxins and exerts a neuroprotective effect on the brain [3].

For mood, taurine can be a powerful drug as well. Studies suggest taurine activates GABA and glycine receptors, which provide an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect [4]. In some instances, the organic acid can reduce anxiety more than the reference drug (in one case thiopental) [5].

Taurine seems to play a role in memory formation and learning ability as well. A 2004 study in European Journal of Neuroscience concluded that taurine increased long-term potentiation, synaptic activity, and memory formation [6]. Another proved taurine could signal BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which acts as fertilizer for the brain and new memories [7].

Side Effects of Taurine

There are few side effects of taurine given that it is an organic acid found both in the body and in most food products. As is the case with every compound, toxicity is a side effect of taurine to be careful of. People who consume upwards of 3 grams of this acid per day may experience side effects related to high doses.

One study suggested chronic use of this organic acid diminished motor learning capacity in rats [8], but these results seem to be in the early stages. Almost all signs point towards positive effects of taurine especially in the right dosage.

Taurine Dosage

The best taurine dosage to start is around 500 mg – 2000 mg per day. The upper limit for toxicity is placed much higher and studies suggest taurine is well-tolerated by most humans. The 3 gram mark is usually the upper boundary, though studies suggest even higher quantities do not create negative health consequences.

How and Where to Buy Taurine

Taurine is an organic acid, which means most health food stores and some regular grocery stores will probably have the product for sale. Although the taurine quality is no worse at a grocery store, you will probably find a higher efficacy getting it online.

Of course, you can purchase taurine online via plenty of retailers. Amazon has plenty of which we trust a few brands. You can buy taurine from this link.

Also, if you are looking to incorporate taurine into a more holistic compound, we would suggest Qualia, which has the 500 mg taurine suggested above.

Selected Community Experiences

Taurine is one of my staples, i’ve taken it daily for several years now. Aside from being an excellent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsant, it is also fairly anxiolytic. I’ve found it works best in combination with other anxiolytics, so i’d say its better to take it alongside things like l-theanine rather than in place of them.” [9] – j_incandenza

Taurine is greatly underrated. In Energy Drinks, Caffeine and Taurine are the only ingredients present in all of them. It does fix Caffeine’s kinks such as anxiety and jitteriness, and does it without much of any other effects. It fix Caffeine and get out of the way. Theanine comes with more effects, and doesn’t do as well as Taurine to fix Caffeine. Taurine does it well, consistently and for everyone.” [10] – Hashes1234

References (Click to Expand)
  1. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20667936
  2. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22855206
  3. //www.biochemj.org/content/256/1/251.long
  4. //www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/107687
  5. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17728537
  6. //onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03309.x/abstract
  7. //www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432815000224
  8. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23392934
  9. //www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/4jjmpf/taurine/
  10. //www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/4bthvi/caffeine_and_taurine/

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