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Taurine- Be strong like a bull

Want to be strong like a bull? Take taurine, the nutrient with many different functions.

Although many people consider taurine as an amino acid, it is actually an organic acid, but let’s save the chemistry lesson for another time.

Taurine is found in animal tissues and is a major constituent of bile, the digestive juice critical for breaking down food in your gut. In fact, taurine comes from the Latin word taurus which means bull or ox, as it was first isolated from ox bile in 1827.

Taurus

Taurus

The pancreas creates taurine from the amino acid cysteine. This is one of many reasons to maintain a healthy pancreas, so avoid sugar and alcohol, two items that damage this organ.

A study from 1988 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that vegans are woefully low in taurine, another knock against this unnatural diet. Animal products like meat and seafood are known to be excellent sources of taurine. Breast milk is high in taurine, proving its importance. If babies need it, we likely need it.

Boosting your intake of the amino acid cysteine, the precursor to taurine, is beneficial and particularly high in liver, eggs, and other meat cuts. Garlic, onions, broccoli, and brussel sprouts also contain plenty of cysteine.

There is plenty of information regarding the health benefits of taurine. Some of these benefits include:

1)    Lowers blood pressure in hypertensive people. (1)
2)    Lowers cholesterol by increasing bile secretion. (2)
3)    Increases hepatic LDL receptors. (3)
4)    Improves heart function (4)
5)    Improves heart failure symptoms (5)
6)    Improves exercise capacity (6)
7)    Improves endothelial function (in rats) (7)
8)    Acts as an antioxidant (8)

Taurine supplementation decreases PVC’s by 50%. Add in L-arginine and all of the PVC’s were gone. Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(5):1200-4.

Lastly, taurine easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and can improve mood and lessen anxiety. Many natural supplements used for anxiety and depression contain this nutrient. Taurine may also prevent damage from diabetes and elevated blood sugar.

Taking taurine supplements is easy and surprisingly affordable. I recommend my patients to start off on 1000mg of taurine 2x per day. Some people need higher doses, up to 6000mg per day.

I am not aware of any data regarding overdose levels of taurine, but most studies conclude the 6000mg as a therapeutic amount. It comes in capsules or powder. The powder can be added to smoothies, juice, water, or greens drinks.

I have been very successful getting people off pharmaceuticals for high blood pressure and cholesterol abnormalities. Inflammation markers are easily improved. My patients with heart failure are usually able to get off drugs safely. Taurine is always part of a healthy supplements regimen to achieve that goal.

Take taurine, that ain’t no bull.

(1)    Amino Acids. 2002; WJC 2013
(2)    Amino Acids 26 (3): 267–71
(3)    Life Sci.2002;70:2355–2366
(4)    Jpn Circ J.1992 Jan;56(1):95-9
(5)    Clin Cardiol. 1985 May;8(5):276-82
(6)    J Cardiol. 2011 May;57(3):333-7
(7)    Diab Vasc Dis Res. 2010 Oct;7(4):300-10
(8)    Amino Acids 26 (2): 203–7
© 2020 Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC | Wolfson Integrative Cardiology | All Rights Reserved.10585 N Tatum Blvd, Suite D-135 Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
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