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some neutraceuticals and energy drinks, and is heavily used by body builders as a supplement because it is known to be a cell-volumizer. Taurine is named after Taurus, which means bull/ox in Latin, since it was first isolated from ox bile in 1827 [2]. There have been many studies demonstrating the positive effects of this compound.

It has been shown to have the ability to reverse poor liver function, scarring and prevent alcohol related damage of the liver [3] [4]. Taurine seems to improve heart function and symptoms in patients with heart disease [5]. Studies on rats present therapeutic use for type 2 diabetes reducing blood glucose levels and reducing insulin resistance after 12 week supplementation regime [6]. Some studies also suggest that the combination of caffeine and taurine improves mental performance which is one of the reasons it’s regularly found in energy drinks [1]. It’s believed that it has the ability to cross the blood-brain-barrier and increase GABA concentrations rendering it a psychoactive chemical [7] [8]. Studies suggests that taurine reduces the production of advanced glycation end products (AGE), which possibly means that it can slowdown the ageing process [9].


•Helps repair liver damage and prevents alcohol related damage
•Improves heart function and is used to treat congestive heart failure
•Combined with caffeine to improve mental function and fitness in energy drinks
•A bodybuilding supplement due to being a cell-volumizer and an insulin mimicker
•May improve quality and ease of sleep.
•May slow the ageing process


Taking up to 3,000mg a day as a supplement is considered safe [1]; however it should be considered that taurine is also found naturally in food, especially in seafood and meat. So depending on your diet you could already be consuming 40 to 400 mg a day already. However it is also unknown the clear effects of long-term use, for instance if taurine has GABAergic activity it may be addictive and an investigation in rats exhibits signs of anxiety through agitation which may mean that taurine could be a anxiogenic [10]. As always, take care when trying supplement.


1.Zeratsky, R.D., L.D Taurine is listed as an ingredient in many energy drinks. What is taurine? Is it safe? (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/taurine/AN01856) 27/03/08

2.F. Tiedemann, L. Gmelin (1827). “Einige neue Bestandtheile der Galle des Ochsen”. Annalen der Physik 85 (2): 326–37. BibcodeHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibcode”1827AnP….85..326T. doi:10.1002/andp.18270850214.

3. Miyazaki T, Matsuzaki Y. Taurine and liver diseases: a focus on the heterogeneous protective properties oftaurine. Amino Acids. 2012 Aug 24

4. Bleich S, Degner D (2000): Reversal of ethanol-induced hepatic steatosis and lipid peroxidation by taurine: a study in rats. Alcohol Alcohol 35: 215.

5. Roysommuti S, Wyss JM. Perinatal taurine exposure affects adult arterial pressure control. Amino Acids. 2012 Oct 16.

6. Kim KS, Oh DH, Kim JY, Lee BG, You JS, Chang KJ, Chung HJ, Yoo MC, Yang HI, Kang JH, Hwang YC, Ahn KJ, Chung HY, Jeong IK. Taurine ameliorates hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia by reducing insulin resistance and leptin level in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rats with long-term diabetes. Exp Mol Med. 2012 Sep 21.

7. Tsuji, A; Tamai, I (1996). “Sodium- and chloride-dependent transport of taurine at the blood–brain barrier”.Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 403: 385–91. PMID 8915375.

8. Jia F, Yue M, Chandra D, Keramidas A, Goldstein PA, Homanics GE, Harrison NL. Taurine is a potent activator of extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptors in the thalamus. J Neurosci. 2008 January 2;28(1):106-15.

9. Huang JS, Chuang LY, Guh JY, Yang YL, Hsu MS. Effect of taurine on advanced glycation end products-induced hypertrophy in renal tubular epithelial cells. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008 Dec 1;233(2):220-6. Epub 2008 Sep 12.

10. El Idrissi A, Boukarrou L, Heany W, Malliaros G, Sangdee C, Neuwirth L. Effects of taurine on anxiety-like and locomotor behavior of mice. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;643:207-15.