Taurine is an amino acid that is found in body tissues, such as those of the heart and muscles as well as in the blood and in breast milk. It is often found in supplement form as well as in energy drinks. Some people supplement with it because it may offer benefits for the neurological system, help to keep water and minerals balanced in the bloodstream, and may even help to treat or prevent serious health conditions. Some studies show that taurine may even act as an antioxidant in the body.
Many people take taurine supplements or consume energy drinks containing it because taurine is thought to benefit athletic performance. In fact, studies show that physical exertion depletes the amount of taurine in the body. This seems to demonstrate that links between optimal physical performance and taurine exist.
Other studies have demonstrated ways that taurine may benefit people with a wide range of conditions. For example, some studies show that taurine may be helpful for treating arrhythmias, which are abnormal heart rhythms. It may also help in the treatment or prevention of congestive heart failure. Studies even show that taurine may be beneficial for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Some studies show evidence of taurine benefits for people who have diabetes and hepatitis. Taurine may improve type-one diabetes and decrease insulin resistance. For those with hepatitis, taurine supplementation may help decrease bile acids and bilirubin, which is the brownish-yellow coloring in bile. It may even reduce the occurrence of psychotic episodes in individuals who are experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Some researchers believe the amino acid may also prevent alcoholics from relapsing into alcohol abuse.
As far as mental taurine benefits are concerned, there is evidence that suggests taurine may be helpful in preventing or treating a number of mental conditions and disorders. For example, it may be helpful for treating those with bipolar disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It may also help those with autism. On an everyday basis, it may improve a person’s mental performance. As such, it is often combined with caffeine, allowing those who consume the combination to feel more alert and perform better on tasks that require mental concentration.
Researchers are still studying taurine benefits and effects. As such, it is wise to seek the advice of a doctor before using it as a supplement. Likewise, an individual may do well to ask his doctor before mixing taurine supplementation with prescription drug treatments.