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What is Taurine anyway ?

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  • What is Taurine anyway ?

    I've often wondered this. I've asked a few people, one of them being my sister who's studying the herbal/alternative medicine and she has no idea. I think I may have heard it mentioned on a national geographic, something about it coming from meat, and that'd mess up my life as a vegetarian. can anyone confirm/disprove ?

    [ 12-11-2004, 01:12 AM: Message edited by: JohnnyDreamer ]

  • #2
    It's an amino acid. Here:
    Give me some cane sugar real Pepsi in a glass bottle... and not Throwback!


    • #3
      ok, dankeshain, still not sure where it comes from, I know red bull manufactures theirs, but it was first found in bulls (taurine-taurus) so I'm guessing most energy drinks still get it there.

      [ 12-11-2004, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: JohnnyDreamer ]


      • #4
        I know that I've seen ads for taurine pills before that say that they are "vegetarian safe" - so I suspect there is more than one process for deriving this amino acid.

        Give me some cane sugar real Pepsi in a glass bottle... and not Throwback!


        • #5

          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
          Pronunciation: tor-reen
          Function: noun
          Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary, from Latin taurus, meaning bull; from its having been discovered in ox bile.
          A colorless crystalline cysteine derivative C2H7NO3S of neutral reaction, formed by the hydrolysis of taurocholic acid. Found in the juices and fluids of muscle and lungs, nerve tissue, and bile of many animals. It is one of the lesser-known amino acids, plays several important roles in the body and is essential to newborns of many species.
          Taurine, also known as 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is a biologically important chemical compound. Its empirical formula is C2H7NO3S. For a long time, taurine was considered a nonessential nutrient for humans. However, in recent years it has become clear that Taurine is a very important amino acid involved in a large number of metabolic processes and can become essential under certain circumstances. Taurine is important in the visual pathways, the brain and nervous system, cardiac function, and it is a conjugator of bile acids. Basically, its function is to facilitate the passage of sodium, potassium and possibly calcium and magnesium ions into and out of cells and to stabilize electrically the cell membranes. Dr. G. E. Gaull (1984) suggests that since human never develop a high level of cysteinsulfinic acid decarboxylase, an enzyme necessary for the formation of taurine from the amino acid cysteine, people are probably all somewhat dependent upon dietary taurine.
          Under certain conditions of high stress or in disease states the need for taurine probably increases. Another important function of taurine is detoxification.Taurine is required for efficent fat absorption & solubilization. Studies also showed that dietary taurine supplementation ameliorates experimental renal disease including models of refractory nephrotic syndrome and diabetic nephropathy. The benefinical effects of taurine are mediated by its antioxidant action. (Trachtman H. and Sturman J.A., 1996, Amino Acids, 11:1-13). Taurine may also have an important role in renal development. One study with rats showed protective effect of taurine on TNBS-induced inflammatory bowel disease. With all these discoveries and more on the horizon taurine research is accelerating rapidly. It can be synthesized internally from cysteine and pyridoxine. Dogs can also synthesize the compound, but cats cannot.
          Taurine, along with methionine, cystine and cysteine, is a sulfur amino acid. The taurine molecule (H2N-CH2-CH2-SO2H) is small and consists of hydrogen (H), nitrogen (N), carbon (C), sulfur (S) and oxygen (O).
          Uses Of Taurine
          ??????? Taurine has two major roles in human metabolism:
          o There is some evidence it is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system
          o It plays a role in digestion (see bile).
          It has been linked to a number of other metabolic functions but its role is not clear.
          It has been tested medically in the treatment of congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, epilepsy and several other conditions, but without much success. Some who question the safety of monosodium glutamate recommend taurine as a kind of antidote.[1] (
          Taurine is one of the ingredients commonly found in energy drinks such as Red Bull, and in pills which often feature caffeine and/or other stimulant ingredients


          • #6
            Well, naturally, here at Red Bull, the concept that Taurine has anything to do with bulls is completely false.

            We do a good deal of staff energizers/sampling/tasting, and convincing some that Taurine is not some type of bull-testicle extract is one of the obvious battles we must endure.