Taurine - Essential or Non-Essential Amino Acid - You Decide?

old message Taurine - Essential or Non-Essential Amino Acid - You Decide? Darrell Miller 02/17/11

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Date: February 17, 2011 10:56 AM
Subject: Taurine - Essential or Non-Essential Amino Acid - You Decide?

Amino Acid Taurine Is Essential For More Than You Think

Taurine is an organic compound with acidic properties, which is synthesized in the pancreas in adults, but an essential amino acid in infants. Many neutraceutical products for infants are fortified with taurine, inasmuch as some newborns do not have the enzymes required to synthesize taurine. Taurine deficiency in adults results from deficiencies in other organic compounds, notably methionine and cysteine, which are its immediate precursors within the body.

Helps in Brain Development

It has long been postulated that taurine plays an important role in the human brain, especially in infants, protecting the nerve cells from possible neonatal damages. Taurine continues to affect the nervous system as we age, acting on gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, and consequently enhances inhibitory synaptic transmissions. In addition, taurine is alleged to stimulate continuous activation of synapses characteristic of long-term potentiation, which memory and learning ability stem from.

Stabilizes Glucose Levels

Taurine is a powerful inhibitor of glycation, a process by which sugar molecules attach themselves to other biomolecules without the aid of enzymes, and thus subsequently impair the functions of these biomolecules. This process may take place inside or outside the body, but the substances that result from this process, which are referred to as advanced glycation end-products or AGEs, contribute to the formation of a number of major disorders in later life such as cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related deafness and blindness, and cancer. Taurine keeps the cells from taking up AGEs from the blood, which is slowly excreted in the urine.

Regulates Adipose Tissues

It has also been observed that dietary taurine influences the metabolic pathways that give rise to the formation of adipose tissues, the fat reserves of the human body. These fat depot appear anywhere in the body, but are commonly tied to the subcutaneous fats, those that we see on the belly, chest, arms, and thighs. Moreover, body fat percentage has been an indicator of obesity, which is central to the use of taurine in regulating adipose tissues.

Influences Lipid Absorption

Taurine is a major component of bile, the fluid produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and secreted in the small intestines to aid in the digestion of triglycerides, cholesterol, and other lipids. Also, several studies point to the effect of taurine on the binding of proteins to lipids to form lipoproteins, compounds that have been notoriously labeled as bad cholesterol. Not surprisingly, taurine has been suggested to maintain healthy levels of blood cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Fights Oxidative Stress

Sodas have become a part of our daily diet today, but little did we know that they are risk factors for oxidative stress, the continued peroxidation of cellular structures. Fructose in sodas and other sweetened beverages is the most dangerous of all sugars, inasmuch as it releases by-products called AGEs, which are highly reactive to oxidation. AGEs do not get excreted right away and are instead absorbed by cells, leading to irreversible damages to neuronal and vascular tissues in later life. Intake of taurine removes this problem.

Have you had your Taurine Today?

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