Taurine is a semi-essential amino acid that's not as well
known as some other aminos like glutamine; however, taurine
plays an important role and is found in the heart muscle,
white blood cells, central nervous system, and skeletal
muscle. It plays an important role in metabolism, and is
essential for new borns, since they cannot make it. Adults
bodies can make taurine, however, when not enough is made,
the deficiency can be corrected by supplementation.
Taurine is high in eggs, dairy products, meats and fish
proteins. If you're a vegetarian, you maybe deficient in
taurine, and if you're a meat eater, you're probably getting
It was first discovered in ox bile in 1827, and it wasn't
until 1975 that taurine was identified as a important part
of human nutrition when it was discovered that formula fed
infants were not able to sustain normal urinary taurine
levels compared to breast-milk fed infants.
Taurine is a building block of all other amino acids. It
functions in the brain and heart to help stabilize cell
membranes. It comprises of over 50% of the total free amino
acid pool of the heart. Many studies have shown Taurine
to be essential in mammalian development, and low levels
of it are associated with developmental problems such as
growth retardation, and retinal degeneration.
L-Taurine has also been used to treat conditions such as
seizure disorders, cardiovascular diseases, epilipsy, alcoholism,
cystic fibrosis, and alzheimers.
Taurine has many benefits, some of these include:
It is a component of bile, which is needed for digestion
of fats and control of serum cholesterol levels.
Some studies have found it to lower blood pressure
Taurine helps control the movement of potassium, magnesium
and sodium, helping to maintain the cell membranes
It is a antioxidant and helps reinforce the immune system
It helps to strengthen the heart muscle, stabilize heart
rhythm, and also prevents blood clots.
Taurine helps to guard against diabetes
Dosage of 2grams 3 times daily have helped people with
congestive heart failure to improve cardiac and respiratory
Some Taurine Studies
Study 1: A double blind, placebo controlled
crossover study involving 14 participants found that taurine
is effective to treat heart failure with no adverse effects.
Participants received 6g each day for four weeks. Each person
was assigned a heart failure score based on signs of right
heart failure, pulmonary sounds, and chest abnormalities.
At the end of the study, the heart failure scores feel from
5.8 to 3.7 for the taurine group, and the score did not
change for the placebo group.
Study 2: In a study done on 16 week old
rats separated into 2 groups of taurine and placebo group,
oral glucose tolerance test was performed at ages of 23
and 25 weeks. This study found insulin resistance and abdominal
fat accumulation were significantly lower in the taurine
supplemented group. Concentrations of cholesterol were also
significantly lower in the taurine supplemented group. This
led to the conclusion that taurine effectively improves
metabolism in the rats by decreasing serum cholesterol due
to decreased production of cholesterol from the increased
nitric oxide production.
*Yutaka Nakaya, Asako Minami, Nagakatsu
Harada, Sadaichi Sakamoto, Yasuharu Niwa and Masaharu Ohnaka
*From the Department of Nutrition, Tokushima University,
School of Medicine, Tokushima, Japan.
Study 3: In a study done by the medical
college of Georgia, the effects of taurine depletion on
vascularity was studied in rats. The researchers found that
taurine depletion increases contractility but decreases
the relaxation of vascular smooth muscle. Their finding
also noted that depletion of taurine leads to impaired endothelium
(a thin layer of flat cells that lines blood vessels) dependent
responses which is associated with reduced nitric oxide
production contributing to decrease in vasorelaxant responses.
In understandable english, it simply means that depletion
of taurine leads to reduced nitric oxide production leading
to more tension in the walls of the blood vessels, or "decrease
in vasorelaxant responses".
*Abebe W, Mozaffari MS.
*Department of Oral Biology and Maxillofacial Pathology,
CB 3710, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Georgia,
Augusta, GA 30912-1128, USA.
Significance of L-Taurine for Bodybuilding
From the above studies 2 and 3, its clear that taurine
plays an important role in nitric oxide production, where
lowered taurine levels leads to the reduction of nitric
oxide production. Nitric oxide is a gas that's present for
a instant each time a muscle contracts and blood vessel
dilates. This is important in that this widens the blood
channels leading to greater blood flow, which results in
greater oxygen and nutrient delivery.
As you can see, as bodybuilders, we need the increase in
blood flow for oxygen and nutrient delivery, and without
adequate nitric oxide, this isn't possible, and when deficient
in L Taurine, there is less nitric oxide production.
Needless to say, taurine makes a good supplement to take
to combat deficiencies, and as well, just to maintain or
increase nitric oxide production. At the same time, this
makes taurine good to stack with NO2 supplements to increase
hemodilation and improve that perpetual pump caused by NO2.
This is the very reason why you find Taurine in creatine/no2
stacked supplements like San's
V12, or other creatine delivery systems like celltech
While there is no established RDA of taurine, about 3 to
5grams a day should be sufficient.