Taurine is a non-essential amino acid, sythesized in the body from methionine and cysteine. It is useful to people who suffer from atherosclerosis, heart disorders, edema, hypertension, and hypoglycemia. Important to the heart muscle, white blood cells, musculo-skeletal system, and central nervous system, it has been used in the treatment of breast cancer, anxiety, poor brain function, epilepsy, and Down syndrome children. Recently Taurine has become popular as a supplemental ingredient. Most of the supplemental uses of taurine are related to cardiovascular or muscle conditions.
Taurine has been considered effective therapy for congestive heart failure. In heart muscle, taurine is essential for proper calcium balance and metabolism. Taurine specifically supports heart function with its antioxidant action, by preventing arrhythmias, reducing hypertension, reducing platelet stickiness and by improving cardiac contractility.
Taurine has been found to be particularly concentrated in the heart with its levels exceeding the combined total of all other amino acids. During active stress the levels of taurine go up in the heart. Levels go down after an MI or ischemic attack. In Japan, taurine is used to treat various types of heart disease. Some arrhythmias may require IV administration.
Taurine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, its main use being to help treat epilepsy and other excitable brain states. Research shows low taurine levels at seizure sites and its anti-convulsant effect comes from its ability to stabilize nerve cell membranes, which in turn prevents the erratic firing of nerve cells. Taurine functions as a mild sedative; doses for this effect are 500mg three times daily.