Best Taurine Supplements: Top 10 Taurine Brands Reviewed

TOP 10 TAURINE SUPPLEMENTS

Taurine is a sulfur-containing beta-amino acid and is the most abundant intracellular amino acid in the human body. We provide ourselves with taurine in two ways - through food or through biosynthesis.

Our main source of taurine is precisely food and the products of animal origin that are richest in this amino acid are meat, eggs, seafood. Dairy products contain it to a much lesser extent. Plant foods or do not contain the amino acid or the content is negligible.

​The taurine biosynthesis occurs primarily in the brain and liver through a series of chemical reactions requiring three main components - the amino acids methionine, cysteine, and vitamin B6.

Top 5 Best Selling Taurine Supplements


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NOW Supplements, Taurine Pure Powder, Nervous System Health*, Amino Acid, 8-Ounce

#1

Now Foods Taurine Pure Powder
Jarrow Formulas Taurine, Brain & Memory Support, 1000 mg, 100 Caps

#2

Jarrow Formulas Taurine
Life Extension Taurine 1000 Mg 90 Capsules

#3

Life Extension Taurine
Source Naturals Taurine 1000mg - 240 Capsules

#4

Source Naturals Taurine
ALLMAX Nutrition Taurine, Vegan + Gluten-Free, Unflavored, 3,000 mg, 14.11 oz (400 g)

#5

ALLMAX Nutrition Taurine

What Is Taurine

Taurine is a sulfur-containing beta-amino acid and is the most abundant intracellular amino acid in the human body. Unlike most other amino acids, taurine is not a structural component and is not involved in the construction of proteins.

Taurine was initially derived from ox bile in 1827 by Leopold Gmelin and Friedrich Tiedemann and was named Gallen-Asparagine.

​​The term "taurine" appeared in literature in 1838 and its probable origin is the Latin word for ox bile/bull bile - Fel Tauri, the Greek word for bull – “Taurus” or the Bos taurus genus itself. As a matter, taurine is colorless and well soluble in water.

​How Do We Provide Ourselves with Taurine

​We provide ourselves with taurine in two ways - through food or through biosynthesis. Our main source of taurine is precisely food and the products of animal origin that are richest in this amino acid are meat, eggs, seafood. 

Dairy products contain it to a much lesser extent. Plant foods or do not contain the amino acid or the content is negligible.

​The taurine biosynthesis occurs primarily in the brain and liver through a series of chemical reactions requiring three main components - the amino acids methionine, cysteine, and vitamin B6.

​The maximum synthesis of taurine is still unknown, but the average amount, that a healthy adult synthesizes, is between 50 and 125 mg per day. Taurine is also available as a nutritional supplement and is included in the composition of most of the energy drinks on the market.

​Absorption and Metabolism

The orally administered taurine passes easily through the stomach and the gastric acids do not lead to changes in its structure or amount. Taurine is absorbed relatively well and its peak concentrations in the blood are observed about half an hour after the intake. 

Eight hours after the intake the concentration in the blood returns to normal. The taurine obtained from food and the biosynthesized one gets distributed, as taurine can be found in almost all if not all, tissues in the body. 

The highest concentrations of the beta-amino acid are found in the heart, lungs, muscles, retina, spleen, brain, platelets and white blood cells. These are mainly tissues that are strongly excitable and produce more free radicals.

The taurine levels in the body are controlled mainly by the kidneys through the mechanism of reverse absorption. In cases of excess taurine is discharged through urine, while in cases of shortage – it gets back into the blood.

​Physiological Functions

Conjunction with bile

One of the well-known functions and properties of taurine is its conjunction with bile into the intestine. This is extremely important for the health, as the compound improves the bile flow and prevents from cholestasis (blockage of the bile ducts).

It also improves the bile secretion but also protects from the toxic effect of the bile acids on the liver.

Cardiac function

​Taurine plays an essential role in the work of the heart. At least half of the concentration of the amino acids in the heart is composed of taurine and the importance of the presence of taurine for the cardiovascular system has been repeatedly proven.

The main mechanisms are the maintenance of the calcium homeostasis in the heart, maintenance of the water balance through stimulation of natriuresis and diuresis in the kidneys, activation of angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), and weakening of the hormone angiotensin II.​

​​​Visual function

Besides the heart, taurine is the most abundant amino acid in the retina. 

It is vital for the vision and a number of experiments on animals, including primates, have shown retinal degeneration and blindness in the occurrence of a taurine deficiency.

Muscle function

Taurine is essential for muscle work. This has been demonstrated in mice with a genetic taurine deficiency. 

The almost total lack of taurine in the muscles leads to 80% lower performance during exercises as compared to the control group.

Electrolyte balance

Another distinct physiological function of taurine is the electrolyte balance

The presence of taurine in the cells is important for maintaining the potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium balance in the intracellular and extracellular space.

Protection against free radicals

Last but not least, taurine is a very good antioxidant. Interestingly, it is not a typical antioxidant, since its action mechanism is rather indirect.

Its main mechanism for fighting free radicals has been revealed through a deliberate reduction of the levels of taurine in the cells.

The lack of taurine prevents the construction of specific mitochondrial proteins that, in turn, disrupt certain electron-transport chains. This leads to the accumulation of large quantities of oxidants.

​Taurine Deficiency

​In healthy people, the biosynthesis of taurine should be sufficient to prevent health conditions, provided that there is sufficient methionine, cysteine, and vitamin B6.

But in case there is a particular problem with the biosynthesis or the taurine intake is insufficient, it is possible for a person to reach a deficit that could lead to serious consequences.

There are several groups of people with a large risk of the deficit and the taurine supplementation may be beneficial, of course after consulting a doctor. Premature infants have limited enzyme capabilities and limited biosynthesis of taurine.

​People in need of long-term parenteral nutrition are also vulnerable since a significant part of the parenteral solutions do not contain taurine and/or contain insufficient cysteine.

People with impaired liver and/or kidney functions are also often observed to suffer a taurine deficiency. In both cases, the problem is often in the impaired enzymatic reactions that depend precisely on those organs and are required for the taurine synthesis.

Vegans also have to be careful.

​Although their biosynthesis is sufficient in most of the cases, because it is not a problem for them to obtain the necessary methionine, cysteine, and Vitamin B6 through plant-based foods, it should not be forgotten that the exclusion of animal foods suspends the direct flow of taurine from the food.

Taking Taurine as a Nutritional Supplement

With a health objective

The taking of extra taurine at this stage has been studied in various fields of human health, perhaps the main direction is metabolic syndrome. At this stage studies on humans are too small, but together with animal studies and in vitro ones, they have shown some serious potential of the amino acid.

There are positive results in all aspects the metabolic syndrome is based on, but there is still a lot of room for research along these lines. As an important part of the electrolyte regulation, taurine is often helpful in cases of cramps or nervous tics.

With a sport objective

Up to this date, there have been only two studies on the relationship between the intake of pure taurine and the improvement of athletic performance. 

​Both of them are associated with prolonged aerobic loads (cyclists and runners), but both have found no improvement with an intake of about 1.5 g taurine 1-2 hours prior to the exercise.

​Dosage and Possible Side Effects

The taurine supplementation is safe at the currently tested doses. Doses in the range of 3 g, in addition to food, can be taken all year round without any risk of health problems and side effects.

Higher doses of up to 6 grams with also no side effects have been used in the greatest part of the studies. In them, however, there is no data on safety when taking taurine for more than several months.

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