Two ideas to consider: Okinawa has the largest percentage of the population over the age of 100. The dietary intake of Taurine is highest in the Japanese diet. See where I am going with this?
Here are some facts why Taurine might just be the best supplement to include in your supplement regimen:
Taurine is an essential amino acid. It is also known as - get ready, this is a long one – 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid. Phew! This amino acid was first identified by two Germans – Tiedemann and Gmelin. They discovered Taurine in the bile of Ox - hence the name – Taurus, Latin for a bull.
Taurine is found in huge amounts all over our bodies. It is in the greatest concentration in the eyes, the central nervous system, and skeletal muscles. Taurine is also present in a lot of food loved by bodybuilders: eggs, seafood, and meat. This is not surprising, as amino acids are derived from protein diets. Also popular among athletes, it can improve exercise capacity and physical strength.
To add, it has a great effect on the cardiovascular system by strengthening the heart muscle, leading to improved overall function. In fact, many animal studies have suggested that it can prevent heart failure, reducing mortality by 80%. However, scientists have believed that this is one of the most essential substances that's liable to decline with age. Since most Japanese consume Taurine, they have the highest average life expectancy on the planet.
On the other hand, vegans are most likely to have a low level of taurine– as they do not take much in through their food.
When in the body, it turns amino acids - after processed by proteins – helping us to rebuild our bodies – from the hair on our heads down to the toenails on our feet. Amino acids aid cell function and cell regeneration, improving our formation of antibodies and immune system. Amino acids also help in the production of hormones and enzymes.
Trivia: cats cannot produce Taurine, so they need it from their food. If a cat turned vegan it would die pretty quickly!
The link to the liver?
Finally, here's the reason it's great for the liver.
We know taurine is naturally synthesized in the pancreas and also present in our food. Since it declines with age and because of an increasingly poor diet, the amount most of us gained is insufficient.
But If we didn't get enough taurine intake, our liver can be affected. Know that the acid can promote liver function by protecting it against free radicals and toxins. Free radicals enter our system often through foods and stop cells from oxidizing, leading to an increased chance of cancer. The defense against toxins also helps to reduce the severity of the oxidative stress-induced liver injury.
Some studies indicate that it even helps to protect the liver cells against oxidative damage. The 24 patients, who all had chronic hepatitis, were tracked as part of a human trial. They took 2gms three times a day for three months. The results were spectacular, as serum markers of liver damage, as well as markers of oxidative stress, decreased significantly, as did their elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
It is not just that taurine can prevent this build-up of toxins in the liver, it can also reverse the fat accumulation. In one study, rats were given alcohol and for a month. Scientists, who have given taurine to rats after they had drunk alcohol, saw the reverse to the liver damage. According to this study’s findings, it’s possible that taurine could minimize liver damage and ward off a hangover.
One of the most common forms of liver disease we can get is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (or NAFLD). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat accumulates in the liver. This is often caused by insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Insulin is produced by the pancreas – therefore – promoting the efficiency of the pancreas should combat NAFLD. If not addressed over time, the end result is the loss of liver function, leading to cirrhosis.
Researchers at the University of London’s School of Pharmacy believe that can reverse liver damage caused by alcoholism or by heavy nights out binge-drinking – which cause more damage extended use of moderate amounts of alcohol every day. As we drink, excess fat builds up in the liver, causing it to swell and reduce the blood flow through the organ. This means its ability to break down the toxins in alcohol are reduced and so fat congregates even more.
The two biggest health problems of the modern age are alcohol-related and problems caused by obesity. Scientists in Ireland found children suffering from the fatty liver due to obesity. 6% of alcoholics die from liver-related conditions. The obvious advice to people would be to stop drinking alcohol and to lose weight. However, at a time when over-indulgence is a scourge of modern life – it is unlikely that the message to abstain from calorific food and alcohol will be heard clearly. Therefore, if, as the scientists from Ireland hope, that can reverse the impact on the liver, then this really is a crucial step forward.
Obesity impacts nearly every area of our bodies. Our abdominal fat stores are known to cause inflammation, which can lead to cardiovascular concerns. the ability to significantly help lower lipid levels within the bloodstream and improves the body’s ability to cope with excess glucose in the bloodstream. Lipid-lowering may help to protect against cardiovascular concerns whilst glucose tolerance is significant because many obese people go on to develop diabetes.
Taurine ensures that the liver cells efficiently remove harmful compounds common in both alcohol and non-alcohol fatty liver diseases, which can lead to eventual liver failure. It also lessens lipid levels, which develop diabetes.
Why is this so important?
The liver acts a detoxification machine. It screens our blood flow many times over each day to prevent substances that can damage our bodies. This process is an integral part of the liver’s self-protective mechanisms, too.
Where have I heard about Taurine before?
Taurine is an ingredient in some sports drinks. This is because it has proven the effect on muscle function and physical performance – which is why has come under increased scientific review. The dosage for these drinks is upwards of 2000 – 3000 mg. If people chose to drink these energy drinks three or four times a day, there may be an increased likelihood of side effects. Much of the research seems to see these side effects as a result of the increased dosage of glucose and caffeine – as opposed to the – which does make sense when the concern is for the significant damage that could be done to the body’s systems – most significantly the cardiovascular system – which is shown to benefit not hinder.
The energy drink Red Bull went through some tricky times when some people died due to the intake of energy drinks. However, scientists have been particularly clear that the deaths in Sweden had nothing to do with – despite that was banned in Norway and France and made pharmaceutical in Japan. Ironically, since these early years of panic over energy drinks, scientists are strong in the belief that can actually reverse the impact of alcohol on the liver. Therefore, many scientists had proffered the suggestion that putting in alcohol as a matter, of course, is recommended.
However, think about it – energy drinks often have the equivalent of 4 or 5 strong coffees per serving. If you are drinking in excess of 3 or 4 cans of energy drink a day – you will suffer heart palpitations and at worse, as in the case of those in Sweden, heart failure. Glucose is a sugar that also has stimulatory effects. With the toxic levels of caffeine and the high levels of glucose – you are going to mix high blood sugar with increased heart rate and what would be the likely outcome? Seizure, jitters, heart palpitation, heart failure. It’s best to help your body fight be toxins at liver through supplements.
Taurine is basically the most essential element in our body. This means that it helps in the maintenance of most systems in the body. This includes cardiovascular disease, cholesterol control, protection of the eyes and tinnitus.
As we age our body produces less, and we are faced with a choice. We should either increase our intake of fish, eggs and shellfish – or we take supplementation. It is likely that a mixture of both diet and supplement is a sound choice – especially if alcohol is a regular part of your life.