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THE ROLE OF TAURINE IN HEART HEALTH
Taurine, found in several organs, has widespread benefits. Its direct roles include:
- Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance in your cells
- Forming bile salts, which play an important role in digestion
- Regulating minerals such as calcium within your cells
- Supporting the general function of your central nervous system and eyes
- Regulating immune system health and antioxidant function
Taurine may improve blood sugar control and combat diabetes.
Fasting blood sugar levels are very important for health, as high levels are a key factor in type 2 diabetes and many other chronic diseases (5,6 ).
Some animal research suggests that an increased intake of taurine could help prevent type 2 diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels and insulin resistance (7, 8).
BENEFITS OF TAURINE IN PERFORMANCE
Need to improve ball-passing accuracy in a field sport? Caffeine may be able to improve that by 10% (4).
Caffeine has been shown to improve performance by decreasing reaction time, sustaining maximal endurance and intermittent high-intensity long-duration exercise by extending the time to exhaustion (1-3). Caffeine may offer benefits for strength-power and sprint activities, and potentially reduce RPE, but research in these areas has been equivocal (1-3).
In animal studies, taurine caused muscles to work harder and for longer and increased the muscles’ ability to contract and produce force. In mice, it reduced fatigue and muscle damage during a workout (9 10 , 11).
In human studies, taurine has been shown to remove waste products that lead to fatigue and cause muscle burn. It also protects muscles from cell damage and oxidative stress (12. 13)
What’s more, it increases fat burning during exercise (14).
- Goldstein, E. R., Ziegenfuss, T., Kalman, D., Kreider, R., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C., & ... Antonio, J. (2010). International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 71-15. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-5
- Del Coso, J., Muñoz, G., & Muñoz-Guerra, J. (2011). Prevalence of caffeine use in elite athletes following its removal from the World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances. Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism, 36(4), 555-561. doi:10.1139/H11-052
- Clark, M.A., Lucett, S.C. NASM Essentials of Sports Performance. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2010.
- Stuart, G.R., Hopkins, W.G., Cook, C., Cairns, S.P. (2005) Multiple effects of caffeine on simulated high-intensity team-sport performance. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise 37:1998-05.
- Bjørnholt JV, Erikssen G, Aaser E, Sandvik L, Nitter-Hauge S, Jervell J, Erikssen J, Thaulow E. Fasting blood glucose: an underestimated risk factor for cardiovascular death. Results from a 22-year follow-up of healthy nondiabetic men. Diabetes Care. 1999 Jan;22(1):45-9. doi: 10.2337/diacare.22.1.45. PMID: 10333902.
- Jee SH, Ohrr H, Sull JW, Yun JE, Ji M, Samet JM. Fasting serum glucose level and cancer risk in Korean men and women. JAMA. 2005 Jan 12;293(2):194-202. doi: 10.1001/jama.293.2.194. PMID: 15644546.
- Franconi F, Loizzo A, Ghirlanda G, Seghieri G. Taurine supplementation and diabetes mellitus. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006 Jan;9(1):32-6. doi: 10.1097/01.mco.0000196141.65362.46. PMID: 16444816.
- Ito, T., Schaffer, S. W., & Azuma, J. (2012). The potential usefulness of taurine on diabetes mellitus and its complications. Amino acids, 42(5), 1529–1539. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-0883-5
- Goodman CA, Horvath D, Stathis C, Mori T, Croft K, Murphy RM, Hayes A. Taurine supplementation increases skeletal muscle force production and protects muscle function during and after high-frequency in vitro stimulation. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2009 Jul;107(1):144-54. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00040.2009. Epub 2009 May 7. PMID: 19423840; PMCID: PMC2711783.
- Manabe S, Kurroda I, Okada K, Morishima M, Okamoto M, Harada N, Takahashi A, Sakai K, Nakaya Y. Decreased blood levels of lactic acid and urinary excretion of 3-methylhistidine after exercise by chronic taurine treatment in rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2003 Dec;49(6):375-80. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.49.375. PMID: 14974726.
- Imagawa TF, Hirano I, Utsuki K, Horie M, Naka A, Matsumoto K, Imagawa S. Caffeine and taurine enhance endurance performance. Int J Sports Med. 2009 Jul;30(7):485-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1104574. Epub 2009 May 19. PMID: 19455480.
- Zhang M, Izumi I, Kagamimori S, Sokejima S, Yamagami T, Liu Z, Qi B. Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino Acids. 2004 Mar;26(2):203-7. doi: 10.1007/s00726-003-0002-3. Epub 2003 May 9. PMID: 15042451.
- Dawson R Jr, Biasetti M, Messina S, Dominy J. The cytoprotective role of taurine in exercise-induced muscle injury. Amino Acids. 2002 Jun;22(4):309-24. doi: 10.1007/s007260200017. PMID: 12107759.
- Rutherford JA, Spriet LL, Stellingwerff T. The effect of acute taurine ingestion on endurance performance and metabolism in well-trained cyclists. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010 Aug;20(4):322-9. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.20.4.322. PMID: 20739720.