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Taurine: effects of this neurotransmitter on attention and the body

Taurine: effects of this neurotransmitter on attention and the body

January 17, 2022

During the last years Taurine has become part of our usual vocabulary as a result of the boom in energy drinks. Despite the controversy that has been created around it, it is an element that has always existed naturally in natural foods and even elaborated by our own organism. In addition, although this substance is popular for its use in beverages, it is also a neurotransmitter, which is why our neurons use it to function.

Throughout this article we will know what it is, where we can find it, as well as its benefits and harmful effects.

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What is taurine?

Taurine is a derivative of the amino acid cysteine ​​that our body manufactures naturally and that, in addition, it is also present in a series of specific foods.


Its curious name dates back to 1827, when scientists of German origin Friedrich Tiedemann and Leopold Gmelin isolated it for the first time from a sample of bull bile.

In humans we can find it in large quantities in organs such as the heart, as well as in muscles, platelets and throughout the nervous system throughout its period of development.

This substance causes the stimulation of the nervous system , so that our body resorts to it in highly stressful moments or in those that require an intense physical activity. Due to these stimulant effects, large quantities of synthetic taurine are currently produced, which has become the main ingredient in energy drinks.


However, its use has generated many controversies since some studies claim that an excess of taurine consumption can cause serious damage to our body . Taking into account that our body makes it naturally and that we can find it in a large number of foods, the maintenance of a varied and balanced diet is sufficient to achieve natural levels of healthy taurine.

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Where can we find it?

As we have said, we can find natural taurine in various foods of both animal and vegetable origin. Likewise, since a few years ago, the types of beverages in which taurine, synthesized artificially, have become popular as one of the main ingredients have become popular.


1. Taurine in natural foods

Through a varied and balanced diet we can maintain adequate and stable levels of taurine, so it would not be necessary to resort to substances made in the laboratory.

Those foods that contain higher amounts of taurine are those that come from the sea . Among them include the octopus and the vast majority of seafood. The culinary elaborations with ingredients such as raw or boiled fish (never fried) are good options when the person wants to procure a good dose of energy.

In the same way, meat from birds such as chicken also harbors large quantities of taurine, especially meat that is found in the thighs of the animal. Other meat foods rich in taurine are those that come from the pig and the cow.

As regards foods of a plant nature, there are a large number of legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans which contain large amounts of taurine. Also, nuts such as hazelnuts or almonds, or soybeans and algae are also known for their large contributions of this substance.

2. Taurine and energy drinks

As discussed above, in recent years energy drinks have achieved surprising popularity. Among them, it seems that those that are composed of taurine as a main ingredient are still more famous.

In the beginning, these drinks were designed to enhance the cardiac performance of athletes and athletes during the exercises, especially in the world of bodybuilding. However, some time later, some popular companies of soft drinks and energy drinks combined it with other compounds such as caffeine to increase physical and intellectual resistance.

Moderately consumed, these drinks do not have to pose a health risk. However, we must not forget that synthetic compounds are not natural, so it will always be better to opt for the food options. In addition, another drawback of these beverages is their high content of gas and sugars, harmful agents for health.

On the other hand, its consumption is completely discouraged in people with hypertension problems; as well as the combination of taurine with other depressant substances of the nervous system such as alcohol.The reason is that this mixture can cause abnormal heart rhythms .

What benefits does it provide?

First of all, it is necessary to specify that, when talking about the possible benefits of taurine, reference is made to the occasions in which it is found naturally. This is due to the fact that in those cases in which it is produced synthetically or in the form of a synthetic beverage, it is accompanied by many other additives that are not very recommended.

Although taurine was discovered more than a century ago, this substance is still the subject of numerous studies that attempt to discover each and every one of its therapeutic or beneficial properties. In addition, moderate consumption through natural ingredients can promote and maintain blood pressure levels in healthy people.

Currently, there is evidence that taurine promotes protein synthesis , so it helps our body assimilate much better the proteins we consume. In addition, nutritional supplements based on taurine are widely used to enhance the development and growth of bones.

Its use to enhance attention

Another of its benefits is related to the effects it exerts on the neuromotor system, which helps the user to consume it. maintain a greater focus of attention , as well as a high performance intellectual and physical state. This makes it popular among students, even though it is normally consumed through energy drinks, with the consequent physical exhaustion.

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Harmful effects for the organism

As has been pointed out on several occasions, taurine is a substance that enjoys as much fame as it has controversial reactions and opinions. These debates revolve around the negative effects that synthetic bullfighting has on the organism.

Some investigations establish a relationship between this taurine made from chemical and artificial compounds with physical problems and conditions such as hypertension, strokes, pathologies and heart problems and seizures.

Due to the risk this poses to health, energy drinks with taurine have even been banned in some northern European countries, which have related to the death of some people who consume these beverages.


Nutraceuticals in TianChi (January 2022).


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