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Taurine

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

2-Aminoethanesulfonic acid; L-Taurine

Introduction

Taurine is a compound that is like an amino acid. It has been used to improve blood flow and athletic performance. Taurine has also been used to improve brain function and as an antioxidant to help slow damage to cells. It can be taken as a pill or powder.

Dosages

2 to 5 grams daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Heart failure —may ease symptoms and improve function D1-D3
  • Psychosis —may improve symptoms when used with standard treatment H1, H2
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa —may reduce the loss of visual field I1

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Low birth weight —unlikely to promote growth F1, F2

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take taurine in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

 

References

A. Athletic performance

A1. Waldron M, Patterson SD, et al. The effects of an oral taurine dose and supplementation period on endurance exercise performance in humans: a meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2018;48(5):1247-1253.

B. Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

B1. Islambulchilar M, Asvadi I, et al. Taurine attenuates chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Amino Acids. 2015 Jan;47(1):101-109.

B2. Islambulchilar M, Asvadi I, et al. Effect of taurine on attenuating chemotherapy-induced adverse effects in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Cancer Res Ther. 2015 Apr-Jun;11(2):426-432.

C. Chronic Hepatitis

C1. Hu YH, Lin CL, et al. Dietary amino acid taurine ameliorates liver injury in chronic hepatitis patients. Amino Acids. 2008 Aug;35(2):469-73. Epub 2007 Aug 10.

D. Heart Failure

D1. Azuma J, Sawamura A, et al. Therapeutic effect of taurine in congestive heart failure: a double-blind crossover trial. Clin Cardiol. 1985 May;8(5):276-282.

D2. Azuma J, Sawamura A, et al. Usefulness of taurine in chronic congestive heart failure and its prospective application. Jpn Circ J. 1992 Jan;56(1):95-99.

D3. Ahmadian M, Dabidi Roshan V, et al. Taurine Supplementation Improves Functional Capacity, Myocardial Oxygen Consumption, and Electrical Activity in Heart Failure. J Diet Suppl. 2017 Jul 4;14(4):422-432.

E. High blood pressure

E1. Sun Q, Wang B, et al. Taurine supplementation lowers blood pressure and improves vascular function in prehypertension: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Hypertension. 2016;67(3):541-549.

E2. Schwarzer R, Kivaranovic D, et al. Randomised clinical study: the effects of oral taurine 6g/day vs placebo on portal hypertension. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Jan;47(1):86-94.

F. Low Birth Weight

F1. Verner A, Craig S, et al. Effect of taurine supplementation on growth and development in preterm or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Oct 17;(4):CD006072.

F2. Cao SL, Jiang H, et al. Effects of Taurine Supplementation on Growth in Low Birth Weight Infants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Indian J Pediatr. 2018 Oct;85(10):855-860.

G. Obesity

G1. Zhang M, Bi LF, et al. Beneficial effects of taurine on serum lipids in overweight or obese non-diabetic subjects. Amino Acids. 2004 Jun;26(3):267-271.

H. Psychosis

H1. O’Donnell CP, Allott KA, et al. Adjunctive in first-episode psychosis: a phase 2, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2016;77(12):e1610-e1617.

H2. Firth J, Rosenbaum S, et al. Adjunctive nutrients in first-episode psychosis: A systematic review of efficacy, tolerability and neurobiological mechanisms. Early Interv Psychiatry. 2018 Oct;12(5):774-783.

I. Retinitis Pigmentosa

I1. Pasantes-Morales H, Quiroz H, et al. Treatment with taurine, diltiazem, and vitamin E retards the progressive visual field reduction in retinitis pigmentosa: a 3-year follow-up study. Metab Brain Dis. 2002 Sep;17(3):183-197.

J. Visual Fatigue

J1. Zhang M, Bi LF, et al. Effects of taurine supplementation on VDT work induced visual stress. Amino Acids. 2004 Feb;26(1):59-63.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 3/27/2020