Taurine is an amino acid that is prevalent throughout the human body; it flows through cardiovascular muscle, and permeates our tissues. While our bodies produce it, we need to get additional taurine from food sources for a number of reasons.
Research has connected taurine in the body to optimal heart health. It has been found to help protect against heart failure in animal studies, and is also linked to lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
On the subject, the authors of a 2008 study from the University of Manitoba wrote:
“There is a wealth of experimental information and some clinical evidence available in the literature suggesting that taurine could be of benefit in cardiovascular disease of different etiologies. However, double-blind long-term clinical trials need to be conducted before taurine can be unequivocally recommended as a nutritional intervention for the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease.”
While more research still needs to be performed overall, adequate levels of taurine in the body are also linked to improving insulin sensitivity and aiding in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. It may also help to protect hearing and immune system function, balance electrolytes and help prevent seizures.
The best food sources of taurine are cold-water fish, such as wild-caught salmon. Many meats also contain this amino acid, as well as certain forms of sea algae. When it comes to meat, always choose organic and grass fed , for optimal health.
Along with adding taurine-containing foods to your meals on a regular basis, some experts recommend that older individuals take a taurine supplement, as the body’s natural taurine production process often wanes with age.
If you are concerned with your taurine intake, make a point to talk to a nutritionist, or another health professional of your choice, about how much you should be getting for your individual health. Should you choose to supplement, make sure to do your research and purchase it from a source you trust.
-The Alternative Daily