What Is Taurine?

3D-model of Taurine (src)

Taurine, or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is an organic compound and a lesser-known amino acid. Taurine is naturally derived from cysteine.

Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid.

It means that the amino acid is essential for newborns, while adults can synthesize it.

But adults are still somewhat dependent on getting it from the diet.

Taurine has many biological roles.

Taurin, Both Essential And Not

Taurine is a sulfur amino acid.

It is a lesser-known amino acid because it is not incorporated into the structural building blocks of protein. (source )

Taurine is an essential amino acid in newborn infants. Adults can synthesize taurine, but it is still dependent on dietary taurine as the main source. (source )

Benefits Of Taurine

Taurine dietary intake is a major factor in eye health.

Taurine is found in high amounts in the eyes and is the most abundant amino acid in the retina. (source )

You can find more benefits of taurine in Taurine: 3 Research-Backed Benefits .

The Dark Side Of Taurine

In the past, taurine has been found to be beneficial to some people.

But the medical community has changed its mind about taurine.

This change was based on studies that showed taurine supplementation did not improve the health of patients with various disorders, like cystic fibrosis, cardiomyopathy, diabetes, and kidney disease.

Some of these studies even showed harm from taurine supplementation.

Taurine Needs Help From Other Nutrients

Taurine can be synthesized by the body from cysteine when vitamin B6 is present.

Cysteine and B6 are the nutrients most directly involved in taurine synthesis. (source )

The amino acids alanine and glutamic acid, as well as pantothenic acid, inhibit taurine metabolism. (source )

Where To Find Taurine?

High amounts of taurine are found in animal and fish protein, which are good sources of dietary taurine.

Some of the foods that contain taurine include milk, eggs, red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, soy products, and liver.

It is also found in breast milk. Deficiency of taurine can therefore occur in premature infants and neonates that have been fed formula milk. (source )

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.