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Taurine is an amino acid naturally produced by the liver and is important for the development and balance of central nervous system functions, immunity, vision and fertility.
In addition, taurine also has antioxidant, hypoglycemic and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to lower cholesterol levels, control high blood pressure, prevent cancer and detoxify the liver.
Taurine can be found in some foods, such as fish, chicken, turkey, red meat or seafood. However, supplementation can be recommended in cases of deficiency, and can be found in food supplement stores or pharmacies, in the form of capsules or powder for oral ingestion.
Excessive consumption of taurine can cause symptoms such as headache, diarrhea or stomach pain. Therefore, it is recommended to go through a consultation with a doctor or nutritionist before starting to use the supplement.
The main indications of taurine for he alth include:
1. Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides
Taurine helps in the production of bile s alts, which are compounds that aid in the digestion and absorption of dietary fat and contribute to the elimination of cholesterol through the faeces, thus decreasing blood cholesterol levels.
By having an antioxidant effect, taurine also protects fat cells against the action of free radicals, preventing oxidation and increased levels of total and LDL cholesterol in the blood, preventing diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack or stroke.
2. Help control diabetes
Taurine improves the action of insulin, a hormone responsible for controlling blood glucose levels, helping to control diabetes.
In addition, taurine has an antioxidant function, improving the function of the pancreas, the organ responsible for insulin production, promoting the balance of hormone levels in the blood and improving glucose absorption. Discover other foods that are sources of antioxidants that help control diabetes.
3. Treating and preventing eye disease
Taurine is present in good amounts in the eyes and supplementation with the amino acid has shown positive effects in the treatment of degenerative eye diseases.
Taurine also has an antioxidant effect, helping to protect retinal cells, preventing and aiding in the treatment of diseases that can lead to blindness, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
4. Control high blood pressure
Taurine helps control high blood pressure, as it inhibits angiotensin II, a peptide that promotes water retention in the body, favoring an increase in blood pressure.
In addition, taurine has vaso-relaxing properties, facilitating blood circulation in the arteries and preventing high blood pressure. See other natural ways to control high blood pressure.
5. Strengthen the liver
As it has an antioxidant effect, taurine strengthens the liver, helping to treat hepatitis and facilitating the elimination of toxins and heavy metals, such as mercury, through feces, sweat and urine, detoxifying the body.
Taurine also protects the liver against damage caused by free radicals caused by long-term use of certain medications.
6. Prevent against cancer
Taurine has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, strengthening the immune system and preventing some types of cancer.
In addition, taurine also helps fight free radicals, which in excess are toxic and can cause damage to he althy cells in the body, favoring the emergence of cancer.
List of foods rich in taurine
The main foods rich in taurine are those of animal origin, including:
- Seafood, such as clams, scallops, squid or oysters;
- Milk and dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese;
- Poultry, such as chicken and turkey;
The body produces taurine in adequate amounts, so it is not necessary to consume foods rich in the amino acid.
However, in cases of taurine deficiency, which can be caused by liver disease, kidney problems, or increased nutritional needs, as in the case of pregnancy, supplementation with taurine may be recommended.
The recommended amount of taurine supplement varies according to age, weight and dietary habits. However, the usual supplement recommendation is between 500 mg to 3000 mg per day.
It is important to remember that before starting taurine supplementation, it is advisable to consult a doctor or nutritionist to assess the general state of he alth and indicate the appropriate amount of supplement.
Possible side effects
Although it is considered a safe supplement, consumption of high doses of taurine can cause some symptoms, such as headache, diarrhea or stomach pain.