I would not have thought of taurine as a brain helper. But guess what, it is! You may have seen it in the ingredient lists in energy drinks and supplements. It has been marketed as a workout supplement as it’s an amino acid. Well, it does give you energy and helps build muscle but it also gives your brain energy. And even protects it.
I started using taurine powder about three weeks ago and wow! I love the energy it gives me. Not like caffeine at all. Just a baseline energy boost to get through the day. I also feel it helps make me more ‘clear-headed’. Not that I was foggy, but I definitely feel a difference with taurine. So let’s talk about taurine and the brain.
Taurine is a sulphur amino acid. It can be synthesized in the liver but as we age, we don’t make as much. It is critical for brain development in the fetus and newborns and scientists are now finding that it helps reduce further damage in the brain after a stroke. Some say it can even prevent stroke! They are even suspecting that taurine acts like a neurotransmitter but they have limited imaging capabilities to find the receptors for taurine in the brain. There are a lot of ‘knowns’ though so let’s get into it.
Anti-Neuroinflammatory Effects of Taurine
Taurine has shown it reduces inflammation in the brain and even reduces swelling after brain injury or stroke. Jakaria et. al (2019) studied the effects of taurine on the brain and found it is very effective in reducing the effects of brain injury but also reversing brain injury severity by reducing swelling and reducing inflammatory cytokines. The study also showed it increased functional recovery after traumatic brain injury. This is big. It may even help prevent stroke.
Taurine Induces New Brain Cell Growth
Brain cells are grown from stem cells in the brain and taurine actually promotes their growth and turning them into functioning brain cells. Neurogenesis is its name. New brain cells are its game. So not only does it help with infant brain growth, it helps adults as well. Speaking of infants, colostrum, the precursor to human milk, is loaded with taurine.
In addition, a recent study shows taurine has anti-depressant properties, possibly because of its regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and growth of new neurons in the hippocampus (Jakaria et. al, 2019).
Several studies have noted the decrease in amyloid plaques and malfunctioning tau proteins in Alzheimer’s and dementia with the addition of taurine in the diet. These are malformed and toxic proteins (Life Extension Magazine, 2016) that accumulate in the brain and choke off the connections in the brain, one of the causes of neurodegenerative diseases. In a study with mice, taurine not only reduced the plaques but also restored their cognitive abilities as compared with normal mice. But it is known taurine has a positive impact on beta amyloid and tau proteins in humans.
In addition, taurine seems to help blood sugar levels, another possible cause of neurodegenerative diseases. It works with the insulin receptors in the brain. It is even being researched as an anti-diabetic compound. All in all, it’s amazingly great for protecting our brains.
Protection from Toxins
Environmental toxins play a role in congenital brain defects but also in neurodegenerative diseases as well. Lead, arsenic, and pesticides, among many other toxins have found their way into some water sources and in our soil. Taurine seems to play a role in protecting not only our brains, but our bodies against toxins. It actually plays a big role in immune system function.
Anti-Aging Factors of Taurine
Taurine is involved in genetic changes which affect how fast we age but even how long we live. Taurine depletion is shown to shorten lifespan and also speed up other side effects of aging like musculoskeletal problems. So guess what? There is a fountain of youth. Taurine can actually reverse brain damage and brain aging.
And Even More Health Effects
Taurine is found in higher concentrations in the brain, heart, retina and placenta, although it is found throughout the body. General health effects of taurine are heart and cardiovascular health, eye health and is also found to help with diabetic neuropathy. It seems that the organs that are most affected by taurine are those of greatest concern and risk for diabetics.
Taurine for Brain Health – Where We Are Now
I’m so glad you read about taurine and can try it. It’s amazing for brain health. I think it is so new to the brain world that it hasn’t gotten traction yet. But it will. And now you know many of the brain benefits of taurine. With all the benefits of taurine for brain health, but also health in general, you’ll want to make sure you are getting enough.
I don’t recommend energy drinks as they have other ingredients that may or may not be good for you. Sugar is definitely not good for your brain, especially in large quantities.
In the diet, taurine is mostly found in meats and fish. So if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you are probably not getting enough. Recommended dosage for adults is 500mg to 3 grams a day. I’m including some links to get you started. I really like the powders. I have tried a capsule form but I just don’t think it’s as effective.
Don’t wait to start supplementing taurine today. You will thank me later. It makes you feel great and even helps your mood. Start reversing your brain’s age now…
Thank you for reading about taurine today. If you have any comments, questions, or experience with taurine, please leave them in the Comments section below. Thank you!
Jakaria, M., Azam, S., Haque, M., Song-Hee, J., Uddin, S., Kim, I., Choi, D. (2019). Taurine and it’s analogs in neurological disorders: Focus on therapeutic potential and molecular mechanisms. Retrieved January 25, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536745/#__ffn_sectitle
Life Extension Magazine. (2016). Taurine: Powerful Brain Protection. Retrieved January 25, 2020 from https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/12/Taurine-and-Brain-Health/