A healthy result should fall into the range 29 - 136 µmol/L.

Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid required for bile formation.

How is taurine made?

It is normally made by the body from cysteine, the conversion requiring B6.

What are the functions of taurine?

  • It serves to control neurotransmitters and metabolic function.
  • Taurine is important for proper heart function, healthy sleep and promoting calmness.
  • Taurine is an antioxidant that also plays a role in brain chemistry.
  • It can improve symptoms of depression, stimulate insulin release, and enhance cholesterol excretion.
  • Taurine is used to treat heart disease, hypertension, and epilepsy.

Taurine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in neuromodulatory and neuroprotective actions.

Supplementing with taurine can have a specific effect on GABA function. There are two primary ways in which taurine affects GABA:

  • First, it can inhibit GABA transaminase, an enzyme that metabolizes GABA. This allows GABA to stay in the synaptic cleft longer to bind to the postsynaptic receptor.
  • Second, taurine can bind to the GABAA receptor (GABAAR) mimicking the effects of GABA.

By helping GABA function, taurine is an important neuromodulator for the prevention of Excitotoxicity (=pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged or killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitters such as glutamate and similar substances.)

Therefore, taurine and GABA constitute an important protective mechanism against excessive excitatory amino acids. Similarly, taurine is increased in response to the exposure of free radicals elucidating its neuroprotective actions. Exposure to free radicals increases glutamate excretion, further potentiation NMDA receptor activation. Taurine modulates this effect to prevent cell excitability by keeping the cell hyperpolarized.
 

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