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Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid produced in the body from the amino acids methionine and cysteine. It helps regulate the functioning of the nervous system and muscles and plays an important role in maintaining good brain and heart health. Measurement of taurine is included in the Amino Acids, Plasma and Amino Acids, Urine tests along with 23 other amino acids.

Taurine (Tau) helps transport potassium, magnesium, and sodium across cell membranes, three components that are essential for brain and heart function. Taurine is known to provide neurotransmitter support and have a protective effect on the brain. Some studies have shown that L-taurine supplementation can help strengthen the myocardium and thus help regulate blood pressure and prevent heart failure and arrhythmias.

Because taurine plays an important role in muscle maintenance, it is believed that taurine supplementation may be beneficial for athletes. One study showed that taurine deficiency leads to a decrease in nitric oxide production, which in turn causes a decrease in the blood (and oxygen) flow to the muscles.

Taurine is also important for the body's fat metabolism. It is an essential component of bile and is required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and for the regulation of serum cholesterol levels and may also be involved in the regulation of insulin in the body. Taurine appears to provide the body with antioxidant protection, as some studies have shown that it protects the eyes by reducing oxidative damage caused by sunlight and stimulates the immune system. Taurine has also been suggested as a potential treatment for epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, alcoholism, cystic fibrosis, and Alzheimer's disease.

Taurine is found in eggs, fish, meat, and milk. There is no official recommended daily intake amount for taurine. Adults can produce taurine, but because newborns cannot synthesize it on their own, they must obtain it from external sources.

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