Taurine has appeared in my periphery everywhere this month and after stopping to take a deeper look, it really has become my new favourite “Little Black Dress” when it comes to targeted health for women.
That is to say, while it’s nice to frock up in a new outfit every now and again, you have to love that perfect little number you go back to time and time again that covers all bases…
- Taurine can be made from two other amino acids, cysteine and methionine. But to get the doses you really need, you need to supplement (around 3-4g p/d).
- It is found almost everywhere in your body, including your liver, kidneys, brain, bones and heart.
It is essential and covers all bases
- Whilst a “non-essential” amino acid (meaning it can be made from other amino acids in the body), it is “essential” in its functions within the body over multiple systems. It is important for liver and bile detoxification, stabilization of cell membranes, regulating fluid within the body, effective absorption of magnesium and calcium and may improve stress and anxiety levels via production of GABA, our brain’s calming neurotransmitter.
- It has useful applications in heart disease, high cholesterol, eye health, liver disease, fatty liver or overuse of alcohol, brain protection as we age and Alzheimer’s disease.
It covers day to evening (or younger to older)
- So as we age from our 20s to 40s and beyond, our ability to process taurine diminishes. And if we suffer from conditions like diabetes, liver or kidney issues, heart disease or cancer, our taurine levels drop even further.
- Just like the humble Vitamin D, it’s impacted by our sex hormones, particularly estradiol.
- Estradiol reduces the creation of taurine in the liver and plasma levels are around 10% lower in women than men, so as sexy, oestrogen-lovin’ women, we need to ensure we’re also loved up on taurine.
You need to supplement with taurine if …
You’re vegan or vegetarian
- It is virtually absent in most plant foods.
- In a male study (I know I know, it’s all I’ve got!) of strict vegetarians (vegan), taurine plasma levels were 22% lower than non-vegetarians.
- Main food sources include: fish, dairy, beef, pork, lamb, eggs and sea vegetables.
You take the Pill, hormonal contraception, HRT or are “oestrogen dominant”
- Because oestrogen reduces production of taurine, if you’re a high-oestrogen woman with endometriosis or adenomyosis, PCOS, heavy periods, histamine intolerance or hormonal migraines etc. or are on birth control or HRT (synthetic oestrogen), then you will more than likely need a boost.
You are anaemic and/or have heavy periods
- Taurine may increase your ability to absorb iron if you suffer from iron deficiency anaemia, frequently caused by heavy periods/flooding.
You’re peri-menopausal or through menopause
- Maintaining bone density and preventing its loss is essential as our hormone levels decline. Taurine is essential for both stimulating bone growth and preventing bone loss.
You suffer from anxiety
- Taurine may increase levels of GABA, the brain’s calming neurotransmitter, whilst counteracting the effects of the stimulatory neurotransmitters.
You’re trying to fall pregnant
- Taurine may be necessary for the development of the embryo before implantation has taken place.
- Whilst it is found in high quantities in breast milk, if deficient prenatally, levels may be impacted.
- It is important in baby’s brain development, especially in premi-babies.
You experience thrush (candida)
- Animal studies have suggested that candida may lower levels.
You have high cholesterol
- It may lower cholesterol levels.
You have suffered from, or are at risk of, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or stroke
Taurine is an effective agent for the treatment of heart failure without any adverse effects
Azuma J, Takihara K, Awata N, et al. Taurine and failing heart: experimental and clinical aspects. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1985;179:195-213.
You have diabetes or gestational diabetes
- Taurine plays a role in insulin and blood glucose regulation and have been found to be lower in women with gestational diabetes and insulin-dependent diabetes.
You have gallstones
- Taurine is needed to make bile acids which keep stone-forming bile salts in check.
My favourite way to supplement is a 3g daily dose with magnesium and methylated B-vitamins in an all-in-one formula.
Our specific needs as women for taurine are far-reaching. Ensuring abundance of this masterful amino acid can help us stay calm, healthy and fully in our power, no LBD required.