How taurine deficiency can cause brain shrinkage, anxiety and depression
(NaturalHealth365) Although you may not have heard of taurine, a lack of this important amino acid could result in a whole host of serious health problems. Taurine has been linked to brain function, heart and kidney function, and mental wellness, among other health conditions.
Because symptoms are so broad, it’s possible to suffer from a taurine deficiency and not even realize it. But the toll it takes on your health will be noticeable. You could even be doing things, like consuming foods containing MSG, that reduce the amount of taurine available to your body.
Good reason why the body needs taurine
Taurine is an amino acid that your body can make from two other amino acids, cysteine and methionine. Low taurine levels have been found in patients suffering from a long list of conditions, including hypertension, anxiety, depression, gout, hypothyroidism, autism, obesity, kidney failure and infertility, among others.
Taurine plays a critical role in several of the body’s systems, including cardiac function, brain and nervous system and vision. Research also shows that taurine promotes new brain cell formation and restoration of aging brain cells.
But taurine plays additional roles as well. It works as an antioxidant, removing potentially damaging oxidizing agents. Taurine also plays a critical role in detoxifying the body. It aids in fat absorption and elimination of toxins, while also helping to eliminate cholesterol through bile.
The connection between taurine deficiency and chronic diseases
There are a number of symptoms that can signal a taurine deficiency, including feelings of anxiety, depression, insomnia, restlessness, migraines, insomnia, agitation, irritability, and obsessions. It’s quite possible to be suffering a taurine deficiency without even recognizing it.
You are also at greater risk if you are obese, a smoker or have heart disease. Low or high levels of iron in the blood can also be a signal of taurine deficiency. Certain medical conditions can set the stage for taurine deficiency as well. For example, if you suffer from candida or are infected with disease-producing anaerobic bacteria, you are more likely to be at risk.
When should I get tested for a taurine deficiency?
You may want to consider being tested for a taurine deficiency if you have any of the symptoms noted above. You may also want to consider being tested if you are under heavy physical demands, or if you suspect intestinal, immune system or liver problems.
Animal and fish protein, eggs and brewer’s yeast are some of the best dietary sources for ensuring adequate amounts of taurine. According to Dr. Leonard Smith, surgeon and expert in the use of nutrition and natural supplementation, the most accurate test for taurine is a whole blood test.
He suggests expectant mothers and breastfeeding mothers should also be tested. Taurine deficiency can be particularly risky for fetuses and newborns.
What are the best recommendations for supplementation? Dr. Smith notes that recommended supplemental dosages of taurine range from 500 mg to 6 g. Signs of toxicity from too much taurine are peptic ulcers and diarrhea.
The recommended dosage for adults is 13-16 mg. per 2.2 lbs. of bodyweight. Infants and small children need only take 27-58 mg. per 2.2 lbs. of body weight.
Keep in mind, certain health conditions will warrant different dosages. For example, if you suffer from heart disease, you will want to take 5 to 6 grams of a taurine supplement, divided into three dosages.