Taurine Deficiency

Most people would not need supplementation and even small children get enough of taurine from human milk, or infant formulas. The only groups that may be at risk of taurine deficiency are:

  • People on low protein diets
    People who are on low protein diets may become deficient not just in taurine but all of the amino acids (and especially the essential amino acids) if their protein intake is not sufficient.
  • Strict vegans and vegetarians
    Some really strict vegans and vegetarians may become deficient not just in taurine but all of the amino acids (and especially the essential amino acids) if they are not combining their foods correctly to get the correct balance of protein and amino acids.
  • People who excrete too much taurine
    Various health conditions cause an excessive excretion of taurine through the urine, which would increase the need for taurine and precipitate a deficiency in taurine. Some of the conditions that may cause this deficiency are: certain metabolic disorders, cardiac arrhythmia, problems with platelet formation, intestinal problems, candida overgrowth, physical or emotional stress and zinc deficiency.
  • People with diabetes
    Diabetes increases the body's requirement for taurine - studies even show that taurine can help to limit progression of diabetes and can reduce the symptoms of diabetes by helping with normalising insulin and blood glucose levels and reducing the risk of heart disease through taurine's antioxidant properties.
  • People who drink too much alcohol
    People who drink too much alcohol excrete a lot of urine, so they lose much of the taurine they may absorb in the food they eat.
Most people would not need supplementation and even small children get enough of taurine from human milk, or infant formulas, but deficiency can occur in some individuals

Taurine Deficiency Symptoms

Symptoms of taurine deficiency include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Growth retardation (in children)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impaired vision
  • Poor brain function
  • Problems with fat metabolism
  • Retinal degeneration

People with any of these symptoms should seek advice from their medical practitioner to determine if taurine supplementation is required.

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