A visitor asked: What is Taurine and is it safe?
One of the energy drinks I regularly drink contains taurine. What is Taurine and is it safe? What is a toxic level? I am concerned because I take in 1000-2000 mg per day.
I will try to answer your questions.
What Is Taurine? Taurine is an amino acid. Taurine is found in fish, meat, and dairy. It is essential for efficient cardiovascular function, and for the development and function of skeletal muscle, the retina, and the central nervous system. It is a common component in energy drinks as you already mentioned but more on that later.
You may read on the internet that it is from bull semen, but that is incorrect. It was first isolated in 1827 from bull bile.
Is Taurine safe? Before I answer this question, let me say that it has benefits. Taurine serves as an antioxidant. It is also essential for the efficient function of bother cardiovascular and skeletal muscle. Also, it is present in your body, and you make it yourself. That being said, your energy drink contains a higher level of taurine than the tissues of your body.
Now to the question of safety. Research has shown that taurine has a safe level of supplemental intake in normal healthy adults at up to 3 g/day. Also, the European Food Safety Authority found is safe at doses up to 1,000 mg of taurine per kilogram of body weight per day.
The bottom line: Based on my research, taurine is unlikely to be a concern. I would be more concerned about the other ingredients such as Guarana. I will post more on that next week.
“EFSA Adopts Opinion on Two Ingredients Commonly Used in Some Energy Drinks.” European Food Safety Authority, February 12, 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20090216014217/http://efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_1211902328128.htm.
Shao, Andrew, and John N. Hathcock. “Risk Assessment for the Amino Acids Taurine, L-Glutamine and L-Arginine.” Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. Elsevier BV, April 2008. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2008.01.004
“Taurine – Wikipedia.” Wikipedia. Accessed July 13, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurine.