Taurine: Much More Than Just an Amino Acid


Taurine: an ally for mental and physical health


Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) stands out as one of the most abundant amino acids in the brain, spinal cord, eyes, and virtually every tissue in the body.

Every region of your brain, including the retina of your eyes, contains or absorbs the amino acid taurine.

Although commonly found in energy drinks such as Red Bull, Rock Star, NOS, Amp, Full Throttle and Monster, taurine is found to be a safe addition to your nootropic stack, contrary to concerns often linked to caffeine in these drinks .

Rather than resorting to high-sugar energy drinks, a healthier alternative is to pair a taurine supplement with a cup of coffee or green tea for similar effects, but without the downsides.

In this review, we will explore in detail all the nootropic benefits provided by taurine supplementation.


Benefits of taurine:
  • Neurotransmitters: Taurine acts as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in your brain, activating GABA and glycine receptors, thereby affecting memory and mood and preventing seizures.
  • Neuroprotective: Taurine protects brain cells by reducing intracellular concentrations of free calcium (Ca2+). It acts as a powerful antioxidant, protects against mitochondrial dysfunction, modulates cellular energy metabolism, induces gene longevity, inhibits cellular stress associated with Alzheimer's disease, and acts as a "quality control" for brain cell health.
  • Neurogenesis: Taurine increases stem cells and progenitor cells (neural precursor cells) in your brain, including the aging hippocampus, and increases the survival of new neurons (neurogenesis).


Preview :

Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body, synthesized from methionine and cysteine.

Although some is synthesized naturally in the body, the rest of the taurine needed comes from eating foods such as seafood, meat, poultry and eggs.

Discovered in 1827 by German scientists Friedrich Tiedemann and Leopold Gmelin, taurine takes its name from the Latin "taurus", meaning bull or ox.

Taurine is found exclusively in foods of animal origin, putting vegans and vegetarians at risk of taurine deficiency.

Declining taurine levels with age could result from the body and brain aging, unable to provide enough precursors for taurine synthesis.

Taurine's distinctive structure makes it unusable in the body and brain's protein synthesis, but it offers a host of other benefits.

Studies show that taurine is essential for minimizing damage from Alzheimer's-associated beta-amyloid proteins, protecting against environmental toxins, preventing mitochondrial dysfunction, and supporting the GABA inhibitory system.

After extensive animal studies demonstrating the full benefits of taurine, Japanese scientists confirmed, using WHO data, that populations with the highest levels of taurine lived the longest.

Taurine is found to be essential for forming long-term memory, reducing brain inflammation, stimulating the growth of new neurons (neurogenesis), and protecting the brain from the damaging effects of stroke.


How does taurine work in the brain?

Taurine supports brain health and function in several ways, particularly in two areas.

1. Reduction of anxiety and depression: Studies show that taurine can help alleviate anxiety, depression by altering depression-related signaling cascades in the hippocampus.

  • A human study on 121 bipolar patients aged 18 to 25 demonstrated a reduction in manic episodes when supplementing with taurine.
  • Animal studies have shown that nootropic supplementation with taurine may contribute to clinical treatment of anxiety by modulating GABA and glycine receptors in the brain, preventing neurotoxicity and mitochondrial energy failure.

2. Anti-aging effect: Studies indicate a decline in taurine levels with age, and supplementation appears to slow the brain aging process.

  • Taurine protects brain cells against pesticides and heavy metals such as lead.
  • It prevents mitochondrial dysfunction and regulates calcium levels.
  • Taurine reduces inflammatory processes caused by excessive iron accumulation, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
  • It prevents damage to mitochondria caused by beta-amyloid by activating the SIRT 1 gene, helping to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Taurine also plays a vital role in the creation of new brain cells (neurogenesis), activating dormant stem cells in the brain and increasing the survival of new neurons, resulting in an increase in adult brain cells.


Risks linked to taurine deficiency:

Some levels of taurine are produced in the body from methionine and cysteine, but the rest must come from diet. Vegans and vegetarians, as well as people with diseases such as diabetes, cancer, liver, kidney or heart disease, may be at risk of taurine deficiency.

Taurine deficiency can lead to reduced GABA, promoting anxiety and depression, vision problems, oxidative stress destroying neurons and synapses in the central nervous system, insulin resistance, and decreased taurine. brain-derived neurotrophic (BDNF).

Taurine is one of the cheapest nootropic supplements available. If you have any doubt about your taurine intake, it is recommended that you add it to your nootropic stack.


Benefits of Taurine for Anxiety:

Taurine, although the most abundant amino acid you've ever heard of, might be the secret factor behind the world's longest-living populations.

Studies show that taurine is essential for normal human brain development, prevents mitochondrial dysfunction in brain cells, supports GABA in the brain preventing neurotoxicity and stress, reduces inflammation that can lead to Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, stimulates neurogenesis which is anti-aging, protects brain cells from damage caused by stroke, prevents damage due to beta-amyloid which can lead to Alzheimer's disease, protects brain cells against heavy metals and pesticides, and is necessary along with NMDA and dopamine receptors for the long-term potentiation necessary for long-term memory formation.

And that’s just about the effects of taurine on the brain. This essential amino acid may also restore insulin sensitivity, alleviate diabetes-related complications, reverse symptoms of heart disease, prevent and treat fatty liver disease, and alleviate tinnitus.

If you want to live a longer, healthier, more active life, consider adding taurine to your nootropic stack.


What are the effects of taurine?

Nootropic users report that supplementing with taurine is a simple way to support energy levels.

Sleep is improved, and taurine may be a safe alternative to prescription medications for sleep.

Most people using taurine report clearer vision, reduced muscle pain, less depression, and no insulin resistance.

Some report that adding taurine to their nootropic stack has helped relieve chronic fatigue syndrome.

Taurine supplementation can reduce blood pressure and is effective in reducing the occurrence of atrial fibrillation.

If you have problems after consuming foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG), taurine can help eliminate headaches and nausea.


Clinical research on taurine:


Taurine for autism:
Autism spectrum disorder is associated with oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Thus, oxidative stress could be a target potential for therapeutic intervention in autism.

Taurine is a well-known antioxidant and regulator of inflammation. Researchers in New York tested 66 children aged 1.5 to 11.5 years old, diagnosed with autism. Controls for this study were the children's healthy siblings and parents.

The study found that 21 of 66 autistic children had low taurine concentrations. The researchers concluded that the data suggested that taurine may be a valid biomarker for at least some autistic people.


Taurine for ADHD:
Studies have shown low dopamine uptake in the prefrontal cortex and striatum segments of the ADHD brain.

A very recent study carried out in Taiwan

revealed that high doses of taurine calmed hyperactive behavior and brain signaling in rats with ADHD.

Taurine significantly affected dopamine transporter levels, dopamine uptake, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression.

Additionally, a growing body of research in the field of ADHD research also suggests a strong relationship between inflammation and ADHD.

Elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1 and C-reactive protein are found to be diagnostic markers of ADHD. These cytokines induce changes in dopamine and norepinephrine in the prefrontal cortex.

A recent study in Taiwan showed that high doses of taurine significantly reduced interleukin (IL)-1 and C-reactive protein, thereby reducing hyperactive behavior.


Taurine for OCD:
Studies show that OCD patients have increased glutamate activity and decreased GABA in the brain. And it could be genetic.

A specific gene (SLC1A1) codes for transporters removing excess glutamate from synapses and stimulating GABA production. If you don't have this gene, you will have problems with glutamate and GABA and may have symptoms of OCD.

GABA plays a vital role in regulating excitability in the neural networks in your brain. Taurine has been proven to activate GABA receptors and even boost GABA levels in your brain, helping to reduce OCD symptoms.


Taurine for epilepsy:
Read taurine supplement reviews, and every once in a while you'll see someone mention that regular use of taurine reduces the severity and number of seizures they experience.

Imbalances between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters appear to be the mechanism of epileptic seizures. And taurine serves as an inhibitory neuromodulator.

GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain. Thus, GABA regulation plays a major role in preventing excitability and seizures.

Taurine is a GABAA receptor agonist. High doses of taurine activate this receptor as well as the glycine receptor, both of which suppress neuronal firing.

Several clinical studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of using taurine to control epilepsy. Reviews are mixed, as only about 1/3 of patients respond favorably to taurine therapy. So, if you've tried everything else without much success, you might want to try taurine.


Recommended dosage of taurine as a nootropic:

The recommended dosage of taurine as a nootropic supplement is 500 mg to 2 g per day.

The safe upper limit for taurine is 3 g per day.

Rather than getting your taurine from an energy drink, try a taurine supplement with a cup of coffee or tea, as well as a high-quality B-complex supplement, for similar benefits without the drawbacks.

Taurine is quickly absorbed and used in your body and brain. However, studies show that a single dose does not provide much felt benefit. Continuous, daily, long-term use of taurine as a nootropic builds and maintains adequate levels of taurine in your system.

With few exceptions, high doses of taurine are well tolerated without significant side effects.


Side effects of taurine:

The effects of taurine are well tolerated and safe for most people, usually causing no side effects.

It is recommended to avoid high doses of taurine if you have bipolar disorder, as it may make your symptoms worse.


Type of taurine supplements to purchase:

Taurine is available in capsule and powder form.

Taurine capsules are usually dosed at 500 or 1000 mg each.

It is not recommended to seek to obtain your taurine from energy drinks, as the dose is too low to benefit from a nootropic effect, and they are high in sugar, caffeine and other unhealthful ingredients.

How do you rate this article?


Esprit érudit touche-à-tout
Esprit érudit touche-à-tout

Passionate explorer of knowledge, constantly diving into a multitude of fields, eager to learn and share his discoveries.


French biohacking which seeks to develop/popularize biohacking in France. Promotes knowledge. Become your own version 2.0.

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.