Thursday, August 5, 2010

Taurine Content of Selected Foods: Taurine Deficiency Very Unlikely on a Normal Diet

From the reactions to the latest courses on taurine (thx Metabolic Alchemy) I concluded it would be nice to have some insight into natural sources of the sulfur-amino acid. It is however important to note that under normal conditions  man is also able to produce sufficient levels of taurine (2-aminoethane sulfonic acid) from methionine and cysteine. Other than cats we are thus not dependent on exogenous consumption of taurine if our diet does not lack the aforementioned essential amino acids (EAAs). In view of the many beneficial effects (hypoglycaemic, important for testosterone production, anti-oxidant, etc.) ascribed to taurine the consumption of taurine-rich foods (cf. table below) might benefit overall health and/or specific medical conditions such has diabetes or high blood pressure.
Food Amount Taurine (mg)
Cheese 3 ounces 1000
Cheese,cottage 1 cup 1700
Milk,whole 1 cup 400
Yogurt 1 cup 400
Wild game 3 ounces 600
Pork 3 ounces 540
Granola 1 cup 650
Oatmeal flakes 1 cup 500
Chocolate 1 cup 400
Meat (luncheon) 1 cup 390
Wheat germ,toasted 1/4 cup 350
Egg 1 (medium size) 350
Turkey 3 ounces 240
Duck 3 ounces 240
Chicken 3 ounces 185
Sausage 3 ounces 185
Avocado 1/2 (medium) 75
Table 1:Taurine content of selected foodstuff (USDA Handbook Number 8)

In view of these figures it is highly unlikely that you must fear testicular malfunction from improper taurine levels on a normal diet. This does not say that additional supplementation may not be beneficial for blood pressure, blood glucose and other factors associated with the metabolic syndrome or other conditions such as
  • chemotherapy
  • trauma / surgery
  • sepsis
  • total parenteral nutrition
which are commonly associated with taurine deficiency.

Going overboard on taurine supplementation, on the other hand, has anecdotally been linked to tiredness, drowsiness and a general feeling of weekness. While the exact mechanism of action related to this symptoms has not been investigated yet, studies suggest that the GABA-mediated inhibitory effect taurine has on the brain may be responsible for these side effects.

4 comments:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21820420

    Goji berries are a source of taurine!

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  2. all well and good if your diet consist of meat etc but what if you are sensitive to gluten and the body is lactose intolerant?

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    Replies
    1. Then you can always supplement. Taurine in bulk is not expensive.

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    2. There are numerous articles stating that cooking markedly decreases taurine in foods.

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