Taurine for vegetarians

Taurine supplements for vegetarians and vegans

Do I have taurine deficiency if I am a vegetarian?

Consultation of a reader:

I would like to ask you about taurine. I do a lot of sport, I’m vegetarian almost vegan since I eat almost nothing of eggs and dairy. I have seen in your article about foods rich in taurine that this is only found in foods of animal origin. I feel good, but I have doubts about this. Can I have taurine deficiencies because I am a vegetarian? Should I supplement if I play sports? Are taurine supplements vegan? Thanks in advance.

Does a vegetarian diet have not taurine?

vegetable proteins
Vegetarian people must be aware that they need to combine plant-based foods to obtain high quality proteins

Indeed, taurine is one of the nine nutrients that can not be obtained from plant foods, like vitamin B12, creatine, carnosine, vitamin D3, heme iron, DHA and EPA.

Are vegetarians and vegans deficient in taurine?

Responding to your query, people do not have taurine deficits for following a vegetarian diet, because it can be made by the body itself from the proteins in the food. For this reason, in dietetics it is considered that taurine is not an essential component of the diet, that is, that you can live without eating taurine.

Risk of taurine deficits in vegetarianism

It is important to note that there are plant foods with a low protein content, or containing incomplete proteins, so it is advisable to ensure the supply of good quality protein through legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, natto, etc. . and other sources. Without enough protein, the body can not produce taurine.

On the other hand, it is clear that the ingestion of taurine, through foods of animal origin, could help maintain taurine levels in the body.

Perhaps for these reasons, some scientific studies have found significantly lower levels of taurine in vegetarians compared to the levels of people who eat foods containing taurine, such as meats, shellfish, fish, eggs and dairy products.

Are taurine supplements vegetarian?

There are taurine supplements suitable for vegetarians and vegans, since this amino acid can be produced in laboratories from chemical reactions. Therefore, it is not obtained from any animal. The label of this vegan product can be found on the label of this type of supplement.

Recommendations for vegetarianism

Because of the above, we do not recommend  you to take taurine supplements, but consume vegetal protein-rich foods that you can find in any healthy vegetarian diet.

On the other hand, it is important that you take vitamin B12 supplements, which could possibly be creating some deficiency in your body. This vitamin is essential to be taken in supplements in case of following vegetarian and vegan diets, and if not supplemented, can have serious consequences.

punto rojo More information on taurine

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

21 November, 2023

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