Toxicity and contraindications of taurine

Side effects and dangers of taurine supplements

Toxicity of taurine

Taurine supplements are regulated as food supplements, that is, they are not considered dangerous or toxic because this component is found naturally in many foods.

Although apparently it seems to have no toxic effects, it has been established that the safety limit of taurine is 3 grams per day. According to the regulation of this supplement, the recommended dose of taurine is over 500 mg and 2,000 mg taurine / day (effective dose found in the studies).

In some cases, the professional may consider that doses of up to 6 grams per day are necessary (Consult your doctor).

The recommended daily amount of taurine is far from the dose that could be considered toxic, therefore, everything seems to indicate that we should not worry about the toxicity of this supplement.

Are taurine drinks stimulating?

taurine
Taurine supplement

One of the main doubts about taurine drinks  is whether they can produce nervous overexcitation. The false idea that taurine is stimulating may be based on the advertising of certain energy drinks that incorporate taurine among its ingredients. Nothing is further from reality. Taurine acts in a similar way to the neurotransmitter GABA, favoring a state of well-being and tranquility. The stimulating components of these drinks are usually caffeine or sugar.

A list from the Austrian National Food Authority (1996) found that energy drinks contain between 300 and 4,000 mg / L of taurine, equivalent to the ingestion of 2,000 mg of taurine per day in case of taking a pint of these beverages. This would fall within the normal range of taurine, in which no adverse effects occur.

If you drink a lot of energy drink, what could be produced is the ingestion of an excessive amount of sugar, or suffer side effects of other ingredients, such as caffeine. Among the side effects of drinking a lot of this type of drink is diarrhea, vomiting, irritability and discomfort.

Can taurine cause adverse effects?

It has been proven that the doses of taurine supplementation of 2,000 mg are well tolerated without adverse effects.

What contraindications does taurine have?

There are no known contraindications to taurine. The possible contraindications that could have would be associated with other substances:

  • Taurine energy drinks may cause side effects due to the effect of over-intake of other ingredients.
  • In case of taking medications, these could slightly alter the absorption of taurine supplements, although in no case would a negative or harmful effect on the organism or drugs occur. It has been reported that chemotherapy drugs such as Cisplatin and Fluorouracil affect how the body absorbs taurine.
  • There is a documented case of a person with bipolar disorder who was hospitalized with symptoms of mania after consuming, for 4 days, several cans of an energy drink that contained taurine, caffeine, inositol, sugar and other ingredients. It is not known if this is related to taurine, to the other ingredients, or to the combination of all of them.
  • We describe another case of a bodybuilder with brain damage from taking 14 grams of taurine in combination with insulin and anabolic steroids. Probably this effect is due to the overdose of any of the three substances, being taurine the most harmless.

Do taurine supplements have contraindications?

There are no known contraindications to taurine supplements. It seems a safe substance since it is an amino acid naturally present in the natural foods themselves.

Taurine for pregnancy, babies and children

  • Taurine can be taken during pregnancy, but treatments are not recommended at this stage without your doctor’s supervision.
  • Babies and young children can take taurine. In fact, this component is naturally present in breast milk (it is the richest food in this component) and it is currently being discussed whether it would be appropriate to introduce it in formula milk or baby bottles.
Toxicity, contraindications and adverse effects of taurine
Main contraindications of taurine supplements. The adverse effects of energy drinks are probably not due to taurine, but to other components of the drink

Dangers of taurine supplements

Despite its apparent safety, the use of this type of supplements, which is sold without a prescription, is not exempt from significant dangers. The main problems or dangers that may result are:

  • Postpone proper treatment: Many people, at the first symptoms of a disease (such as blurred vision, tiredness, hair loss or lack of memory, etc.) use supplements without consulting a health professional. This may not be effective and also be dangerous, since postponing the appropriate treatment can complicate or slow down the subsequent recovery, depending on the disease.
  • False safety of supplements: There is a belief that supplements compensate for poor eating habits, sunbathing a lot , drinking alcohol, or any other toxic habit. Taurine supplements do not make up for anything, since the hormonal and physiological effect of an unhealthy lifestyle or diet is much more damaging than the limited benefits of supplementation. The first approach to health is a healthy diet, physical activity, sleep well, avoid stress and toxins. Without these basics, taking supplements is not doing health.
  • Economic contraindications: In some occasions, the strategy of using supplements can be counterproductive for our pockets. We must not forget that what really contributes taurine is a healthy diet with proteins, with whose consumption you can perfectly assume the requirements of taurine.

punto rojo More information on taurine

Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

4 July, 2019

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