Magazine, Molecules

What is taurine?

What is taurine supplement

Taurine is an amino acid that is known as an ingredient in energy drinks. It is said to have stimulating and life-prolonging properties. But is this really true? In this article, we take a look at the scientific background to taurine and show you why taurine as a supplement can improve athletic performance and have a positive effect on the Hallmarks of Aging.

We also take a closer look at a study from the renowned magazine Science from 2023, when Red Bull and co. were suddenly on everyone's lips. The researchers were able to show that taurine supplementation in mice extended their lives and made the animals age more healthily.

What is taurine?

Before we get into the current research on taurine, let's first clarify what taurine actually is - namely an amino acid. Put simply, amino acids are the basic building blocks for proteins in our body - but they also have other functions and can also act as neurotransmitters, for example. A distinction is made between proteinogenic and non-proteinogenic amino acids. The first group consists of 20 different amino acids whose "code" is in our DNA. This means that the blueprint for a vast number of proteins is hidden in our DNA, all of which consist of a sequence of proteinogenic amino acids.

Taurine does not belong to this group. There is therefore no code on the DNA that directly provides us with the taurine molecule. Nevertheless, we find the molecule in various parts of our body. It is contained in large quantities in our retina, the retina, as well as in the heart, brain and muscles.

Did you know? Cats cannot produce taurine themselves. They are dependent on the supply in their food. For this reason, cat food always contains a certain amount of it. Mice, on the other hand, are not so dependent on dietary taurine.

How does taurine work?

We'll go into a little more detail about each aspect later, but first of all, here's an overview of the diverse effects of taurine in our body:

  • it is central to the metabolism of bile, especially in the digestion of fats
  • Taurine supports the development and function of both the nervous system and the eyes
  • it provides antioxidant properties
  • it has a calming effect and can increase the neurotransmitter GABA
  • Taurine appears to possess anti-inflammatory properties
  • can help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Taurine has the potential to slow down the aging process in animal studies
Taurine Energy Drink Redbull Longevity
The amino acid taurine is mainly used in energy drinks.

Where is taurine found?

Most people know taurine as an ingredient in energy drinks due to its energy-boosting properties. In Europe, up to 4g per litre may be added. In addition , taurine is found in many animal products, from meat, fish and cheese to eggs. Plant-based foods contain only small amounts. You can find a more detailed overview, including a table, in our article on taurine in food.

If we do not ingest taurine with food, our body has the ability to produce the molecule itself. This mainly takes place in the liver via a multi-stage process, which starts with the sulphur-containing amino acid cysteine. Via several intermediate steps, which include NAD+ we obtain taurine.

We excrete excess taurine via the kidneys and urine.

In research – what effect does taurine have in our body?

Taurine has been the subject of research for some time. It was previously known that our taurine level in the blood decreases with age. And quite dramatically so. In one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject, researchers were able to establish that levels fall not only in mice and monkeys, but also in humans. And by as much as 80%!

So what effect do these low levels have on health? To investigate this complex question, scientists have examined several approaches. As always with such questions, it is not so easy to find a clear answer, as a large number of metabolic and signaling pathways change as we age. Taurine certainly appears to be one of them.

The researchers took a closer look at large data sets and found a link between taurine blood levels and various age-related diseases in humans. In nearly 12,000 people, low taurine levels were associated with an increased incidence of diabetes, increased inflammation, poorer liver function and a higher BMI. These are purely observational, but it suggests that sufficiently high taurine levels are beneficial for a healthy life.

Did you know? Another highly interesting molecule that is currently being intensively researched for its life-prolonging effect is alphaketoglutarate. Studies have already been carried out on humans. Demidenko and colleagues examined the daily intake of AKG and measured the molecular rejuvenation of the test subjects with the help of an epigenetic analysis. It was striking that all test subjects became measurably younger. On average, the test subjects were able to reduce their molecular age by 7 years!

Caakg Capsules Banner
The combination with calcium provides better AKG bioavailability in the organism.

Taurine and sport - which comes first?

Taurine supplementation in athletes has been investigated in several studies. In a meta-analysis, researchers found that the molecule improves sports performance by probably reducing oxidative stress.

Depending on the study, the test subjects consumed 1-6g of taurine. This seemed to increase endurance performance in particular. One explanation for this is the effect of taurine on the cellular supply of water. The amino acid binds water, which is an advantage in sports, among other things, in order to achieve top performance.

So the amino acid seems to help with sports performance, but what about the other way around? What effect does exercise have on taurine levels? Here, the scientists were able to show that exercise raises the level in the blood. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the greater supply of amino acids is one of the ways in which exercise has a positive effect on our health.

Fitness Training Taurine Supplement
Taurine is a particularly popular supplement in weight training circles for improving performance.

Supplementation for the heart – a long history

If we look beyond the European border, taurine has a tradition of medical use. In Japan, a clinical study found that supplementation can be useful for people after a heart attack. For this reason, taurine was given in Japan in 1985 in addition to normal medication after a heart attack. In the study, those affected had better heart function as a result of taking taurine.

Recent studies confirm these results - at least in part - and provide a possible explanation. Taurine strengthens the mitochondria and our heart cells need a lot of these power plants. Up to 30% of all heart cells are made up of mitochondria and their loss is one of the reasons for a "weaker" heart in old age.

As if that were not enough, taurine appears to regulate inflammation markers, such as CRP, downwards. This anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic (i.e. against vascular calcification) effect makes the amino acid popular for the aftercare of heart attacks.

Taurine and the psyche - mental focus thanks to the amino acid?

Another popular effect of taurine is its ability to increase mental focus. At least this is what the manufacturers of energy drinks like to claim, but is it really true?

Did you know? Although taurine is often advertised as an "energy booster" in many energy drinks, it is not a direct stimulant like caffeine, for example. Rather, it acts on our physiology by modulating neurotransmitters such as gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) or by stabilizing cell membranes in the heart. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that suppresses signals. Taurine alone therefore does not "push" at all. However, in combination with caffeine and the sugar in energy drinks, the amino acid can intensify the effects of caffeine, leading to side effects such as a racing heart, high blood pressure or restlessness.

Isolated from these - generally very unhealthy - drinks, taurine has quite the opposite effect. Isolated (without caffeine) it can even improve sleep as it promotes GABA activity!

Some studies have also attributed a neuroprotective effect to taurine, mainly due to its antioxidant properties. However, the data here is not yet really clear. The level in our brain appears to increase under stress and some neurological diseases, such as epilepsy or autism, are also associated with a disruption of the taurine balance. Further studies are needed here to provide more clarity.


Taurine as an aid for autism?

In some blog articles, taurine is often presented as an all-rounder. It is also said to help with anxiety disorders and depression. However, the study situation here is very thin, as mainly animal studies are used. Hypothetically, the molecule may have an effect, but apart from anecdotal evidence, there is no scientific basis for this.

The situation is similar for taurine and autism spectrum disorder. A study has shown that children with autism spectrum disorder have lower taurine levels. The explanation behind this is that autism spectrum disorder causes more oxidative stress in the brain and the amino acid is therefore broken down to a greater extent. For this reason, the researchers suspected a possible positive effect of taurine supplementation, although this has not yet been scientifically proven.

There is a similar hypothesis for carnosine and autism spectrum disorder. However, there is at least one small study that supports this assumption.

Did you know? Magnesium taurate is produced when magnesium is combined with the amino acid taurine. This special form combines the advantages of both substances. Magnesium deficiency is also associated with some age-related diseases. The combination of the two molecules not only increases the bioavailability of magnesium, but also combines the potential health benefits. The powerful duo is therefore also contained in MoleQlar ONE. Here, 13 molecules come together to simultaneously combat all the molecular hallmarks of ageing.

What is Moleqlar One Daily Longevity Complex
MoleQlar ONE combines 13 qualified longevity molecules and a harmonious lemon flavor. Together, the ingredients cover all the molecular characteristics of ageing.


Cataract, also known as cataract, is the clouding of our lens. Cataracts are responsible for almost 40% of all blindness worldwide. One of the main reasons why the lens becomes cloudy with age is the increasing oxidative stress, or to put it more precisely, our buffer systems against free radicals deteriorate. One of our most important helpers is glutathione. We have explained its exact role in our article on GlyNAC.

The concentration of glutathione appears to decrease with age, as does the concentration of taurine. Taurine is contained in large quantities in the lens and it is assumed that a loss of this amino acid leads to clouding of the lens. However, how exactly this can be reversed has not (yet) been researched.

The life-prolonging effect in animals

The study, published in the renowned journal Science, examined two populations of mice. One half of the mice were given additional taurine mixed into their food, while the other group was given nothing. This showed a significant difference in lifespan. Even more exciting was that the mice were also significantly healthier. They had stronger bones, muscles and a stronger immune system. They were thinner, had better liver and pancreas function and more energy than the comparison group. They also performed better in cognitive tests.

In addition to the study on mice, the life-prolonging effect of taurine has also been proven in monkeys. Based on their results, the researchers assume that taurine has a positive effect on several of the hallmarks of ageing. For example, it reduced cellular senescence, protected against excessive telomere de gradation and reduced inflammatory processes.

How much taurine can I take?

Studies have used amounts between 500mg and 6g of taurine per day . In general, the European Food Safety Authority recommends a maximum daily dose of 6g or 100mg per kg body weight. You should be careful if you consume taurine in the form of energy drinks, as they often contain very high amounts of caffeine and sugar . About 3g daily is considered healthy and harmless. Higher doses may cause stomach discomfort and drowsiness.

Taurine deficiency – how can I compensate for it?

First of all, relatively little is known about taurine deficiency in research. Vegans and vegetarians are at greater risk because the sources of taurine in food tend to be animal-based.

If you want to replace taurine due to its effects, dietary supplements are a good option. Here, taurine is usually offered in capsules as L-taurine. Alternatively, taurine is also available in powder form. The L in L-taurine refers to the isomer form of the molecule that is best absorbed by our body.

Taurine dietary supplements in humans – useful or pointless?

It is safe to say that supplementation can be useful for athletes if they want to improve their athletic performance. However, you should pay attention to the interactions with caffeine and other stimulants.

Further research is needed into the possible effects of taurine on longevity. One of the questions is why our levels become lower with age and how we can counteract this. Is supplementation enough? Is it perhaps due to deteriorating kidney function that our taurine levels drop? Data from people with kidney disease at least point in this direction. Moreover, we cannot transfer the results from mice and monkeys one hundred percent to us humans. Due to our different capacity for synthesis alone, further questions need to be answered first.

Taurine is therefore not (for the time being) the ultimate miracle cure for a long life. However, it can be a useful supplement in some situations, whether for athletes or for people with a "slightly weaker heart". By combining it with magnesium (as magnesium taurate), the bioavailability of magnesium can be increased without losing the health benefits of the two substances.


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