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Posted by: Panchito ()
Date: September 15, 2022 07:43PM


Taurine is the most abundant intracellular sulphur-containing amino acid (1). Although it can be synthesized from methionine and cysteine in the presence of vitamin B6 (1,2), taurine can be obtained from the diet, predominantly through eggs, meat and seafood. High concentrations of taurine are found in the heart and retina, whereas smaller amounts are found in the brain, kidneys, intestine and skeletal muscle (2). It is now well established that taurine is involved in many diverse biological and physiological functions (1,3). For example, it is known to play a role in bile salt formation and fat digestion. Furthermore, taurine is involved in the maintenance of homeostasis of intracellular Na+ and intracellular Ca2+ concentrations ([Ca2+]i), and in the balance of neurotransmitters (4–6). Taurine deficiency is associated with anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity and depression; taurine supplementation can relieve these symptoms (7). Recently, it was shown to be an effective agent in the treatment of alcoholism, fatigue and myotonia (8,9). Taurine has also been reported to protect visual function during diabetes (10) and improve immunocompetence (11). In addition, taurine and its analogues have been observed to exert antineurotoxic and anti-inflammatory effects, and inhibit tumour cell proliferation (10–14). Taurine has also been shown to protect various organs against damage induced by mental and oxidative stress (15–17). Liao et al (18) demonstrated that a taurine transporter is expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells and suggested that it may play an important role in vascular function (19,20). A number of clinical trials revealed beneficial actions of taurine during different pathophysiological conditions (Table 1); however, the mechanisms of these actions are not yet understood. The present review focuses on a discussion of the clinical value and potential of taurine as a nutraceutical for the prevention and treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy, ischemic heart disease (IHD), hypertension and congestive heart failure (CHF).

It has also been recently observed that taurine protects against Ca2+ paradox-induced cardiac injury (25,26) by preventing Ca2+ overload in cardiomyocytes and cell death. Because the increase of intracellular Na+ is a critical step in cardiac damage due to Ca2+ paradox or I-R, taurine supplementation may reduce the intracellular Na+ concentration, and subsequently reduce Ca2+ overload by inhibition of the Na+-Ca2+ exchanger. This effect offers another possible mechanism that explains how taurine protects the heart from I-R-induced damage (26). Furthermore, taurine may provide cardioprotection under conditions of I-R, by virtue of its antioxidant properties (24,27), and may prevent oxidant-mediated damage of the cardiomyocyte membrane and subsequent intracellular Ca2+ overload.

The majority of symptomatic patients with CHF are mal-nourished, and have a relative deficiency of taurine (35). Restoring adequate cardiomyocyte nutrition, including the level of taurine, would seem to be essential to any therapeutic strategy designed to benefit patients with CHF (36). It is well known that CHF is characterized by defects in Ca2+ homeostasis, and because taurine can influence [Ca2+]i, its supplementation could benefit patients with CHF. Indeed, parenteral administration of taurine (200 mg/day for seven days) has been reported to partially protect against myocardial cell necrosis

Atherosclerosis, which affects over 60 million people in the United States alone, has been extensively studied during the past six decades (48). Although low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are known to contribute to the formation of plaque in the arterial wall, oxidized LDL can further exacerbate plaque formation. In hypercholesterolemia, dietary supplementation with taurine has been found to improve the serum lipid profile (49). High cholesterol-fed rats treated with taurine (15 g/kg/day) for five weeks showed a 37% reduction in plasma LDL, a 32% reduction in total cholesterol and a 43% reduction in triglyceride (TG) levels when compared with control rats fed the same diet without taurine (50)

In chronic diabetes, intracellular accumulation of sorbitol, resulting from high extracellular levels of glucose, leads to the depletion of intracellular taurine levels, and is associated with the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy (74).

Taurine (1% to 2% w/v in drinking water) was found to prevent high-fructose diet-induced hypertension in rats (91).


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