Today’s fast paced lifestyle, processed foods, stress, pollution, and unhealthy habits, have significantly reduced life expectancy compared to 10 or 20 years ago. However, there are certain group of populations that live longer than others, an example of these are the Japanese. In fact, the island of Okinawa has been known to be the “island of longevity”, because it has the largest population who lived for more than 100 years.
Once very famous, Taurine has taken the backseat from the limelight of nutritional supplements. But that doesn’t mean that it is no longer provides the same benefits like it did before. Scientists found that this nutrient is the common denominator among countries with the longest living populations.
Taurine is an amino acid or one of the “building blocks of proteins” naturally found in the skeletal muscles, heart, white blood cells, intestines, and nervous system. It is manufactured from the amino acids methionine and lysine. But when the body is under extreme physical stress, it may not be able to produce enough taurine that may lead to taurine deficiency. During this time, supplemental taurine from the diet or from nutritional supplements becomes very important to ensure optimal amounts of this essential amino acid. Taurine supplements are once very famous for its many longevity benefits.
Research points out that this nutrient is essential for normal brain functions. It is linked with calming effects on the brain tissues because it regulates the production of the neurotransmitter GABA. Higher GABA levels are known to help relieve the symptoms of bipolar disorder, anxiety, brain hyperactivity, epilepsy, and even seizures. When combined with zinc, taurine protects eye health and visual acuity.
Taurine exhibits powerful benefits for cardiovascular health. Studies found that people with sufficient supply of this amino acid have lower risk of developing heart diseases. There are different mechanisms that support these claims. Taurine was found to reduce the thickening of the arterial walls in people with atherosclerosis. Additionally, animal studies show that it can reduce the resistance of blood flow to the lining of the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure. Another cardiovascular risk that taurine can be help with is obesity. Scientists found that it exhibits potent lipid-lowering and anti-obesity properties when used alone of when combined with other health supplements.
Taurine supports glucose control. Diabetics are found to have lower taurine levels in their body compared to healthy individuals. This finding suggests that taurine deficiency is a risk factor for the development of diabetes. Meanwhile, taking supplemental taurine may correct the elevated blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.
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