Taurine, Vitamin C, and Smokers.

Date:

23-Jan-2003

Source

Circulation

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Taurine Vitamin C
Professional Data: Taurine Vitamin C

Article

Taurine is an amino acid that is produced in the body. However, premature and normal infants and some adults cannot make enough taurine, making it an essential nutrient in these cases. Taurine is concentrated in parts of the body that have high electrical activity such as the eye, brain and heart. Meat and fish are the best food sources for taurine for infants and people who cannot produce sufficient quantities.

Taurine helps regulate the contraction and pumping action of the heart muscle. It is also the most abundant amino acid in the heart. Studies have also found that diabetics suffer from low taurine levels, which can lead to a thickening of the blood. Because of these beneficial effects, researchers wanted to investigate the possible role of taurine in young smokers.

Smoking causes endothelial dysfunction in the body. The endothelial is the layer of cells that line the cavities of the heart, blood, and lymph vessels. Because of its properties, taurine was administered to young smokers in addition to the antioxidant vitamin C. The status of the endothelium was assessed previously to administration of these supplements, and it showed damage from smoking. The researchers then administered 2 grams of vitamin C and 1.5 grams of taurine for 5 days. The results “suggest that taurine supplementation has a beneficial impact on macrovascular endothelial function.” The researchers stated that more research is justified.1

References

1. Fennessy FM, et al. Taurine and Vitamin C Modify Monocyte and Endothelial Dysfunction in Young Smokers. Circulation. Jan 2003; 10.1161/01.CIR.0000046447.72402.47.