We are excited to provide an in-depth look into each of our ingredients in our spotlight series, continuing now with the tremendous taurine:
Taurine is often referenced in the same breath as energy drinks. In summary, it is reputed to increase mental and physical performance, especially when combined with caffeine. Far from being a mythical compound known only to bodybuilders and long-distance cyclists, taurine can be a vital component to any healthy person’s diet.
A conditional amino acid, taurine can be found in meat and fish, as well as breast milk. Within the body, it lives in the retina, heart, platelets and brain, where it assists with the movement of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium throughout your brain cells. Whilst taurine is considered ‘non-essential,’ cells with taurine deficiency have indicated a higher risk for disease. Prompted by these findings, researchers have concluded that taurine has potential benefits as a therapeutic agent. In Japan, it has been approved for the treatment of congestive heart failure.
This particular development has led to a deeper examination of the potential link between taurine and mortality. One study conclusively addressed taurine as ‘the nutritional factor for the longevity of the Japanese,’ highlighting Japan’s record low mortality rate for ischemic heart disease.
Although the mortality correlations remain under investigation, taurine has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory abilities. It has further been noted to work against epilepsy, heart failure and diabetes, and animal studies have indicated its capability to protect against neurotoxic insults from alcohol, lead and other toxic substances. Even our liege lord, the European Food Safety Authority, has bestowed upon taurine the following approved health claims:
• Supports normal cognitive function
• Supports maintenance of normal cardiac function
• Supports delay in the onset of physical fatigue during exercise
• Supports normal muscle function
In the context of Survivor, taurine has been shown to increase sleep and to provide a calming effect on the body. This combats the glutamate rebound effect, a phenomenon caused by alcohol inhibiting the body’s creation of glutamine. When you sleep, the body works overtime to restore its glutamine levels. Consequently, the body fails to achieve a deep, restorative sleep. It should be noted that while taurine aids sleep in its own right, it has been reported to enhance the energising effects of caffeine when the two are combined.
Perhaps most importantly, taurine has been reported to contribute hepatoprotective benefits – in other words, liver protection. It has displayed a protective role against xenobiotics, such as drugs or food additives, specifically in relation to the liver. Overall, data has indicated that taurine supplementation has a place as an option to prevent liver damage.
And while the name comes from the Greek word ‘taurus,’ meaning ‘bull,’ taurine itself does not come from a bull. Like everything else in Survivor, it is entirely vegan-friendly.