Key Studies on Taurine

  • Taurine is the common and most abundant amino acid present in the human system.
  • While Mercury concentrations inhibit Glutathione-synthase, it is Taurine that helps protect this enzyme for the production of Glutathione.  
  • Taurine also positively influences GABA neurotransmitter concentration in the brain (R1), which helps the body relax and results in better sleep.
  • It maintains structural integrity of the membrane (R2), regulates calcium Homeostasis (R3), acts as a neurotransmitter (R4), and acts as a neuroprotector against Glutamate induced neurotoxicity (R5). 
  • The most important function of Taurine however was found to be neuroprotection (R6).

Neuroprotective Effects of Taurine 

  • Taurine has been shown to prevent Glutamate-induced neuronal injury in cultured neurons (R7). The study found that Taurine attenuated cognitive impairment by stabilising oxidative stress levels and inflammatory cytokine factors such as TNF-α and IL-1β. Further, Taurine also was shown to control the increased activity of Cholineesterases (Choline degenerating enzymes). 
  • Other studies have shown that Taurine was able to reduce the Glutamate induced intracellular free Ca2+ concentrations and the oxidative stress that resulted from it (R8). In addition, Taurine was also found to inhibit various voltage-gated calcium-channels (R9), thus preventing Glu-induced apoptosis.


  • R1. Molchanova, S. M.; Oja, S. S.; Saransaari, P., Effect of taurine on the concentrations of glutamate, GABA, glutamine and alanine in the rat striatum and hippocampus. Proceedings of the Western Pharmacology Society 2007, 50, 95-7.
  • R2. Moran, J.; Salazar, P.; Pasantes-Morales, H., Effect of tocopherol and taurine on membrane fluidity of retinal rod outer segments. Experimental eye research 1987, 45 (6), 769-76.
  • R3. El Idrissi, A., Taurine increases mitochondrial buffering of calcium: role in neuroprotection. Amino acids 2008, 34 (2), 321-8.
  • R4. Okamoto, K.; Kimura, H.; Sakai, Y., Evidence for taurine as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in cerebellar stellate interneurons: selective antagonism by TAG (6-aminomethyl-3-methyl-4H,1,2,4-benzothiadiazine-1,1-dioxide). Brain Res 1983, 265 (1), 163-8.
  • R5. Ward, R.; Cirkovic-Vellichovia, T.; Ledeque, F.; Tirizitis, G.; Dubars, G.; Datla, K.; Dexter, D.; Heushling, P.; Crichton, R., Neuroprotection by taurine and taurine analogues. Advances in experimental medicine and biology 2006, 583, 299-306.
  • R6. Menzie, J.; Prentice, H.; Wu, J. Y., Neuroprotective Mechanisms of Taurine against Ischemic Stroke. Brain sciences 2013, 3 (2), 877-907.
  • R7. Reeta, K. H.; Singh, D.; Gupta, Y. K., Chronic treatment with taurine after intracerebroventricular streptozotocin injection improves cognitive dysfunction in rats by modulating oxidative stress, cholinergic functions and neuroinflammation. Neurochem Int 2017, 108, 146-156.
  • R8. Chen, W. Q.; Jin, H.; Nguyen, M.; Carr, J.; Lee, Y. J.; Hsu, C. C.; Faiman, M. D.; Schloss, J. V.; Wu, J. Y., Role of taurine in regulation of intracellular calcium level and neuroprotective function in cultured neurons. J Neurosci Res 2001, 66 (4), 612-9.
  • R9. Wu, H.; Jin, Y.; Wei, J.; Jin, H.; Sha, D.; Wu, J. Y., Mode of action of taurine as a neuroprotector. Brain Res 2005, 1038 (2), 123-31.