Do you supplement your body’s store of taurine?
Have you even heard of taurine?
Well, if you have chronic Lyme disease, taurine needs to be in your supplement arsenal. Its benefits are so broad and extensive that scientists in The Journal of Biomedical Science: http://www.jbiomedsci.com/supplements/17/S1 have described taurine as “a wonder molecule.”
Taurine is found abundantly in healthy bodies. However, certain diets, particularly vegetarian or vegan diets, lack adequate amounts of taurine, and diseased or chronically ill people are also notably low in taurine.
Disease states—including liver, kidney, or heart failure, diabetes, and cancer—can all cause a deficiency in taurine. And aging bodies often cannot internally produce an optimal amount of taurine, making supplementation vital.
For those of us with neurological Lyme, it is exciting to note that taurine directly helps reverse neuropathy.
A study released in November 2012 made the bold statement that taurine is one of the most essential substances in the body. The authors wrote: “Considering its broad distribution, its many cytoprotective attributes, and its functional significance in cell development, nutrition, and survival, taurine is undoubtedly one of the most essential substances in the body.”
Normal taurine concentrations are essential in controlling diabetes and the impact of its consequences. Animal studies have found that having adequate taurine concentrations helps control diabetes by reducing blood glucose and restoring insulin sensitivity. But it doesn’t stop there. Taurine helps prevent—and even reverse—many of the consequences associated with the disease.
Research comparing the benefits of taurine in chronic Lyme disease may be in the works, and some Lyme experts specifically recommend taurine as a supplement (in various doses), but it doesn’t surprise anyone after reading Ian Macleavy’s article for Life Extensions http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2013/jun2013_The-Forgotten-Longevity-Benefits-of-Taurine_01.htm that taurine should be included in any anti-Lyme protocol.
Highlights from the article:
Taurine: Bountiful Benefits
- Taurine is the most abundant amino acid around; it is found throughout the body, but especially in tissues containing excitable cells, like nerves and heart muscle – Borrelia’s favorite hang-outs.
- Evidence suggests that certain groups with the longest life spans consume higher amounts of taurine than those of us in the rest of the world.
- Taurine supplementation can prevent diabetes and obesity in animal models (and apparently in people too), and can mitigate the effects of both conditions in humans.
- Taurine protects retinal and inner ear cells from damage, normalizing the flow of calcium ions they require for proper function.
- Taurine enhances energy – a desperate need for those of us who suffer with chronic Lyme disease.
According to the article, taurine has powerful effects on the heart and blood vessels. People with higher levels of taurine have significantly lower rates of dying from coronary heart disease. Additionally, they have lower body mass index, lower blood pressure, and lower levels of dangerous lipids. Many different mechanisms account for these powerful effects on the heart and blood vessels.
In animal models of hypertension, taurine supplementation lowers blood pressure by reducing the resistance to blood flow in the blood vessel walls and by minimizing nerve impulses in the brain that drive blood pressure up. This can have a very positive effect for those who suffer from migraines (Lyme-induced or not.)
Ian says that oral taurine supplementation has been found to reduce the arterial thickening and stiffness characteristic of atherosclerosis, to restore arteries’ responses to reduce inflammation (a direct contributor to cardiovascular disease).
A study of patients needing coronary bypass surgery showed that consuming a liquid drink containing 3 grams of taurine, combined with 3 grams carnitine, 150 mg CoQ10, and basic multivitamin nutrients, reduced left-sided ventricular volume during the heart’s resting phase (diastole). It would seem to me that this would be an excellent starting point for dosing in a Lyme protocol.
As anyone with chronic Lyme can tell you, the eyes and ears are often compromised in a variety of painful and annoying symptoms. From extreme light sensitivity to progressively worsening eye-sight (including floaters and even retina damage!)
Taurine is especially vital when it comes to eye health. Adequate levels can help prevent vision loss; conversely, a deficiency can lead to troubling vision problems.
Vision loss has many different causes. We know spirochetes thrive in the fluids surrounding the eyes, but the exact method Borrelia uses to drill into the eye is not clear due to lack of research.
However, age-related vision loss has been thoroughly researched and one of the main causes for age-related vision loss is due to the impact of oxidative stress on light-sensing cells in the retina. Such damage leads to macular degeneration and other forms of retinal disease. It would not be a far stretch to associate the painful light sensitivity suffered in many with chronic Lyme disease may relate to taurine deficiency as well.
Taurine should be found in very high concentrations in the retina, however it can declines significantly with age. So it is very exciting to learn that taurine supplementation has been found to fight oxidative stress in the retina, and helps restore deficient levels of nerve growth required for maintaining visual health.
Another debilitating symptom of acute and/or chronic Lyme disease is audio-sensitivity, hearing loss, pain in and around the ears (even the cartilage in the outer ear) and tinnitus.
Taurine plays a vital role in healing hearing problems. In fact, studies have found that in some cases, taurine can reverse the biochemical processes behind hearing loss. Other studies have demonstrated that taurine can almost completely eliminate the ringing in the ears associated with tinnitus.
Ian writes, “Much of the damage to hearing occurs not in the mechanical parts of the ear, but rather in the nerve cells that convert sound waves into the electrical energy that is perceived in our brains. Like other nerve cells, these so-called “hair cells” depend on the flow of calcium ions into and out of the cell. Taurine helps restore and control normal calcium ion flow in auditory cells.”
TAURINE: ONE OF THE MOST ESSENTIAL SUBSTANCES IN THE BODY! In addition to all the above, taurine:
- increases the action of insulin, improving glucose tolerance, and acting as an antioxidant.
- vital for the proper function of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
- regulates heart rhythm, cardiac contraction, blood pressure, and platelet aggregation, and regulates the excitability of neurons.
- detoxifies liver cells of various toxins.
- helps form bile acids and maintains cell membrane stability.
- reduces the synthesis of lipids and cholesterol.
NOTE: I buy my Taurine from Amazon – I find that I can’t get this brand cheaper anywhere else and “Pure” is pharmaceutical grade. See customer reviews and purchase link here.
Please read The Journal of Biomedical Science: http://www.jbiomedsci.com/supplements/17/S1 and http://www.trnres.com/ebook/uploads/elidrissicontent/T_13449423121%20El%20Idrissi%201.pdf.