Health and Nutrition

March 22, 2015

L-Taurine Benefits & Side Effects

Filed under: Diet,General Health — Doc Joe @ 7:19 pm

| By Meaghan Massenat

L-Taurine Benefits & Side Effects
Taurine deficiencies are uncommon, but supplementation will not produce negative side effects. Photo Credit health supplement pills image by weim from

L-taurine, also referred to simply as taurine, is a non-essential amino acid. It is considered non-essential because adults can produce taurine, and it is found in meat, fish and dairy products. According to Dr. Elson M. Haas in his 1992 book “Staying Healthy with Nutrition,” if not enough taurine is produced in your body nor consumed in your diet, supplementation may be required. Taurine has a role in dozens of your bodily functions and is beneficial in both healthy and diseased states.

Heart Function

Taurine plays an important role in many aspects of your cardiovascular system. This amino acid helps to move key nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, in and out of your heart’s cells to improve its functioning. Low levels of taurine have been found in patients who suffered a heart attack. Haas discusses the use of taurine in Japan for sufferers of ischemic heart disease. Multiple daily doses of taurine improved cardiac function in patients suffering from a variety of chronic heart conditions, such as arrhythmia, congestive heart failure and heart attacks.

Epileptic Treatment

Taurine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which can act as a sedative for excitable brain states, according to Haas. The sedative effect can be useful to prevent seizures in epileptics and to minimize manic states if you suffer from bipolar disorder, according to Haas.


The results of a study by Yutaka Nakaya of the Tokushima University School of Medicine and a team of researchers in Japan, published in 2000 in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, demonstrate the role of taurine in the dilation of the vascular system. Taurine supplementation can increase secretion of nitric oxide, which dilates your blood vessels and improves blood flow and delivery of oxygen to your muscles.

Lower Cholesterol

Taurine can lower your cholesterol by improving gallbladder function which can then eliminate cholesterol through bile, according to Haas. The results of the study by Nakaya and his team provide evidence for this role–the taurine supplementation reduced liver and blood cholesterol levels in the treated group.


Taurine functions as a “potent” antioxidant, according to Nakaya’s study. Free radicals attack cells in your body and can cause chronic conditions such as cancer, eye disease, and possibly diabetes. Taurine can help to protect your body from free radical damage, as noted by both Nakaya and Haas.

Additonal Benefits

Haas mentions that other benefits of taurine include treatment for male infertility, cirrhosis and depression. Additionally, the results of the Nakaya team’s study suggest taurine supplementation may be beneficial if you suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Side Effects

According to the results of the study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” taurine supplementation causes no serious side effects, which supports the results of similar studies reviewed by Nakaya and the Japanese team. Additionally, a 2009 press release from the European Food Safety Authority confirms that levels of taurine as high as 1,000 mg per kilogram of body weight per day will not cause you harm. This press release came after the EFSA’s panel reviewed taurine levels found in energy drinks and reported them to have no harmful effects. However, Haas mentions that taurine toxicity may cause you to experience diarrhea or peptic ulcers, but what constitutes toxic levels is not addressed.


March 20, 2015

The Forgotten Longevity Benefits of Taurine

Filed under: Diet,General Health,Nutrition,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 10:02 pm

Taurine: Bountiful Benefits

  • Taurine is the most abundant amino acid you’ve never heard of; it is found throughout the body, but especially in tissues containing excitable cells, like nerves and heart muscle.
  • Strong epidemiological 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 can mitigate the effects of both conditions in humans.
  • Taurine supplementation strengthens heart muscle cells, extends their life spans, and protects them from damage, while reducing many of the factors that produce atherosclerosis and its deadly consequences.
  • Taurine protects retinal and inner ear cells from damage, normalizing the flow of calcium ions they require for proper function.
  • Evidence is growing for taurine’s role in preventing epileptic seizures and liver disease, two conditions that can be attributed to toxic effects on delicate tissue.
  • If you are interested in a longer, healthier, and more active life, consider supplementing with taurine.


Magnesium – a secret weapon against diabetes

Filed under: General Health,Nutrition,Supplements — Doc Joe @ 2:15 pm

How can magnesium help you in the fight against diabetes?

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential to good health and necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions within the body. Some of its more critical jobs include maintaining muscle and nerve function, as well as immune function and blood glucose control.

Magnesium has a close relationship with insulin. Insulin is a hormone that delivers glucose to the body’s cells. Without magnesium, insulin is unable to perform this function, resulting in high blood glucose levels. A deficiency in magnesium may create a resistance to insulin and without the necessary levels of magnesium, the larger amounts of insulin produced to maintain glucose levels are not accommodated.

People with diabetes tend to have inadequate amounts of magnesium and also have additional loss of magnesium in their urine. This can intensify the health conditions and complications

Research shows that low magnesium levels may further promote progression of diabetes. Surveys have indicated that many adults do not meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium. There are many nutrient-dense foods that contain rich amounts of magnesium in them.

Magnesium can be found in foods such as dry roasted almonds, spinach, cashews, peanut butter and baked potatoes. Skim milk also contains magnesium. Check the 2010 dietary guidelines for more information on magnesium and its recommendations. Also visit Michigan State University Extension online for more interesting and useful articles related to diabetes and nutrition.

March 10, 2015

Cholesterol in foods does not cause heart disease

Filed under: Diet,General Health — Doc Joe @ 5:28 pm

Originally published March 10 2015

“Settled” science was totally wrong yet again: Cholesterol in foods does not cause heart disease

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Potentially reversing almost 40 years of government policy, the top nutrition advisory board for the United States has dropped its warning against dietary cholesterol. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that no evidence supports a link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease.

Even five years ago, the committee was still promoting the warning first popularized by the American Heart Association in 1961. But the new position has been a long time coming.

“There’s been a shift of thinking,” said Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health. He called the committee’s decision to drop the cholesterol warning a “reasonable move.”

New scientific consensus

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee provides science-based recommendations to the federal government, in the form of a publication called “Dietary Guidelines.” The government uses that publication to make decisions about everything including dietary advice (such as the food pyramid), school lunch content and food labeling policy.

In its new recommendations, the committee has embraced the emerging scientific consensus that consuming cholesterol in foods such as eggs, shrimp or lobster does not significantly increase blood levels of cholesterol in healthy adults, and does not increase the risk of heart disease. That’s because the body actually produces its own cholesterol, in levels much higher than those that can realistically come from food.

The new consensus warns instead against a diet too high in saturated fat, the nutrient the body uses to make cholesterol. High levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the blood are still considered a risk factor for heart disease.

The change in policy is a classic example of the way that nutrition guidelines continue to change as scientific understanding evolves — often greatly confusing consumers along the way. Although the cholesterol debate may soon be settled, nutrition researchers continue to debate the relative merits and risks of other foods and nutrients such as saturated fat, salt, red meat, sugar and omega-3s.

“Almost every single nutrient imaginable has peer reviewed publications associating it with almost any outcome,” nutrition science critic and Stanford University professor John P.A. Ioannidis wrote. “In this literature of epidemic proportions, how many results are correct?”

Based on faulty science

The idea that cholesterol causes heart disease is pervasive in U.S. culture. Indeed, the adoption of cholesterol warnings directly led to a drop in per capita egg consumption of about 30 percent. But the scientific case for such a warning was never strong.

The experiment that started it all was conducted in 1913 by Niokolai Anitschkov and colleagues at the Czar’s Military Medicine Institute in St. Petersburg. The researchers fed rabbits cholesterol and saw that the animals developed cardiovascular disease.

Later research showed that rabbits are one of the few animals on the planet that react to dietary cholesterol in this way. But the idea had seized hold of the scientific establishment, and further studies at first seemed to support a link between cholesterol and heart disease.

But there were always those who considered the evidence against dietary cholesterol to be weak. In 2013, a task force convened by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support a warning against the nutrient. Many of the studies done were too broad in scope to be useful, it said.

“Looking back at the literature, we just couldn’t see the kind of science that would support dietary restrictions,” said task-force co-chair Robert Eckel, of the University of Colorado.

Indeed, all other countries on Earth have long since stopped warning against dietary cholesterol.

“The U.S. is the last country in the world to set a specific limit on dietary cholesterol,” said nutrition scientist David Klurfeld, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Some of it is scientific inertia.”

Sources for this article include:

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