Taurine is an amino acid that the body synthesises from sulphur-containing amino acids. Cysteine is a particularly significant ingredient of taurine synthesis. The process of synthesis has some rate limiting factors.
Taurine takes part in the formation of bile salts and can help with the body's reaction to unexpected substances, or abnormal levels of other substances.
It also has poorly understood roles in a number of other functions, such as neural activity, controlling calcium levels and the maintenance of membranes.
Taurine is readily bioavailable. In the diet, taurine is found almost wholly in protein rich sources such as meat and fish. It is effectively absent from vegetable sources. Oral taurine is thought to be functionally available after about 90 minutes, and to remain so for about three hours.
While taurine is found in the brain, research suggest that it is regulated such that oral intake of taurine does not affect brain taurine levels.
Each capsule contains 480mg of taurine. There are no formal upper limits for daily taurine consumption, but this is because of a lack of qualitative toxicology research. It is recommended not to exceed two capsules per day. The kidneys should remove excess taurine, within reason, but high taurine intakes are thought to have detrimental effects. For example, it is thought that high taurine intakes may have an influence on the triggering and maintenance of psoriasis. Very high intakes may have behavioural effects.