Role of taurine in organs’ dysfunction and in their alleviation

Abstract Taurine, a sulphur amino acid found endogenously in human and in several others. It is significantly in higher concentration in mammals and has a number of physiological and pharmacological actions and also used in the therapy of important organ dysfunctions. It is essential for cat and conditional for humans. A patient on parenteral nutrition (PN) may develop taurine deficiency which may hamper proper growth and development. Taurine biosynthesis is limited to early stages and with advancing of age, synthetic capability further reduced to negligible, providing diet as only alternative source. Most of the marine and meat products generally contains considerable high amount of taurine but it is almost absent in plants, thus vegetarian may constitute a risk group. Its beneficial effects range from cardiotonic to antiprovide the answers [1,2]. Now, we know taurine is essential for cats, and conditionally essential for humans. It is regarded as preventive medicine and also behaves as a vitamin- like molecule. The involvement of taurine to cell welfare started even in the embryonic developmental stage where taurine deficiencies have been linked to various lessons, e.g. cardiomyopathy, retinal degeneration, growth retardation, disease of fetus origin like diabetes, making taurine as an essential amino acid for neonates. Taurine supplementation seems to be working well for neonates on PN [3,4]. However, significance of it is not confined to neonates only, it is further extended to children, adults, and elderly, due to its greater involvement in bile salt formation for reducing some symptoms associated with aging. On the clinical front, taurine utility has been patented for many; to name a few, epilepsy, congestive heart failure, hypertension, anti-alcoholic and antismoking; currently it is a part eye/ear drops, health drinks, antiaging and antidiabetic supplements. Perhaps taurine is the only endogenous biomolecule involved in so many actions to prevent and protect variety of organs, such as brain, eye, heart, and liver. In this mini review, we have tried to see every aspect where taurine has a role. From the Department of Pharmacology, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea (Drs. Ramesh C. Gupta and Sung-Jin Kim). Address requests for reprints to: Sung-Jin Kim, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Pharmacology, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, KOREA 130-701. Tel. 82-2-961-0868; Fax: 82-2-957-5309 E-mail: convulsant and protection of retina to liver from diseases. Being a constituent of bile salt, taurine also helps in reducing cholesterol content. It helps in alleviating hypertension, too. Taurine has been found to be effective in metabolic diseases like diabetes and metabolic bone diseases. Taurine has special role in preterm neonate care, and so also linked to disease of fetus origin. Apart from its special role in neonates and PN, taurine is a part of combination therapy as a nutritional supplement, in varieties of diseases. As everyone hate to like aging, the happiest addition is that taurine has a role in alleviating aging symptoms. Taurine along with its analogues may provide a hope to cope with this situation. Hence, taurine having this much beneficial action deserves to be compiled and reviewed, yet requires regular update.