Taurine is an amino acid that is widely distributed in the fluids and tissues of man. In mammals, taurine is a major end-product of methionine metabolism. Taurine is found in most mammalian tissues but is only present in trace amounts in many plants. During fetal development of the brain in man and other mammals taurine is present in high concentrations and declines to lower, adult concentrations during neonatal life. However, during this time there is a net accumulation of taurine when the amount per brain rather than per gram of tissue is calculated. In man, taurine is apparently an essential nutrient, unlike in other animals which have a much greater capacity to synthesize this compound. The human infant, in particular, needs a dietary supply of taurine to synthesize the bile salt taurocholate. Thus, taurine appears to be an important component of the developing brain and must be supplied to man in the diet.
- Amino acid
- Bile acids
- Mammalian tissues
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)