Taurine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in the body. Taurine is very important in metabolism and is present in particularly high levels in the brain, skeletal muscle, heart, and retina of the eye. Taurine is essential for infants where it plays important roles in the development of the nervous system, retina, and muscle tissue. Taurine is well known for its role in bile salt synthesis and has crucial functions in the liver’s detoxification pathways. Taurine also appears to have a stabilizing effect on cell membranes and is important in maintaining normal extra- and intracellular distribution of calcium. This in turn has implications on neuronal excitability and the regulation of osmotic pressure. In the retina, taurine helps maintain the structure and function of the visual cells.
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