<amino acid>

<biochemistry> Is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body. It is found in the central nervous system, skeletal muscle and is very concentrated in the brain and heart. It is synthesised from the amino acids methionine and cysteine, in conjunction with vitamin B6. Animal protein is a good source of taurine, as it is not found in vegetable protein. Vegetarians with an unbalanced protein intake and therefore deficient in methionine or cysteine may have difficulty manufacturing taurine. Dietary intake is thought to be more important in women as the female hormone ooestradiol depresses the formation of taurine in the liver. Taurine seems to inhibit and modulate neurotransmitters in the brain.

(04 Nov 1997)