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Although taurine is a "natural" substance, taurine safety issues need to be fully understood by those who are using this amino acid as a supplement. For example, if you have certain medical conditions, you may need to closely watch your intake of taurine. Also, make sure that the manufacturer of your taurine supplements is trusted and reputable. Before taking the supplement, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the safety of taurine.
Is Taurine Safe?Taurine is a dietary supplement used to treat a variety of conditions. You may not be able to take taurine safely if you:
- Have bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression)
- Have any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Taurine Warnings and PrecautionsSome of the warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of taurine include the following:
- There has been one report of a worsening of bipolar disorder possibly due to taurine in an energy drink. However, it is not known if the mania was caused by taurine or other factors.
- If you decide to use supplements (such as taurine), what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states.
Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your taurine product is a trusted and reputable manufacturer. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for drugs. It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal, which means that the product has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
- It is not known if taurine supplements are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Taurine and Pregnancy and Taurine and Breastfeeding).