Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is converted to a neutral beta-amino acid, chemically known as (2-Amino-ethane sulfonic acid) having chemical formula C2H7NO3S. It was first isolated from Ox bile, and thus derives its name from the Latin word “Taurus”, meaning 'ox' or 'bull'. This is the only amino acid that is extensively found in animal tissue. The richest source of taurine is meat whereas fish, human tissue, large intestine, and human breast milk are also good/prime sources. It is present in high concentrations in animal tissues, especially the heart, brain, retina, skeletal muscles, large intestines, plasma, blood cells, and leucocytes. Plant protein is devoid of taurine. It involves many functions from prevention to protection, osmoregulation, conjugation of bile, anti-oxidation, membrane stabilization, and modulation of calcium signaling. Hence it is also known as a poly-functional or wonderful molecule. Taurine is significantly involved in functions of the cardiovascular, skeletal muscle, retina, and the central nervous system. It differs from other neuroprotective amino acids due to the presence of sulfonic acid instead of carboxylic acid, and the presence of sulphonate makes it a strong acid. Dietary taurine is beneficial in treating bone-related disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, and immunological defense against microbes, through enhancing the metabolism/functions of monocytes, macrophages, and other cells of the immune system. The human body contains about 1% body weight as taurine. In this review, we have made attempts to provide synthesis, chemical, biological function of taurine, which may guide and facilitate further research in this area.
Key words: Taurine, spinal cord injury (SCI), taurus, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), osmolytes.
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