This past week I have received many calls at our office regarding disease of the retina and what supplement could be helpful.
The amino acid Taurine (L-Taurine) has numerous benefits. It is well known to promote brain function, heart health, hearing function, improves insulin sensitivity and immune modulation. In animal research, taurine protected against heart failure, reducing mortality by nearly 80%.
However many people and doctors don’t know, Taurine is especially vital when it comes to eye health, because it is found in high concentrations in retinal light-receptor cells and adequate amounts decline significantly with age. Achieving proper Taurine levels in your body can actually help prevent age-related vision loss and conversely, a deficiency can lead to troubling vision problems.
Although age-related vision loss has many different causes, near the top is the impact of oxidative stress on light-sensing cells in the retina. Such damage leads to age-related macular degeneration and other forms of retinal disease. Taurine has been found to be essential for the survival of photoreceptors and studies show it can reverse retinal degeneration.
Taurine enhances the rods and cones within the retina which serve as visual receptors. With age, the macula area of the retina degenerates with the decline of rods and cones and this can ultimately cause loss of vision and blindness. Unfortunately this is even more common in those suffering from diabetes.
Therefore taurine is also recommended for those suffering from cortical senile cataracts and age-related macular degeneration to prevent a further loss of central vision.
Best of all it's NOT Expensive!
The common recommended dosage for Taurine is between 500mg-2,000mg and it should be kept approximately 1 hour from food to get full benefits.
The upper limit for which one can be relatively assured no side effects will occur over a lifetime has been suggested to be 3,000mg a day.
So how do you know if you need it for your eyes? Well unless you can shoot the eye out of a turkey at a hundred paces, chances are adding some Taurine to your diet won’t hurt.
If you have specific health concerns or are taking numerous medications appointments (telephone or in-office) are available at the Tree of Life Wellness Center (508-336-4242) to help you with balancing supplements with medications safely.
Jane Jansen Naturopath