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Taurine: Another Deadlock Nutrient?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by mgk, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    Magnesium deficiency is one area where I've made no progress even though I've been supplementing over a gram for several months now. I also take regular epsom salt baths and put magnesium into my drinking water. Still my symptoms come back within a few hours after taking the last dose.

    It's almost as if it enters my bloodstream, stays there for a few hours, and then goes right out. I want it to enter the cell and stay there. I was researching this problem and came across the following quote:
    Source: http://www.mgwater.com/inmgdef.shtml

    Interesting, but I can't find any accessible references for this role of taurine. There are a few papers that are referenced here and there (the wiki page, Life Extension page on taurine), but they are beyond me and I don't understand how they arrived at that conclusion based on them.

    Anyway, let's take that statement at face value for now: "taurine transports magnesium (and potassium) into cells." We also know that taurine is a byproduct of the methylation cycle through the CBS pathway.

    Here's the speculative part: If taurine is insufficient, magnesium can't get inside/stay inside the cell. If magnesium can't stay inside the cell, it can't act as a cofactor in the cycle to create enough taurine. Seems very similar to the situation with carnitine and ATP.

    This may also explain the outlandish need for potassium that most of us seem to have.

    Any thoughts? I'm going to try this in a few days and report back.
     
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  2. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    @zzz -knows something about this.....I'm on Magnesium and Taurine shots. I also have to take potassium with both.
     
  3. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    This is completely correct. Another source is Wikipedia:
    Taurine has many other important functions in the body as well; the article I referenced enumerates many of them.

    Although as @Misfit Toy noted, many formulations of magnesium injections (such as Dr. Paul Cheney's) include taurine, the amount is relatively small. Supplementing taurine at amounts from 1000 mg to 3000 mg daily can be helpful for many people. I noticed that at 3000 mg/day (which is generally considered to be the highest safe dose), I had noticeable improvements in memory that have lasted many months.

    Potassium does not help the utilization of magnesium as such. However, magnesium and potassium are strongly coupled in the way the body uses them. If you increase the intake of one of these minerals significantly, you need to increase the intake of the other as well, or else you will suffer deficiency symptoms from the one that is not increased. This mechanism is completely independent of the effects of taurine, although a deficiency of taurine can easily reduce the effectiveness of supplementing either mineral.
    How have you been supplementing it? Oral supplementation is very inefficient, and many people cannot get enough magnesium through this route. The most effective way of supplementing magnesium is through magnesium injections, either daily or at least every other day. Magnesium by nebulizer can also be almost effective, or even as effective for some people.
    It appears that you are one of the many people who do not benefit significantly from oral supplementation, so putting magnesium into your drinking water is unlikely to help. Epsom salt baths can be very helpful, but you may need to use more Epsom salts than you currently are. If you increase the amount, do it slowly, though, as too much magnesium can be toxic by leading to central nervous system depression.

    Another way to increase the effectiveness of Epsom salt baths is through taurine supplementation.
    Some of it may be doing exactly that, as the kidneys do their best to keep the blood level of magnesium stable, since the heart requires this. Again, supplementing with taurine may help here.

    It's also worth noting that the effects of magnesium supplementation take time, although if you're supplementing properly, you should certainly see effects within a month or so, if not sooner. Due to the long half life of magnesium in tissues (40 to 80 days), it can take up to a year for a constant dose to reach its full effect.
     
  4. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    Taurine has a terrible effect on my sleep, even just a small amount first thing in the morning.
     
  5. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I supplement both magnesium and potassium orally but suspected that my balances were not optimal. I started getting severe episodes of Afib. Then I read about taurine's role and found this article. As you will see, they recommend higher doses of taurine:
    I didn't want to take arginine so experimented (with the blessing of 2 different cardios) with increasing doses of taurine. I now take 4,250 mg daily, in divided doses, and have not had any instances of Abib in 10 months. I am hopeful.

    I suspect that a deficiency of taurine was at the route of my problems with arrhythmias.

    Sushi
     
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  6. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    Thanks for the thorough response zzz.
    I saw that but the paper they referenced talks about putting cells in solution with taurine and seeing what happens. I think it's a big leap from there to say that supplementing with taurine will help with a magnesium or potassium deficiency. In any case, it seems plausible enough to give it a try.
    I put it into my drinking water because I've found that having a constant intake throughout the day keeps the headaches I get from devolving into migraines. Thanks for the reference to the nebulizer and injections. Those will be my next steps if taurine doesn't help.
     
  7. caledonia

    caledonia

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    At one point I was taking gobs of taurine for heart palps. It didn't have any effect on my need for magnesium. I take magnesium glycinate powder dissolved in water four times a day. Yes, it goes in and out that fast. Potassium is similar.

    The reason is actually due to weak adrenals. The adrenals regulate the levels of electrolytes in the body. I've been able to lower the amount of magnesium I need as my adrenals have improved. My adrenals have improved as far as I can tell from doing methylation treatment. Mercury detox caused by methylation treatment may have also been helpful.

    Sometime after I started methylation and got through a CBS protocol, I was able to discontinue taurine, so apparently I've started making my own taurine. Taurine is made in the transsulfuration (CBS) pathway, so that makes sense.

    So far my need for potassium is the same.
     
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  8. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    @caledonia: Do you remember approximately how much taurine you were taking? Also were you doing methylation treatment at the same time?
     
  9. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Looking back in my journal, I was taking 2 taurine capsules 3 times a day (so 6 per day). The brand was Thorne, so that was 500mg per capsule. I was taking taurine until Feb. 2014 which was a year after I completed CBS treatment.

    So yes, I was taking taurine during methylation treatment. Feb 2014 was also around when my thyroid recovered. So a lot of stuff happened around the same time.
     
  10. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    This makes sense; there's no reason that taurine should have an effect on your need for magnesium in general.
    How did you know your adrenals are weak? Many people claim weak adrenals, but in fact in very large numbers of these cases, the adrenals are fine, and the problem lies on the upper part of the HPA axis. The adrenals simply don't get the right directions, and so they simply don't produce enough of the needed hormones. Were you able to to rule this out in your case?
    Although through the production of aldosterone, the adrenals indirectly help regulate the levels of sodium in the body, they don't play a central role in the management of electrolytes in general. Specifically, as magnesium is the electrolyte under discussion, the body's levels of magnesium are regulated by three things: 1) How much magnesium is taken into the body; 2) How much magnesium is excreted by the kidneys; and 3) How well magnesium is absorbed into the cells, which is affected to some extent by the amount of taurine present.
    All tissues need magnesium to function properly, including the adrenals. Why would the adrenals be singled out here? Magnesium supplementation also has positive neurological effects on the entire brain, including the hypothalamus and pituitary. Could not these have been the perceived source of improvement in the adrenals? Improved functioning of the hypothalamus and pituitary would certainly affect the adrenals in a positive way.
    What is the specific evidence you have for that? And again, how do you know it's your adrenals and not the other parts of the HPA axis that have improved? Unless you have specific evidence of organic problems with the adrenals, you can't tell by symptoms alone.
    When a lot of stuff happens at the same time, it becomes very hard to establish causal relationships with any certainty due to the profusion of variables.
     
  11. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Have mercy, I was just answering that person's question about supplementation. I actually think my adrenals themselves are fine, and my problem is actually an upstream signalling problem as you say.

    However, when you do a 24 hour saliva cortisol test, it all looks the same. You can't differentiate adrenal fatigue from an upstream signalling problem on this test. That's all the testing I've done.
     
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  12. zzz

    zzz Senior Member

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    @caledonia, I'm sorry if my previous post came on too strong. I was trying to keep it as objective as possible, but I realize that even so, the sheer volume of my response can be a bit overwhelming. I was mainly trying to clarify some points that I think are often misunderstood, as these misunderstandings can often lead to ineffective or even inappropriate treatments.

    I agree completely with everything you said in your most recent post. I have also followed your posts a fair amount since I have joined PR, and I respect and admire your depth of knowledge in your areas of expertise. I also really appreciate how much time and effort you have put into helping others, and I know that that appreciation is shared by many, many people on PR. So once again, my apologies for any distress I have inadvertently caused you; I know that we both want to see that people have accurate information on these issues, and I was simply trying to clarify some things. Your most recent post indicates that we see things basically the same here, and I think that's very reassuring.
     
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  13. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi @mgk

    A to B Calm (Brand Name) has a product called Freeze Dried Calcium/Magnesium. It's a powder that when dissolved in water gets into your muscles within minutes. Not sure if it would be the same for getting into cells, but given how well it works for me, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

    This product has done wonders for me and also my sister who suffered all her life with a stiff neck from having been a breach baby. It's the only thing that has ever helped her on a consistent basis. Click on the image below to get more information. -- Freeze-dried might be just the key for better absorption.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  14. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Thank you, apology accepted.

    I'm trying to remember where I picked up the thing about electrolytes and adrenals. I feel like I read it somewhere, but of course, I can't remember where that is, as I read so many things.

    Here is an example from a quick google search:

    http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/aldosterone

    If you click on the electrolytes link, it lists potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium.

    So it sounds like, technically, the regulation of magnesium is a consequence of the regulation of potassium by aldosterone. So an indirect, but not a direct effect.

    I've seen many websites just shorten or simplify this to say the adrenals regulate electrolytes. Here's an example from a quick google search (I don't know anything about the quality of this website):

    http://www.antiagingresearch.com/adrenal_exhaustion_symptoms.shtml

     
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  15. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    I've had some interesting experiences with taurine over the past few weeks. There were times when I would take some taurine when I was experiencing low potassium symptoms, and the symptoms would go away. At other times, doing the same thing would actually make things worse and I needed to take potassium. Same thing with magnesium. I now take taurine with magnesium or potassium which is a lot more effective.

    While trying to balance these three would alleviate my symptoms temporarily, I could never get them to have a cumulative effect. I did some more digging and found that the body has trouble holding onto taurine when in a state of zinc deficiency. I was already supplementing with zinc, but my experience with magnesium suggests that it's not a good idea to assume that minerals are being absorbed. My zinc deficiency symptoms aren't as obvious as potassium/magnesium so I needed some other way to evaluate it.

    The best thing I've found for this purpose is the zinc taste test. It isn't the most accurate thing in the world, but I've found it useful for judging relative levels. I went from tasting nothing to having a delayed taste response to having a strong immediate metallic taste. I also noticed that my sense of smell improved significantly. I didn't even realize it was impaired before, but it's another symptom I pay attention to now. Once I started actually fixing the zinc deficiency, potassium and magnesium started building up in a noticeable way. Fewer cramps, less intense headaches, improved TMI.

    There's also another symptom that has bothered me for a long time. It's this knot on the back of my neck with pain extending down both of my arms. Everything I've read points to it being a potassium deficiency symptom. It's not gone yet but it's obvious that it's improving rapidly.
     
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  16. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    I recently decided to up my zinc intake, and upon a bit of googling, discovered that zinc picolinate is supposed the most absorbable (by far evidently). Will be starting on it soon...
     
  17. mgk

    mgk Senior Member

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    I hate to mention this since you just bought it. I took 50mg picolinate for about a month and was still deficient when I did the taste test. I could feel that it was helping methylation-wise, it just didn't raise my levels that much. When I got the taste test, I tried 100mg for a few days, but stopped when I saw that it still wasn't raising my levels. Maybe a higher dose would have, but I didn't feel comfortable taking more than that. Then I tried glycinate which came in 30mg caps. Even at that lower dose, it increased my levels noticeably within a few days. We're all different though, so maybe picolinate will work for you.

    Also worth noting that based on the taste test, I was really deficient. It went from tasting like nothing to this strong metallic taste. Taste acuity also correlated with smell acuity. If you're really serious about raising and maintaining your levels (which I think you should be, see below), I'd suggest using the taste test to calibrate your intake and find the best form for you.

    I did some research on zinc and how it relates to methylation so I want to write a little bit on what I found. Methionine synthase (MS) and Betaine-Homocysteine Methyltransferase (BHMT) -- two of the most important enzymes involved in the methylation cycle -- are both zinc metalloenzymes, meaning they have an embedded zinc atom. Zinc is required to make them. When there's a zinc deficiency, there's decreased expression of MS (but interestingly, not BHMT) and increased homocysteine (source).

    In the future, there will probably be embedded gadgets that will constantly measure SAM-e, SAH, glutathione, B12, folates, zinc, magnesium, potassium, etc., and they will remember us as barbarians. Until then, I think any tool that can decrease the uncertainty that makes dealing with methylation cycle issues so frustrating is invaluable, especially if that tool is as unintrusive and inexpensive as a taste test. I wish there were more tools like it available, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
     
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  18. Rand56

    Rand56 Senior Member

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    Same here. If I take it for a few days in a row...I get insomnia from it. I think it's a double edged sword. I have heard some other people get this same effect from it. I can even get insomnia from melatonin..go figure LOL
     
  19. Rand56

    Rand56 Senior Member

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    @Wayne

    @mgk

    Regarding Zinc Picolinate. I took it for a long time and it did nothing with my zinc levels..atleast according to a zinc tally test. I read an article once..which later I found out that I didn't save because I was looking for it again, that said that picolinate uptakes zinc well..but then you get rid of it fast..and that a net loss may occur. In any event, I had better luck with Kirkman Zinc Sulfate topical cream. Just as an FYI and YMMV.
     
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  20. Rand56

    Rand56 Senior Member

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    Here is my N=1 concerning taurine, and it just so happens, it is taking place at the moment. It's 2:25am and I can't sleep. I know my body well enough that I won't get any sleep tonight. I had "one" Rockstar drink today, which has taurine in it. I already know it is not the other ingredients in it. Typically one will not effect me, unless I have one for a few days in a row. I've had no Rockstar's for about a week. I like them..they are tasty. I've been dealing with some extra stress in my personal life lately, which has kept me from sleeping as much as I should, but still I have atleast gotten some sleep each night. I'm blaming this on the friggen taurine, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it LOL. Wish I would have considered that I could have gotten a double whammy with the taurine and the added stress. Just did not think one Rockstar would do it.

    Edit: I should have stated, which is what I'm doing now, that I have taken taurine powder on it's own before, with the same insomnia type effects.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

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