Taurine’s eye health benefits are “very promising” for functional food applications

Although supplementation with appropriate doses of taurine, a natural amino acid, has been reported to alleviate visual fatigue, its application in functional foods is lacking.

As such, some Chinese researchers have conducted a systematic review to summarize taurine’s mechanisms of action and consumption safety to provide a basis for further development and application of this nutrient.

Normal retinal function is essential for maintaining vision and eye health. Studies show that visual fatigue is mainly caused by a decrease or damage to the function of the retina.

When the eye is overused, excessive metabolic waste accumulates in the eye and this leads to various stress injuries to the retina or macula and damage to nerve cells.

According to research results, taurine has an important protective effect on retinal function. It protects retinal photoreceptors, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells from damage from oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis, and ocular neurotoxicity through various pathways, thereby reducing visual fatigue.

Taurine can be obtained from two sources – endogenous metabolic synthesis in the body and exogenous dietary route.

“Since the amount of taurine synthesized by the human body is not sufficient to meet health needs, it must be obtained through dietary supplements.”the authors wrote.

In addition, numerous studies have shown that taurine depletion can impair retinal function and even lead to serious eye diseases.

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