Submitted to: Archives of Disease in Childhood
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2004
Publication Date: 11/14/2004
Citation: Heird, W.C. 2004. Taurine in neonatal nutrition - revisited. Archives of Disease in Childhood: Retal and Neonatal Edition. 89:F472-F473.
Technical Abstract: Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) was isolated from ox (Bos Taurus) bile in 1827 but, until the mid to late 1970, it was thought to be merely a by-product of sulfur amino and metabolism. In 1975, it was noted that taurine deficiency in cats was associated with retinal degeneration which was reversed by taurine supplementation. This observation coupled with the high concentration of taurine in the developing brain and mature retina raised suspicion that taurine might play an important role in brain development. This was supported by observations that brain taurine concentration of several species decreased during the weaning period and that taurine was the primary free amino acid in the milk of most mammals, including humans. Moreover, labeled taurine injected intraperitoneally into lactating rats was found in the milk of the dam as well as the brain of the suckling pups, suggesting that adequate intake of taurine was important for maintaining brain taurine content.