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Taurine for ADHD

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Taurine for ADHD

Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is an organic acid. As an aminosulfonic acid, taurine cannot form peptides.
Taurine is a breakdown product of the amino acid cysteine.
A healthy person has 50 to 70 g of taurine in the body.

Taurine is used in certain energy drinks, with e.g. 1000 mg / 250 ml.

1. Effects of taurine

Taurine influences signal transmission in the brain. It stimulates the influx and membrane binding of calcium and supports the movement of sodium and potassium across the cell membrane. This increases contraction and has an antiarrhythmic effect on the heart.
As an antioxidant, taurine protects tissues from oxidative damage.12
Taurine deficiency often correlates with kidney failure and immune system disorders, especially increased inflammation.1
Whether taurine enhances metabolism by affecting insulin levels is an open question.
Taurine has a blood pressure lowering effect.
Taurine and salt can lead to excessive sodium levels in cells, which can be life-threatening.

2. Taurine for ADHD

Taurine has only been mentioned as a possible ADHD drug in a few reports.1

A study in rats concluded that taurine may have beneficial effects in ADHD.3

  • Low dew levels increased
    • The DAT in the striatum significantly (only) in WKY rats (representing the counter model for unaffected individuals)
    • Dopamine uptake in the striatum in both SHR and WKY rats.
  • High-dose taurine reduces (only) in SHR rats (which are an animal model of ADHD-HI with hyperactivity)
    • The DAT in the striatum significantly
      • The DAT in the striatum are increased in ADHD
    • Dopamine uptake in the striatum
      • Dopamine (re)uptake in the striatum is increased in ADHD
    • Interleukin (IL)-1β and C-reactive protein
    • The horizontal movement
    • The functional connectivity of the hippocampus (also in WKY)
    • The mean amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (mean ALFF) in the hippocampus (0.01-0.08 Hz) bilaterally (also in WKY)
  • Both low and high dew levels increase
    • Significantly increased BDNF levels in the striatum of both SHR and WKY rats
      BDNF is reduced in ADHD

In ADHD sufferers, a small study found that4

  • A reduced ALFF
    • In the right inferior frontal cortex
    • In the cerebellum bilaterally
    • In missing
  • An increased ALFF
    • In the right anterior cingulate cortex
    • In the left sensorimotor cortex
    • In the brainstem bilaterally

In contrast, a very comprehensive study with 985 subjects found significant differences, but again not in the hippocampus.5 n = 985)) Another small study found no correlation between ALFF and ADHD.6

A high consumption of energy drinks with taurine could be considered self-medication. A serious disadvantage is the immense sugar content of these drinks.