5 Benefits of Taurine for Women’s Health

Taurine for women's health

Taurine is one of my favorite supplements for perimenopause, menopause, sleep, mood, insulin resistance, and migraine prevention.

It’s a sulfur-containing amino acid that is unique in that it is not used to build proteins but instead plays an essential role as a free amino acid in many aspects of physiology including the healthy functioning of the immune and nervous systems. Taurine so important and widespread that it accounts for up to 0.1% of body weight.

Because taurine can be synthesized from methionine and cysteine, it has traditionally been classified as a “non-essential” amino acid, which is certainly a misnomer because the rate of synthesis in humans is very low. Instead, taurine must be ingested and the standard daily intake from an omnivore diet is up to 400 mg, obtained solely from animal foods such as meat, dairy, and seafood. There’s no taurine in plant foods.

Dietary taurine is even more important for women because estrogen impedes biosynthesis.

Benefits of taurine for women’s health

Calms the brain and soothes anxiety

Taurine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter structurally similar to glycine and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), the two main calming neurotransmitters in the brain.

Similar structure of the neurotransmitters GABA, glycine, and taurine.
Similar molecular structures of GABA, glycine, and taurine.

By interacting with both glycine and GABA receptors, taurine helps to support beneficial “GABAergic” tone or activity, which improves sleep, prevents migraines, and can relieve premenstrual and perimenopausal mood symptoms.

Helps to reverse insulin resistance and prevent obesity

Taurine improves healthy insulin sensitivity by supporting mitochondria and preventing the harmful overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Together with magnesium, taurine can also reduce inflammation, suppress appetite, and prevent obesity.

👉🏽Tip: Taurine’s benefits for both GABA and insulin make it particularly helpful for the hot flashes of perimenopause and menopause. (For more information about the link between insulin resistance and hot flashes, see my new book, coming March 2021.)

Supports healthy estrogen metabolism

By supporting the healthy formation of bile acids, taurine can prevent gallstones and help to promote the healthy detoxification of estrogen through the liver and bowel.

Enhances treatment of iron-deficient anemia

Results from a clinical trial suggest that the addition of taurine can boost hemoglobin in response to iron supplementation. The benefit is probably due to enhanced survival of red cells thanks to taurine’s antioxidant and cell-membrane stabilizing effects.

Taurine builds bone

Finally, by supporting healthy muscle, taurine may help to prevent osteoporosis. (Because the biology of bone and muscle are interconnected.)

How to supplement taurine

The recommended dose is between 500 to 3000 mg and it works best when taken with magnesium, another important nutrient for mood, mitochondria, and insulin sensitivity. I typically prescribe a magnesium glycinate powder that also contains 3000 mg of taurine. Magnesium taurate (a magnesium salt of taurine) is also an option.

59 thoughts on “5 Benefits of Taurine for Women’s Health”

    • If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, there are a few brands here: Orthoplex Mag Taur, Metagenics Calm X, and the Ethical Nutrients Mega Mag powder.

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  1. Hi! I’ve been taking magnesium for pmdd and it has done wonders. Is it normal that my periods have become shorter? Bit less than 50ml.
    Also is taurine safe long term?

    Thank you, love your work!

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    • 40 or 50 mL is fine as long as you’re ovulating. Might just mean you’re now making a bit more progesterone (which is period-lightening)

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  2. I would like to find powder you recommendation of Magnesium and Taurine .
    I live in the uk and am finding it hard to find . Any suggestions Where to find this please . ?

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  3. Thanks for all advice Lara, many of them that has helped me. I took Taurine first time this morning (500 mg) and immediately got red very in the face and on my hands, a very obvious allergic reaction. Found on the internet that this can happen (but not to so many people) because of sulfites. I do suffer from menstrual migraines though, so I would like for it to work…are there Taurine brands that does not include sulfids? (The one I have is Thorne)

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  4. Hi Dr Briden, thank you for sharing your knowledge

    between 500-3000 mg how do I know what’s the right dose for me?
    do you recommend the max dose of 3000 mg for everyone?
    thank you 🙂

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  5. Wow! Blown away by the results of using magnesium and taurine! Thank you so much for this article and the wealth of information you are willing to provide to all of us in need; you have been a godsend for me.

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    • +1 Thanks to Lara Briden’s advice I now take magnesium glycinate and taurine before bed each night, and it’s been a real boon for my sleep.

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  6. Can low SHBG be related to hormonal migraines? That’s the only issue coming up on my labs and I get migraines on either day 1, day 12-14. or last day of my period

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  7. Hi wow this is really speaking to me 100% !!!! Are you able to pls recommend what brand to purchase I live in Australia. I would really appreciate it Thankyou so much in advance kind regards Liana

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    • In Australia and New Zealand, I prescribe Orthoplex Mag Taur, Metagenics CalmX, and Ethical Nutrients Mega Magnesium powder. (check the label on the ethical nutrients product to make sure it’s the one with taurine)

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      • Hi Lara. I see that Ethical Nutrients is the easiest to get . It has 50 mg of b6 though so is it still ok to take at night before bed and is it on an empty stomach?
        Thanks

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          • Thanks Lara. What time do u take it in the afternoon and do you take it with food? I only took 4600 grams of powder from bulk nutrients with 250 mg capsule mag gli and took about an hour b4 bed and still woke in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep . I did try the taurine in the morning the other day and felt very slow minded .

  8. The magnesium bisglycinate chelate that I take has no taurine. I thought the Thorne Taurine but it’s 500mg. Do you suggest taking 6 with the magnesium?The bottle of taurine suggests one capsule 2-3 times per day. When I reorder the magnesium I will look for a combo.

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    • In Australia and New Zealand, I prescribe Orthoplex Mag Taur, Metagenics CalmX, and Ethical Nutrients Mega Mag. All those brands contain 3 grams (3000 mg) of taurine. In other parts of the world, I’ve found MagSense powder which is magnesium glycinate with 0.5 gram taurine, so would need to be topped up with any brand of powdered taurine. Magnesium taurate (a magnesium salt of taurine) is also an option.

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  9. Up all night reading your blog 🙂 subscribed this morning! Very happy to have found it.

    I have been spotting for 2-6 days before my period, followed by a very light period. I track my temperature / cm and do ovulate. I have been off birth control for 2 years. My period comes on the day I expect it, but I wonder if maybe the day or two before are not spotting and indeed a period? Doesn’t seem like it however with clotting. Along with other symptoms, I’m thinking this may be something to do with low estrogen.

    I have ordered your book, but I am antsy to start finding solutions! I found the Metagenics Endura powder, wondering if that would be an okay start, as it has both mg glcyinate and taurine.

    Thank you for sharing information!

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  10. I am 33 and in the last 3 years have started to suffer from menstrual migraines. Not much has helped aid this. I’ve had hormone panels done and everything appears normal. I am now working with a naturopathic doctor and we’re doing a detox. During the process I got another migraine so it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hate that everyone recommends migraine medication or getting back on the pill. I’m really quite at a loss and desperate.

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      • I have taken magnesium for over a year. That alone didn’t seem to help. These migraines typically come once my period has started already. Would that be considered “post-menstrual cycle”? I see you recommend iron for possible deficiency.. My labs didn’t indicate anemia. Is there a dosage recommendation for iron? I never considered progesterone..is this something I can just get from my ob-gyn?

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      • Yes, I recently visited an endocrinologist after zero luck with my ob. Iron was in the 97 range, IRON %SAT 26, and FERRITIN at the 45 range, out of 10-291. Its the only panel highlighted. Could this mean something?

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        • a ferritin of 45 is pretty good and suggests the problem might not be iron deficiency. Depends on how heavy your periods are and how depleting they might be.

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          • If the range for the ferritin is 10-291 then 45 is pretty low in her case. Its only 13% thru the range. For menstruating women the ferritin should be at least half way thru the range or higher. I have low iron and sometimes get headaches after period for a day or so.

          • It seems to be on the lower spectrum for sure based on average. Its closer to 10 than it is to 291. How does one normalize ferritin? Taking an iron supplement?
            Zina – Thats pretty much when I get migraines. As my period is ending. I HATE them so much. So debilitating.

        • You can try iron supplements. Go for iron bisglycinate – it absorbs better and is gentle on the stomach and it will not constipate you. Take it with vitamin C or citrus drink for better absorption. I like Thorne brand. Also there is iron supplement called Blood Builder which is amazing too. A bit expensive though. I alternate between these too. Also important to re-test your ferritin levels after about 6-8 weeks. You don’t want too much iron in your body so keep an eye on the levels. If the migraines are caused by low iron you should feel the difference in about month or 2. Good luck : )

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      • They seem to be at about normal flow and I get about 5-6 period days. I’m willing just to try anything at this point. If there’s no iron deficiency would you suggest trying progesterone?

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        • Unfortunately, I can’t make any specific recommendations for you as you’re not my patient.
          In general, progesterone is most helpful for patients in perimenopause (40+).

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      • Thank you so much for your responses. I appreciate it so much. It’s hard to tell what direction to take at this point. I never dealt with this until 3 years ago. Now I can’t seem to figure out what could have gone wrong.

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        • are you in the 45-year-old age range? Increased migraines is a common symptom of perimenopause which I’ll discuss in my upcoming book.

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      • I typically weight train and have been doing that for longer than these migraines. I usually meal prep foods and try to relatively stick to the same foods. As of lately while working with my naturopathic doctor I’ve tried minimizing caffeine, gluten, dairy, and sugar. I stopped BC in Feb of this year (on it for 14years) to see if I could get things back to normal. Migraines have just about persisted even after stopping hormonal BC. Not too many observational changes.

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    • Sulfur is a natural element, to which it’s not possible to have an allergy. Instead, a “sulfur allergy” is usually an allergy to sulfonamides (sulfa drugs) or a sensitivity to sulfites, which are common in processed foods and wine.

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      • I immediately get a very obvious allergic reaction today first time I took Taurine, my face and parts of my neck got hot and red, and my hands (see my post below which I wrote before I saw this) When I googled the internet I could make no other conclusion as to that it must be the sulfur in Taurine (which was the only “other” thing I added to my breakfast this morning.

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    • In Australia and New Zealand, I prescribe Orthoplex Mag Taur, Metagenics CalmX, and Ethical Nutrients Mega Mag. All those brands contain 3 grams taurine. In other parts of the world, I’ve found MagSense powder which is magnesium glycinate with 0.5 gram taurine, so would need to be topped up with any brand of powdered taurine.

      Reply
      • I’ve just bought the Go Healthy brand…I hadn’t read the comments so didn’t see the recommendations but it has 3000mg of taurine. Fingers crossed it helps my anxiety and mood swings. Any suggestions for painful breasts? Thankyou Lara

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