Taurine: 5 Benefits for Women’s Health

Taurine for women's health

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

Unlike many other amino acids, taurine is not used to build protein. Instead, it acts directly to support the healthy functioning of the liver, brain, and immune system. Taurine is so important for health that it makes up 0.1% of total body weight.

Traditionally, taurine has been classified as “non-essential” because it can be synthesized from methionine and cysteine. Unfortunately, the rate of taurine synthesis is very low in humans so must be ingested from animal foods such as meat, dairy, and fish. The daily intake from an average omnivore diet is 400 mg and there’s no taurine in plant foods.

Obtaining adequate dietary taurine is more important for women because estrogen slows the biosynthesis of endogenous taurine.

Benefits of taurine for women’s health

Calms the brain and soothes anxiety

Taurine is a calming neurotransmitter similar in structure to glycine and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) — the brain’s other two calming neurotransmitters.

Similar structure of the neurotransmitters GABA, glycine, and taurine.
GABA, glycine, and taurine are similar in molecular structure.

By interacting with GABA receptors, taurine helps to support beneficial “GABAergic” tone or overall GABA activity, thereby improving sleep, preventing migraines, and relieving 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. 

Supports healthy estrogen metabolism or detoxification

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.

Improves recovery from iron-deficient anemia

Thanks to taurine’s antioxidant and cell-membrane stabilizing effects, it can boost hemoglobin in response to iron supplementation.

Builds muscle and bone

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

How to supplement taurine

The therapeutic dose of taurine is 500 to 3000 mg and works best when taken with magnesium, another important nutrient for mood, mitochondria, and insulin sensitivity. I usually prescribe a magnesium glycinate powder with 3000 mg of taurine. Magnesium taurate (a magnesium salt of taurine) is another option.

Is taurine safe with a sulfur allergy?

A “sulfur allergy” is usually an allergy to sulfonamides (sulfa drugs) or a sensitivity to sulfites, which are common in processed foods and wine. It’s not possible to have an allergy to sulfur, the element found in taurine.

For more about taurine, see my new book Hormone repair manual: every woman’s guide to healthy hormones after 40.

120 thoughts on “Taurine: 5 Benefits for Women’s Health”

  1. Hello Lara.
    I am in the US. Can you suggest a brand available in the US? If not, can you suggest starting doses for each mg and taurine? I did see mg-taurate, is that the same as taurine?

    And how long it is safe to take? Since it had mg, is it best to take at night or will the taurine keep you awake? I take melatonin at night as well.

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  2. Hello,

    please could you clarify whether taurine can affect testosterone levels? I have found an article where they found a positive correlation between glycine and taurine conjugated bile acids with serum concentrations of testosterone in women with PCOS compared to controls.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30849463/

    There are also some mice studies that suggest similar.

    Whilst some of the other websites online aren’t that scientific, it seems taurine supplementation is used for “muscle building”, which also makes me think that a supplementation of 500mg + might not be good for women for PCOS.

    Thank you,
    Amy

    Reply
  3. Dear Dr. Briden, I currently take 600mgs of lithium carbonate. I read that Taurine can make the kidneys hold on to lithium longer, which could result in toxicity. Am I never to take Taurine then?

    Reply
  4. Hello! What a magnificent resource. Thank you! Can a person safely take estrogen, progesterone, and taurine at the same time?

    Reply
  5. Everything I have read about Taurine indicates that it can lower blood pressure. However in animal studies it increased blood pressure in ONLY the female animals. I am still in the normal range but it keeps getting higher as I age. In the human studies ion blood pressure I can never seem to find out the gender of the folks who participated in the study. Has anyone here or any of your clients Lara, had an increase in blood pressure from using taurine? thanks so much

    Reply
  6. Hi Lara, I’ve just watched the Very Peri summit and found your interview really informative, so thank you!
    I’d like to try mag and taurine. Can you recommend a brand or advise where to buy it?

    Reply
    • If you’re in Australia, it’s easy to find a mag + taurine formula. Metagenics CalmX, Orthoplex MagTaur, Ethical Nutrients brand and others. See the brand list in the back of my book Hormone Repair Manual.

      Reply
  7. Hi Lara, I have increased my taurine to 6-9 grams recently as I have experienced benefits in terms of IBD and an oxalate burden. I have also been on progesterone for over 25 yrs now, and currently taking it in sublingual quick dissolve form. Recently I had to stop progesterone as it seemed like the taurine and progesterone were competing on the GABA pathway and it just got too jammed up with either the taurine or the progesterone or both, which seemed to jump to the Glutamate pathway, leaving me feel very unlike myself, unable to sleep for 4 days, not even 5 minutes, like it was an excitatory response. I have not gone back to the progesterone, but was thinking of starting back up tonight. I went on pubmed and didnt find much so I then contacted several compounding pharmacists and their responses varied: progesterone resistance; should not take progesterone with taurine: and thyroid storm (which I am familiar with, but I dont think that was it). I would really like to continue taking both as they are both swiss army knives, but I’m looking to find out whether that would be safe or not. Thank you, Kind Regards, Dolores

    Reply
    • I’m on HRT in surgical menopause band can’t sleep – could this be why? I take magnesium glycinate and magnesium taurate. .

      Reply
      • Hi Mrs Tuft, I’m still trying to find out if taurine and progesterone compete with each other in any conceivable way. When I find out, I will let you know by posting it here. Since i last posted
        , I have tried many times to add back in progesterone, and even in small amts it prevents me from sleeping, even falling asleep. Weird for sure. I have another person that I’m considering reaching out to, we’ll see if they respond. I sure would like to get to the bottom of this. I really do miss taking progesterone. Cannot tolerate the others (biest, DHEA, testosterone). Hope you get some sleep tonight.

        Reply
        • Hi Dolores. I have the opposite issue. I have managed to get some sleep now I’m taking progesterone (which I don’t ‘need’ as I have no womb)…

          Reply
  8. Your blogs are so interesting and helpful. I have spent a few hours reading through several of your articles and feel empowered with information and a plan to help improve my moods (which are becoming more erratic and impacting my day to day life more). I was diagnosed with PCOS in my 20s and now just turned 40 iv always put my moods down to this as iv felt my hormones are imbalanced! I was reseaeching peri menapause when I came across your blogs.
    I am going to try supplements you have suggested (magnesium and taurine) and I plan to stop taking the mini pill having read your blogs and related to lots of the information you have given. Thank you for sharing your knowledge

    Reply
    • Hi-I was told by my PCP-to take it at night, so your body can absorb it better. Taking it during the day, you frequently use the bathroom more, so it’s not staying inside your body as it would at night!

      Reply
  9. I really appreciate your blog articles especially the recent one on taurine. I’ve started taking it alongside magnesium and I’ve noticed an improvement in mood and no night sweats, hurrah! . I also haven’t had a migraine since I began taking it 3 weeks ago which is impressive considering I’m perimenopausal and tend to get regular migraines.
    Thank you for all the work you do for women’s health, it’s much appreciated and valued. I’ve already sent your article to friends and family so more women know there’s help available!
    Warm regards, Zoe

    Reply
  10. Thanks for the great info, Lara! If I have a high protein diet with lots of fish and meat, would I be overdoing it to supplement with Taurine if I get migraines? Just don’t want to overdo it.

    Reply
    • Hi ..with a high protien diet you cant over do it as the protien you are consuming in food is an indirect source and only partly broken down and absorbed by body via digestion.Any additional or excess is eliminated in normal bowel movements or urine.Taurine is a particular amino acid that is present in your high protein diet in small quantities and by choseing to take it as an additional supplement you can be sure it is taken in a controlled manner as apposed to leaving it to guess work or chance.

      Reply
  11. I’ve had great results supplementing with 3g taurine/day for the past 2 months, especially with my gallbladder and anxiety issues. What I haven’t been able to find a clear answer on is if it’s best if cycled. Does the body get ‘used’ to this high amount and make cycling work better?

    Reply
  12. Hi Dr. Briden,

    I have tried Taurine twice and both nights I woke up with my heart racing. Is this a possible side effect? The first night I took 3000mg, the second I took 1000mg. (I took it along with magnesium which is a part of my normal supplementation.)

    Should I try the Taurine several more nights? I am taking it for trouble sleeping (and I go through severe pms symptoms every month).

    Thank you!

    Annabel

    Reply
  13. Is taurine a good preventative supplement for men to prevent migraines too ? Thanks you so much for your info and wisdom

    Reply
  14. Hi, can you take Taurine alongside other mood supplements such as st johns wort or ashwagandha?
    Thank you for all your info you share!

    Reply
  15. Can you take a separate magnesium Glycinate powder and a taurine powder and just take them at the same time?

    Reply
  16. Hello Dr. Briden, I hope you and your family are safe. Dr. Briden, could you recommend the name of the magnesium and taurine powder you cite in your article, please? I want to take it to my endocrinologist, to see if is the case for me taking it (I’m about to get off Metformin!), and I would love a safe recommendation from you. Deep thank you, Júlia

    Reply
  17. Is it effective to take taurine powder in my smoothie at night? Or does it need to be taken separately? Thank you, Dr. Briden!

    Reply
  18. Thank you for your very interesting post!

    I recently tried taurine in combination with magnesium. It ended up triggering a huge headache and migraine. Any thoughts why this could be?

    I’m 42, take progesterone creme and working on fixing my B6 and zinc deficiencies…

    I appreciate I’m not your patient, just curious to see if you have any thoughts I could investigate this end.

    Thank you!

    Reply
      • It was 500mg taurine as a tablet on its own. The magnesium are also separate tablets. So not a formula with other things. If it helps, I also got headaches taking zinc tablets and looking for the right type to work for me.

        Reply
  19. I have a supplement that contains magnesium taurate and L-taurine. If i take this I do not need to supplement with magnesium glycinate? Thanks!

    Reply
    • yes, that can also work. although it’s hard to get to the 3000 mg of taurine that way, and you’ll be missing out on the benefits of glycine.

      Reply
  20. I am 58 years old and post menopausal. I have been on HRT for 7 years. I still have an occasional hot flash and also night sweats if I drink alcohol. I already take mag glycinate. Can I take taurine as well while on HRT?

    Reply
  21. Such an interesting article, thank you. Do you have a particular brand/s of mg glycinate that you recommend?

    Reply
  22. Thank you for your blog and books. I have the second one and find it useful. I am curious about the best times to take supplements for best absorption and digestive comfort point of view. Magnesium and taurine for instance, before bed? During a meal? Or in the afternoon like you do? Or do you think it doesn’t make such a difference?

    Reply
  23. I’m 47 with perimenopasual symtoms and taking escitalopram. I’d like to go off the medication and help my hormonal symptoms. Would taurine and magnesium be a good option for me?

    Reply
  24. I started getting migraines with aura at 19 and they just stopped, for no discernible reason, at 33. However, almost 2 years ago, at 46, I started experiencing tinnitus, seemingly out of nowhere (no exposure to loud noise or other physical reason-not Meniere’s) while also starting to experience symptoms I now know as perimenopause symptoms. I’ve heard of connections between migraine and tinnitus- it feels like one got swapped for the other:(. I know tinnitus isn’t a common symptom in perimenopause but I do believe it is connected to my hormone shifts based on tracking my period. My question is do you know if can taurine can help with tinnitus like it does with migraine? I’m currently taking mag glycinate and purchased taurine capsules in case they might help.

    Reply
  25. Dear Lara, I have read your book (Hormone repair manual) and it is just irreplaceable! It helped me to understand what is happening in my own body and kept me sane. I started suffering from insomnia and then i noticed i was getting unusually hot in the night, i have also started experiencing headaches around the period (however having more carbs in the diet reduced them substantially) … Taurine helped me a lot with sleep. I am just 39 so i thought it was too early for the perimenopause:/ but i think this is exactly what is happening… i am guessing the early onset of it it is due to the fact that i have developed only one ovary (i went through anorexia in my teenage years) and thus run out of eggs much sooner then normal? Would you please be able to say whether my presumptions are correct? Can one ovary be the reason why i entered the transition much earlier? also, i have been fallowing very low carb diet for the last couple of years and also time restricting eating. Would you say this could in some way contribute to early onset of perimenopause too? Thank you

    Reply
  26. I have been using taurine with magnesium glycinate at your recommended doses for two months and have seen an improvement in sleep and general headaches . However headaches at the beginning of my period, heart palpitations not associated with stress and night sweats are not changing. Should I move into progesterone? Thank you!

    Reply
  27. Hi, I am 49 and have bad PMDD. I bought the taurine capsules-500mg and magnesium-400mg. How many capsules should I be taken of each? Thank you in advance!

    Reply
  28. I wrote in an earlier comment about allergic reactions/rashes that I thought I got from Taurine. I regret that comment since I now know it is from Niacin (a form om B-vitamin) and NOT from Taurine.

    Reply
  29. I began to take taurine with my iron and vitamin C in the morning a few hours before I take my other supplements which include calcium. I take low calcium foods with my iron. I cant take supplements alone as they zip through me and come out as unopened capsules. Food slows things down which I need.
    Since I began taking the taurine with the iron, I no longer get black stool. Does this mean the taurine is enhancing my digestion of iron? I hope so.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • Are there any brands available in the US that you would recommend? I’m having trouble finding something with enough taurine combined with magnesium. Or is it OK just to supplement with taurine and magnesium glycinate separately instead?

        Reply
  30. 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!

    Reply
    • 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)

      Reply
      • I have been taking 400mg of mag citrate powder and now intend to add taurine but I get pretty bad diarrohea with the mag. I do need the dose as I had lab teste done and my Mag was very low.

        Reply
        • Mag citrate is specifically used as a laxative for prepping for a scope. I don’t know why so many promote it as a supplement. The only thing I can think is that they assume everybody is constipated and it could only help.
          Ditch the mag citrate and try mag taurinate, mag carbonate , mag glycinate. There are a few others. I have better luck with the others. There are now many vitamin companies that have gotten with the program and have good supplements.

          Reply
  31. 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 . ?

    Reply
  32. 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)

    Reply
  33. 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 🙂

    Reply
  34. 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.

    Reply
    • +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.

      Reply
  35. 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

    Reply
    • Liz, the UK brand Viridian do a Magnesium taurate supplement. I like this company because they use good quality supplements and don’t add fillers.

      Reply
  36. 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

    Reply
    • 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)

      Reply
      • 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

        Reply
          • 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 .

  37. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  38. 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!

    Reply
  39. 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.

    Reply
      • 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?

        Reply
      • 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?

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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 : )

          Reply
      • 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?

        Reply
        • 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+).

          Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
    • 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

        Reply
      • Hi Lara.
        Is there a brand you suggest in the US? And what would be an effective starting dose of taurine? Is there a duration of time it is safe to take or should you take breaks?

        Lastly, I found supplements that are mag-taurate, is that the same as taurine?

        Magnesium is good to take at night, but you suggest evening with dinner inrased? Thank you in advance.

        Reply

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