Is Taurine Good For Dry Eyes? Taurine Deficiency And Eye


The scientific name of taurine is 2-amino-ethane sulfonic acid, and it is a natural amino sulfonic acid. Taurine is good for dry eyes and also for other eye issues like cataracts because it helps the eye manage the balance of fluids. Our bodies can make some taurine, but most of it comes from what we eat. The biggest sources are animal-based foods, especially from sea creatures and mammals. 

Also, taurine can be found in a few plants, like wolfberries and cordyceps. Moreover, taurine can be taken from supplements like pills or energy drinks, but it is always wise to consult with a doctor before taking any supplements. Our bodies can make taurine, but we also need to get it from our diet because taurine deficiency can harm our eye health.

Dry Eyes And Its Causes: Antioxidant And Osmoprotecting Activity Of Taurine In Dry Eye

Dry eye is a common condition, and both males and females can suffer from it. However, post-menopausal women are more vulnerable to suffering from this condition. The outer layer of our eyes is protected by a thin film of tears, and it is very important for our vision.

Taurine Deficiency And Eye

New tears are produced in glands around the eye to maintain the balance of moisture, but some people don’t produce enough tears, and this condition is known as dry eye.

Dry eye can occur for many reasons. For example, if you read or stare at a computer screen for a long period, then it can cause dry eye. Also, if you use contact lenses, then you can suffer from dry eyes. Moreover, certain diseases like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can cause dry eye.

The Importance Of Taurine For Eyes And The Effects Of Taurine Deficiency

Taurine is found in many tissues, especially in parts like the retina in our eyes, and scientists believe that it is important for the survival and growth of retinal cells. Also, taurine can be beneficial for the cleaning process of the retinal pigment epithelium. Moreover, taurine is an antioxidant that can prevent age-related vision problems.

It can be surprising but true that newborns have more taurine in their eyes than adults. This is because taurine is one of the most abundant acids found in breast milk. Moreover, scientists believe that it plays an important role in the health of babies as they grow.

The amount of taurine in our eyes decreases as we get older, which is a serious concern for older adults and people with diabetes. However, such people can take supplements after consulting with a doctor to keep their eyes healthy. Surprisingly, some medicines can lower the levels of taurine in the body, and taurine supplements can be helpful in such conditions.

Scientists became interested in taurine and its connection to eye health in the 1970s when they noticed that when cats were fed a diet without taurine, their retinas, especially the cells that capture light, started to degenerate. Scientists observed similar issues in monkeys and humans when they gave monkeys a taurine-free formula and nutrition without taurine to humans through a vein for a certain period. Further studies were conducted to determine the cause, and it was found that not having enough taurine in a diet can lead to problems in the eyes.

Currently, scientists use different methods to reduce taurine levels in animals for research purposes. For example, substances like guanidoethane sulfonate (GES) and β-alanine are used by scientists for taurine depletion in animals. Also, Vigabatrin, which is a drug for epilepsy treatment, can lower the levels of taurine. Studies have found that animals and humans treated with Vigabatrin experience visual problems, and these effects are believed to be linked to taurine deficiency.

What Does Science Say About The Connection Between Taurine And Eye Health?

Science believes in evidence that comes from experiments, and many scientists have studied the connection between taurine and eye health. Let us take an example of a study to get a better understanding of this connection.

Scientists experimented on rodents by treating them with substances like guanidoethane sulfonate (GES) to reduce their taurine levels. This helped the scientists investigate the specific impact of taurine depletion on the eye, especially when combined with exposure to light. According to scientists involved in that study, they observed simultaneous degeneration of photoreceptors, particularly cones and retinal ganglion cells.

Scientists observed several important effects of the eyes in additional research on taurine depletion. According to the findings, the outer segment of photoreceptors (the cells that capture light) became significantly shorter. Also, scientists observed the activation of microglial cells, which are involved in the immune response and indicate a reaction to changes in the eye.

Moreover, there was increased oxidative stress, which is a form of damage caused by certain molecules in the eye. Additionally, the ability of the retinal pigment epithelium to clean up cellular debris was impaired.

Interestingly, the oxidative stress, specifically in the ganglion cell layer (a part of the eye containing nerve cells), was caused by taurine depletion and was not influenced by exposure to light. This suggests that the lack of taurine itself was responsible for the stress experienced by the ganglion cells.

According to scientists, the connection between the levels of taurine and the degeneration of retinal cells opens up the possibility of considering taurine as a potential treatment for retinal degeneration.

Final Words

Taurine is a natural amino sulfonic acid and is very important for our eye health. Taurine is not only good for dry eyes but also other eye issues like cataracts and macular degeneration. Also, many studies have been conducted to find out the connection between taurine and eye health, and the findings suggest that taurine is beneficial for eye health. 

Above, we have explained everything about taurine, its importance, and the effects of taurine deficiency. Thus, make wise decisions and include food items in your diet routine to get enough taurine. However, if you want to take taurine through supplements, then make sure to consult with your doctor to get advice on dosages and other important things that are important to your health.


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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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