26 July, 2011
Eggs: A Natural Source of Taurine
Taurine is an amino sulfonic acid, which is a compound that your body produces from the amino acids found in protein foods. Specifically, your body uses the amino acid cysteine to produce taurine, which promotes cardiovascular and neurological health. As eggs contain large amounts of cysteine, they are one of the best foods for boosting intake of taurine.
According to Dr. Maurice Shils and colleagues, researchers have yet to establish the exact taurine content in most foods. However, as all animal products contain taurine, eggs naturally add some taurine to your diet.
Because your body produces all of the taurine that it needs from cysteine, levels of this amino acid are probably a good indicator of the taurine your body will produce from eggs. One large hard-boiled egg provides approximately 150 milligrams of cysteine. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should try to consume 15 milligrams of cysteine per kilogram of body weight to meet your daily needs. This works out to approximately 1,100 milligrams of cysteine for a 160-pound person, so a single egg can provide more than 10 percent of the daily cysteine needs for many people.
- Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, Tenth Edition; Maurice E. Shils et al.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Egg, Whole, Cooked, Hard-Boiled
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Reference Intakes: Protein and Amino Acids
- DAJ/amana images/Getty Images