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Taurine

A sulphur-containing, non-essential amino acid, but one that's abundant in the body and as an antioxidant neutralises free radicals.

Taurine is produced in the body from cysteine with the help of vitamin B6, and is concentrated in excitable tissues such as the heart, muscles and nerve tissues, but it's not commonly found in food.

It's thought to have an inhibitory action on epilepsy and has been used to reduce seizures. Its inhibitory action can also help to counteract anxiety and stress, especially when combined with histidine and glycine.

Taurine is available as a food supplement and benefitial levels range greatly from between 500 and 3,000mg daily - depending on which expert you believe. For more information on nutrition, see 'Nutrients A to Z' by Dr. Michael Sharon (Prion Books)

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