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To normalize urinary taurine concentration, urinary creatinine concentrations were determined with a commercial kit Cold Stable, Pointe Scientific Inc. All of the volumes of reagents and samples were scaled down to one-fourth to quantify thiol concentrations in PL and WB and, for WB total glutathione concentrations.

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Bile acid concentrations in feces were measured using a commercial kit Bile Acid Kit No. The concentrations of nitrogen, protein and chromium in the diets and feces were analyzed at Analytical Laboratory at the University of California Davis. Significance of the data among three experimental groups at each time point for all of the variables was analyzed by mixed regression. Comparison of the variables between two time points in a group was done by paired t-test. All data were analyzed using SAS program [ 26 ]. Probability values in the range of 0. All of the data from the BP group were obtained from the remaining five dogs after week Except for that dog, all of the dogs maintained BW and had normal blood chemistries and completed blood cell counts at the beginning of the experiment.

There were no significant differences among the groups in PL albumin and total protein concentrations.

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No significant differences among the groups were found throughout the study. Mean BW of the dogs at the end of the study were The BCS of all dogs were maintained between 4 and 6 throughout the study. Whole blood taurine concentrations showed a similar pattern as those of PL taurine concentrations but the rates of decrease were slower Fig. However no statistical differences were found among the 3 groups at any time point. Mean apparent protein digestibilities of the diets for the dogs were Plasma total cyst e ine concentrations Fig. Plasma cysteinyl-glycine Fig.

The concentrations decreased between week 2 and week 4 and remained low until the end of the experiment. Various thiol concentrations in plasma PL and whole blood WB of the dogs fed the purified diets containing various fiber sources. Plasma free cysteine not including that bound to plasma proteins and methionine concentrations were determined with the PL CAAP. Plasma methionine concentrations did not show any significant differences among groups or with time. Food intake of the dogs decreased when the diets were changed from the PF diet to the experimental purified diets.

Decrease of FI after changing diets was mainly due to the characteristic differences of the diets. Purified diets have higher digestible energy as compared to the diets consisting of natural food ingredients. However, the dogs throughout the study maintained BCS levels between 4 and 6. However, the decrease in PL albumin below the normal reference range for all of three groups indicates that either total protein or an essential amino acid may have been slightly limiting for normal albumin homeostasis.

Except for branched chain amino acids, none of the concentrations of essential amino acids in the PL during the experimental period were lower than those at week 0 data not shown and all were within the normal range for dogs [ 27 ]. Mean taurine concentrations Fig.

There appears to be three reasons for the taurine deficiency in this study. The first is protein digestibility sulfur amino acid bioavailability.

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The BP group showed the lowest protein digestibility throughout the study among the three experimental groups and, therefore it would be predicted that less sulfur amino acids were available for taurine synthesis. The digestibility of protein in animals fed diets containing BP has been reported by various researchers. Several have reported no effect of BP on protein digestibility in horses [ 28 ], cats [ 29 ], and even in dogs [ 30 ]. In contrast, reports in pigs [ 31 ] and in chickens [ 32 ], indicate that protein digestibility was decreased when fed BP.

It is known that taurine is a non-essential amino acid that is synthesized in most mammals from cyst e ine [ 33 ]. Our results indicate that when protein, and thus sulfur amino acids, are low yet sufficient for nitrogen balance and glutathione homeostasis, taurine synthesis is inadequate and that a decrease in protein digestibility may be a part of this process. That quantity appears to be more than we had in the diets of the present experiment. The second possible reason is the effects of fibers that would interfere with the entero-hepatic recycling of BA, the recycling route for the major taurine metabolite to maintain taurine status.

Fibers have various physiological effects on the metabolism of animals, including satiety, slowing gastric emptying, thus delaying or interfering with nutrient absorption that, in turn, results in improvement of glucose tolerance and lowering serum cholesterol [ 34 ].

There are several hypotheses regarding the cholesterol-lowering effect of fiber, which include increasing BA excretion through feces. Since most dogs diagnosed with DCM had been fed lamb and rice including RB diets, we postulated that RB may contribute to the low taurine status of these dogs [ 5 ].

1 Introduction

In general, BAs are synthesized in liver from cholesterol and conjugated with glycine or taurine to make these strong detergents, glycocholic acid or taurocholic acid. These detergents play an important role in the small intestine to emulsify various kinds of lipids to enhance their absorption by forming water soluble micelles. Dogs, like cats, obligatorily conjugate BA with taurine, ie, the liver enzyme responsible for conjugation, cholyl-CoA: N-acyltransferase , is specific for taurine in dogs [ 34 ]. An interference with entero-hepatic recycling of bile salts would result in the depletion of the taurine pool of dogs if a limited quantity of taurine or its precursors are available.

Therefore, fecal BA excretion was determined as an indicator of the efficiency of entero-hepatic recycling of bile salts of the dogs fed the various fibers. Possible reason for decrease of fecal BA excretion with time may be the limited amount of protein in the diets. The synthesis and secretion of BA are reported to be enhanced by the hormonal stimulation of cholecystokinin whose release is evoked by fats and amino acids in the digestive tracks of the animals [ 35 ].

That is, the lower consumption of protein by the dogs may have led to less release of cholecystokinin and, in turn, less BA production and secretion. However, it is clear that the BP group had the highest BA excretion regardless of the method of expression.

Moreover, all had about the same percentage of insoluble dietary fiber, 1. Thus, it does not appear that it is the quantity of the various fibers, but the nature of the fiber that is contributing to the different response of the BP on BA excretion and taurine depletion. The third possible reason for the decrease in taurine status in the present study is the interaction of fiber with the small intestinal microbes. Thus, the difference between the overall effects of the three dietary treatments on taurine status may reside in the difference in fermentability of the fibers by the small intestinal microbes.

If an increased microbial fermentation occurs as the result of an increased consumption of BP fiber as compared to the fiber in CL or RB, then it would be expected that more taurine would be destroyed, similar to the increase catabolism of taurine that occurs in cats that have more microbial fermentation [ 13 — 15 , 36 ]. Sunvold et al. Thus, although we could not rule out some microbial fermentation by the CL or RB groups because we had no control diet without fiber, the results still support the idea that BP, not RB, fiber may contribute to a significant loss of endogenous taurine in dogs.

With the possible exception of free and total PL cyst e ine, there is no indication that there was an effect of fiber on body thiol status Fig. Whole blood was chosen for total glutathione assay since red blood cells contain the higher concentration of glutathione. According to Stipanuk et al. When cellular cysteine is decreased, glutamate-cysteine ligase is up-regulated to increase synthesis of glutathione and when cellular cysteine is in excess, cysteine dioxygenase is up-regulated to catabolize excess cysteine to maintain a narrow range of tissue cysteine concentrations.


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It is interesting that metabolic regulation conserves glutathione rather than taurine, perhaps simply because the dietary excess of sulfur amino acids goes through the liver first where the majority of the enzymes involved are located and because of the Km s of the enzymes involved. That is, the priority for the use of cysteine in dogs in our experiment appears to be first for glutathione, second for general protein synthesis and finally for taurine synthesis. The apparent anomaly ie, of glutathione being a reservoir for cyst e ine here is that there appeared to be insufficient albumin synthesis or increased albumin breakdown under the conditions of our experiment, even though the dogs appeared to be in nitrogen balance ie, maintaining BW and WB total glutathione actually increased.

In summary, rather than RB, dietary BP showed the most significant effect in lowering PL and WB taurine concentrations, in part, by decreasing the protein digestibility sulfur amino acid bioavailability , by enhancing fecal excretion of BA and possibly, by enhancing degradation of taurine by gut microflora in dogs.

Taurine: a conditionally essential amino acid in humans? An overview in health and disease.

These effects may result from the greater effect of BP fiber than RB or CL on intestinal bacterial fermentation that cleaves taurocholic acid and destroys the taurine released. In conclusion, since CL was the control fiber, and RB caused similar responses as CL, we conclude that RB is unlikely the cause of the increased risk of taurine deficiency in dogs fed lamb and rice diets. Hayes KC. Taurine nutrition.

Nutr Res Rev. Torres CL. The effects of dietary ingredients, bacterial degradation in the gut and amount of food consumed on taurine status of dogs of different body sizes dissertation.

Taurine deficiency in Newfoundlands fed commercially available complete and balanced diets. J Am Vet Med Assoc. Low plasma taurine concentrations in Newfoundland dogs is associated with low plasma methionine and cyst e ine concentrations and low taurine synthesis. J Nutr. Taurine deficiency in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy: 12 cases Effects of species raw material source, ash content, and processing temperature on amino acid digestibility of animal by-product meals by cecectomized roosters and ileallycannulated dogs.

J Anim Sci. Dietary rice bran decreases plasma and whole-blood taurine in cats.