Do vegans get taurine from food or do they need supplements?

Vegans have higher risk of taurine deficiency, as plants don’t contain any taurine. But, vegans can increase taurine levels from taking taurine supplements or eating lots of foods high in methionine, cysteine, and vitamin B6. These compounds are vital for the natural synthesis of taurine.

Why taurine deficiency may be dangerous for vegans?

Taurine has so many health benefits, But, meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs are the only foods containing taurine naturally. Plants don’t contain any taurine.

Also, the human body can’t synthesize enough taurine. So, vegans have a high risk of taurine deficiency. Hence, vegans and vegetarians could benefit from taking taurine supplements. They’re pretty safe actually.

Taurine is popular for boosting energy levels and athletic performance. Moreover, taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the brain, spinal cord, leukocytes, heart, muscle cells, and the retina![1]

Do plants have taurine?

Vegans could benefit from taking taurine supplements, as plants don’t contain taurine![2] Actually, only some types of algae, and rare shrubs may contain some amounts of taurine. Certainly, vegans and vegetarians don’t take adequate amounts of taurine from dietary sources.

Only meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy contain taurine.

On the other hand, the human body can synthesize taurine. Mainly from the essential amino acid methionine and the nonessential amino acid cysteine. Vitamin B6 is also necessary.

Can vegans get taurine from food?

Most noteworthy, vegans should consume lots of foods high in methionine, cysteine, and vitamin B6, in order, to help the body synthesize as much taurine, as possible.

Vegan foods high in methionine:

  • beans, such as soy beans, navy beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans.
  • nuts and seeds, such as Brazil nuts, pistachios, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds.
  • soy products, such as tofu, edamame are good sources of methionine.
  • whole cereals, such as rice, and quinoa.

Vegan foods high in cysteine:

  • beans, such as lentils, soy beans, chickpeas. 
  • soy products, such as edamame.
  • whole cereals, such as oatmeal.
  • nuts and seeds, such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Vegan foods high in vitamin B6

  • soy products, such as edamame, tempeh, and tofu.
  • nuts and seeds, such as pistachios, chestnuts, and sunflower seeds. 
  • vegetables, such as spinach, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes.
  • fruits, such as avocados, and bananas.

Most noteworthy, following a vegan well-balanced diet, high in beans, nuts, seeds, and whole cereal can protect vegans from taurine deficiency.

Furthermore, vegans could benefit from consuming sunflower seeds regularly. They’re high in methionine, cysteine, and vitamin B6! Moreover, sunflower seeds can help obese people lose weight, despite their high calorie content.

Keep in mind, that only a few vegan foods are complete protein. Foods containing all 9 essential amino acids are complete protein. For instance, vegan foods that are complete protein are hemp seeds, chia seeds, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, or pumpkin seeds. Eat them regularly, in order, to help the body synthesize taurine and build muscle mass!

Do vegans need taurine supplements?

As a rule of thumb, taurine levels tend to be lower in vegans. Certainly, not all vegans are deficient in taurine. But, vegans have higher risk of taurine deficiency!

Although, there aren’t vegan foods containing taurine, the human body can synthesize it. Also, the body can conserve taurine when there are low levels, as less taurine is excreted through urine.

On the contrary, people who have excess taurine in their blood, due to taurine supplements or animal food, tend to excrete higher amounts of taurine through urine.

In any case, consult your doctor before taking taurine supplements. Especially, if you have low levels of energy. As, vegans and vegetarians have higher risk of taurine deficiency, they could benefit the most.

Furthermore, vegan athletes could benefit from taking creatine supplements, as there aren’t vegan creatine dietary sources.

Are taurine supplements vegan?

Nowadays, taurine is created synthetically in laboratories without the use of animals. Hence, most taurine supplements and energy drinks containing taurine are vegan. Compare prices of taurine supplements on Amazon.