Purpose of review: The shift of modern dietary regimens from 'Mediterranean' to 'western' style is believed to be responsible, in part, for the increase in cardiovascular disease, obesity, type II diabetes and cancer. A classic 'Mediterranean' diet consists of adequate intake of seafood, vegetables, fruit, whole grain and nonpurified monounsaturated vegetable oil. Thus, in humans, dietary intake of seafood is the major source of taurine, as the level of endogenously produced taurine is low.
Recent findings: Taurine has been shown to affect coronary artery disease, blood pressure, plasma cholesterol and myocardial function in animal models of human disease. A major role of taurine is to act as an antioxidant and absorb hypochlorous acid but not the oxidative radical. It seems that this beneficial effect of taurine in antioxidant therapy has not been well promoted.
Summary: This review will focus on determining whether taurine could be a factor contributing to the further prevention of heart disease.