I posted the link to the article below in the discussions buried in the following post: (http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/392686), but would like to get some educated feedback on this from others - namely the author suggesting taurine, arginine and magnesium combo as an actual "cure" for arrythmias of various sorts. Here is the article in question:
Last year when my PVCs were very bad I bought some taurine however I decided not to take it. After doing some research I wasn't 100% convinced about it's safety as its effects on the heart are not fully understood. Energy drinks containing taurine have been banned in several countries as it's safety hasn't been fully established. Studies have shown that Tuarine-containing drinks affect the contractility of the heart and that taurine increases heart rate and blood pressure.
To be honest I'm not sure how much credence I would give the article you refer to. I read this in the past and it seemed to me that one of the case histories the author presents is actually himself. This strikes me as a bit of a conflict of interests.
I would be interested to hear other people's opinions though and would be especially interested to hear from anyone who has tried it.
Be VERY careful. I never took these products but took "magnesium with calcium" suppose to be a "sure cure for PVC's (skipped beats), not in my case, didn't help at all. Then I took "hawthorn" again guarenteed to help PVC's yet again didn't help at all. Then I read about "valerian root" suppose to make the PVC's go away, valerian root made them WORSE. After doing some research I read one of the side effects of valerian root is an irregular heartbeat.
For at least 15 years I have been trying to find natural supplements to help alleviate my irregular heart beats. I have talked at length to so called 'experts' in Whole Foods and many other health food stores, and I have done much research online as well. I think that we have to be so careful when it comes to all of this and realize that what works for some may make others have worse symptoms, etc. That has been my case. There are some supplements, ie taurine and arginine that I was just to wary of so I have not tried those. What I do take is: Fish oil, a multi, extra cal/mag, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar (from the health food store), CoQ10 (at times) and also a product called 'Calm'. I wish I could report that I was 100% sure that one or more of these helped to suppress my arrhythmias but unfortunately I can not say that. I just continue to take these however b/c they are suppose to be a good addition to one's diet.
In the past, I have tried Hawthorn and other supplements that I had read about or heard about from someone, but I felt that they either did nothing or I had a feeling that they made my palps worse. Plus, when I started taking RX medication, I had to be so careful what I added to my daily regime in the way of supplementation. I think diet and lifestyle is just as imp as supplementing w/products from a health food store. It is hard to get factual information about so many of these products that may be a total waste of money or at worse, be harmful to our health so I take a v conservative approach. Having said that, I am always interested in hearing about what others are taking that could be beneficial and healthy for me so I keep an open mind and continue to do my 'homework'. (There is just so much contradictory info and it can be v confusing.) I hate taking meds if I can find something natural that works but so far, that has not happened.
it seems the majority of the feedback on this is negative... tho not from experience, but from cautiousness, which is perfectly fine of course.
I personally am trying the regimen in lower doses. I dont see Taurine as at all possibly being bad, for two reasons.. its a natural substance occuring in everyones diet to some degree.. not a herb or medication you arent already used to. And secondly because the amount being supplemented with is STILL less than those people who eat lots of fish and shellfish like some japanese. Taurine is also a prescribed treatment in Japan I believe. So Im not at all scared of this one personally. The L-Arginine is used by lots of guys as a ED treatment, and also sometimes with weightlifting. Ive never personally heard a negative comment from the weightlifting friends, but they dont complain about pvc's and such either, so Im not sure on that one.
Anyway, thanks for the feedback so far .. Im very curious to hear from anyone else whos tried taurine (with or without arginine and mag.) ,or thought about it and gives reasons why they didnt.
This will sound ridiculous but I am going to admit that one of the things that made me question its safety was an article came across documenting how taurine had exerted a proarrhythmic affect and actually led to v fib in cats! Now I have a PhD in molecular biology so I would normally disregard stuff like this and noone needs to tell me that an animal model is different to humans etc. Moreover the tuarine was given intravenously as opposed to orally. However it did stick in my mind, which I suppose goes to show how cautious I was about taking anything that directly affects the heart. I think having constant PVCs can make one very paranoid about their heart.
I do think there's a good chance that people whose PVCs are a direct result of taurine deficieny/depletion could see an improvement with oral supplementation. I think if I had taken it I would have tried a low dose. There are many things that are found naturally found in the body but if taken in high quantities can be dangerous.
Anyway good luck and let us know how it goes for you!
I think the moral of the story is one that we repeat often here. If you are truly interested in trying Taurine and Arginine to decrease PVC's then by all means, take this article and any questions you might have to the doctor and discuss options. Regardless of the source of medication (be it over the counter or prescription) those of us experiencing arhythmias should be careful. And, if you don't want your doctor knowing that you are trying a "cure" it's a good sign that it's not a good idea :-)
On the other hand, perhaps after speaking with your cardiologist or GP you will find that the idea has some merit. They may even take blood samples to see if you are indeed a candidate for this treatment. It's always better to be thorough then it is to be sorry AFTER you try something.
Your should take a look at more research before concluding that taurine is either ineffective or harmful:
Fujita, T., et al. Effects of increased adrenomedullary activity and taurine in young patients with borderline hypertension. Circulation. 75(3):525-532, 1987. (6 gms oral, no side effects, significant BP lowering)
Chahine R, Feng J, Protective effects of taurine against reperfusion-induced arrhythmias in isolated ischemic rat heart. Arzneimittelforschung 1998 Apr;48(4):360-4 (reduced PVCs and VTach; taurine as membrane stabilizer and free-radical scavenger)
Azuma J, Sawamura A, Awata N, Usefulness of taurine in chronic congestive heart failure and its prospective application. Jpn Circ J 1992 Jan;56(1):95-9
Third Department of Internal Medicine, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.
We compared the effect of oral administration of taurine (3 g/day) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (30 mg/day) in 17 patients with congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, whose ejection fraction assessed by echocardiography was less than 50%. The changes in echocardiographic parameters produced by 6 weeks of treatment were evaluated in a double-blind fashion. In the taurine-treated group significant treatment effect was observed on systolic left ventricular function after 6 weeks. Such an effect was not observed in the CoQ10-treated group [too low a dose]
Azuma, J. Therapeutic effect of taurine in congestive heart failure: A double-blind crossover trial. Clinical Cardiology. 8(5):276-82, 1985. "...The results indicate that addition of taurine to conventional therapy is safe and effective for the treatment of patients with congestive heart failure."
Azuma, J., et al. Double-blind randomized crossover trial of taurine in congestive heart failure. Curr Ther Research. 34(4):543-557, 1983.
4,000 mg of taurine per day orally for four weeks resulted in improvement in 19 out of 24 congestive heart failure patients.
Azuma, J., et al. Therapy of congestive heart failure with orally administered taurine. Clin Ther. 5(4):398-408, 1983.
2 gms BID for up to 8 weeks
I have taken up to 15 gms orally daily, for well over a month, with no side effects other than some loose bowels, and my AF has almost disappeared from several times a day for a few hours to once a week for 1.5 to 5 hours. I have also taken 200 mg IV several times a week at the start of this experiment (N of 1 study??)
Thanks for pointing this out. I started out to address the issue of safety, which I think those articles show, but I don't think you can discount the potential benefits, as the taurine treatment for the AF does not address the heart disease as much as the electrical/myocardial excitability. I am not sure that the cause of the atrial fibrillation would influence whether the taurine can help manage it.
Also, I know you can have AF without underlying ischemia or heart disease, but I would not call it benign, as it increases mortality. (Idiopathic atrial fibrillation as a risk factor for mortality. The Paris Prospective Study I. Eur Heart J (1999) 20 (12): 896-899. doi: 10.1053/euhj.1998.1397)
AF without underlying heart disease is also associated with increased weight of the heart, left atrial enlargement, and endocardial thickening. (Idiopathic atrial fibrillation. The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 193-197 H. Neufeld, C. Wagenvoort, H. Burchell, J. Edwards) I think it is valuable to eliminate it for these reasons as well as helping to reduce symptoms.
I also am on the Taurine / Argenine regime. I don't take it regularly. When I feel skipped beats coming on I take 4 grams of Taurine and 2 of Argenine. It works almost every time to return my heart beat to normal within about 20 minutes. I also take fish oil. I have also used chin chona root and got good results. It tastes awful as a tea. I've not tried the tablet form.
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