The different fates of taurine deficiency

Mild to severe taurine deficiency in the cat: slight to serious retinopathy and cardiomyopathy, with more or less normal digestion of fats and normal absorption of fats and fat-soluble nutrients.

In man – even with significant taurine deficiency, mild and aggravated retinopathy and mild and aggravated cardiomyopathy. Mostly digestive disturbances, as more of the limited taurine pool is spared for more essential functions, essential to short term survival, like that of the heart and the retina. But this redirection of digestive metabolism from using taurine-bile salts to glycine-bile salts is not free. We expect some degree of all of the following adverse consequences:

  1. Poorer absorption of essential fats.
  2. Poorer absorption of conditionally essential fats.
  3. Poorer absorption of fat-soluble essential nutrients (A, D, E, and K)
  4. Poorer absorption of fat-soluble conditionally essential nutrients.

While we are better able to cope with taurine deficiency than the cat, we are hardly immune to its perils.


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