IMPORTANCE OF TAURINE IN THE DIET
Taurine is present as a free amino acid in most body fluids and tissues. It is important in the heart muscle because it increases the calcium available for contractions, yet protects against imbalances such as intracellular calcium overload when magnesium or potassium are low. Taurine important has been considered effective therapy in congestive heart failure. Taurine is absent from plant based foods but is found in raw meat. The effectiveness of this amino acid is readily denatured by cooking and processing. The biosynthesis of Taurine depends heavily on vitamin B6.
Unfortunately, cats are not able to synthesize taurine and so they must consume it in their diet. Thus they must be meat eaters to obtain the natural form of Taurine. Dry food processors must supplement Taurine to their dry diets in order to make this amino acid available to cats. The retina contains one of the highest concentrations of Taurine in the body. In cats, when the concentration of Taurine is depleted, changes in the photoreceptor cells begin to appear which can result in permanent retinal degeneration. A Taurine deficiency will also affect the heart because it comprises more than 50% of the free amino acid pool in the heart. This explains why cats are prone to cardiomyopathy.
A balanced natural raw food diet, with all the nutrients in their natural synergistic state, will prevent not only heart disease, but a large percentage of most all diseases that we see on a regular basis. Just another reason to consider feeding a natural raw food diet that contains the known and unknown vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and raw protein sources.
posted by Rob Mueller