Molecule of the Week

Taurine

October 1, 2007

Taurine, or 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is the ingredient du jour in energy drinks (e.g., Red Bull). It was first isolated from ox bile (Taurus is Latin for ox). It is a major component of bile and found in animal muscle tissue. Scientists are pursuing its potential medicinal uses, which were discovered in part because cats cannot produce taurine and are subject to severe ailments when it is absent from their diet.