Menopause comes with a lot of unpleasant side effects. Hot flashes, fatigue, low mood, anxiety—your body goes through major changes throughout your menopausal years and they can be overwhelming to navigate.
If you’re struggling with menopause, don’t worry! There are a lot of things you can do—everything from lifestyle changes to beneficial supplements—to ease the downsides and bring your body back into balance.
One of my staple supplements for menopause is taurine. It’s an amino acid that your body uses for a wide variety of processes, and getting a little extra during menopause can make a big difference in how you feel day-to-day.
Here’s a look at what taurine is and how it can help you as you go through menopause.
What Is Taurine?
Taurine is an amino acid—a building block of protein that your body uses in many different ways. Taurine is especially important for cellular energy production and for aging well.
You get taurine from your diet, but unlike a lot of amino acids, which are abundant in many animal products, taurine is hard to come by unless you eat specific foods. There’s a small amount of taurine in dairy (like milk and cheese), but to get it in higher quantities, you’d have to regularly eat shellfish—especially scallops, mussels, and clams—or the dark meat of turkey[*]. There’s also a moderate amount of taurine in chicken thigh meat.
Because taurine is in such specific foods, a lot of people don’t get as much of it as they should. Your body also needs more taurine as you age—a 2023 paper found that taurine levels decline over time, and that taurine deficiency is common among older people[*].
Which is a good reason to take a taurine supplement when you’re going through menopause! It’s an inexpensive, widely available supplement, and it can ease a variety of menopausal symptoms.
Here are three ways taurine helps with menopause.
1. Taurine Decreases Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints women have during menopause, and there’s a good reason. A 2018 study found that your mitochondria—the power plants of your cells—decline rapidly during menopause due to low estrogen levels[*]. The study found that your brain mitochondria are especially susceptible, which can lead to mental fatigue and brain fog.
But taurine can help! A study from 2012 found that increasing taurine levels makes mitochondria more efficient, helping them create more energy in a shorter amount of time[*].
Taurine also protects your mitochondria. It’s a powerful antioxidant that reduces mitochondrial stress and damage, keeping your mitochondria in good shape and allowing them to produce more energy in the long-term, without breaking down[*].
If you’re feeling fatigued during menopause, taurine may help you keep your energy up.
2. Taurine Strengthens Your Bones
Menopause can also affect your bone health. A large-scale medical survey found that about 33% of postmenopausal women develop osteoporosis—a weakening of bones caused by decreased bone density[*]. Osteoporosis makes you much more susceptible to fractures or broken bones.
According to a 2021 review, keeping your taurine levels high is a powerful way to prevent osteoporosis. Taurine helps your bones maintain balanced calcium levels, which is important for building bone tissue[*]. Taurine also increases your absorption of vitamin D and vitamin K, two essential vitamins for bone health (by the way, vitamin D is an AMAZING supplement for everything from weight loss to brain function. If you aren’t taking it, you may want to learn more about the benefits of vitamin D).
Taking taurine can help keep your bones strong as you age. For most women, osteoporosis doesn’t kick in until after menopause—which means now is the perfect time to start supplementing with taurine. Keep that bone density up!
3. Taurine Helps Your Body Make Estrogen
Most of the symptoms of menopause happen because of hormones. During menopause your estrogen level drops dramatically[*], sometimes by up to 95%.
Low estrogen contributes to a lot of the common effects of menopause, including mood swings, anxiety, fatigue, hot flashes, weight gain, and more.
One of the best ways to make menopause easier is to increase your body’s natural estrogen production. According to a 2022 study, taurine may help: it significantly increases estrogen synthesis in ovarian cells[*].
How to Get More Taurine
There are a couple different ways to get more taurine. One option is through diet. Taurine is highest in shellfish—especially scallops, mussels, and clams—and dark turkey meat, and there’s a moderate amount of it in chicken thighs. If you eat those foods regularly, your cellular taurine levels will increase over time.
However, the easiest way (in my opinion) to get more taurine is with a supplement. Taurine is inexpensive and you can find it pretty much anywhere. A common recommendation is 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of taurine per day. You can take it anytime, with or without food.
Taurine is a great way to support your body as you age, especially during menopause. Give it a try and see how you feel.
And if you’re struggling with menopause symptoms, don’t worry. There’s a TON you can do to kickstart your hormones and feel like your younger self again. Check out my Menopause Survival Guide—it contains simple, actionable things you can do to make your body stronger and navigate menopause (and feel good while you do it).