Glucuronolactone (glucuronic acid lactone) is a natural metabolite found in the body.
Because Glucuronolactone was used as a drug during the Vietnam conflict to supply energy and feelings of well being to soldiers in combat, it was believed widely that Glucuronolactone was developed by the United States Government. Because Glucuronolactone is naturally occurring, this claim is false and no evidence exists to support this claim.
What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
Glucuronolactone is a popular ingredient in energy drinks. Most of these drinks contain caffeine, but Glucuronolactone is included because it not only supplies energy, it also increases feelings of well-being.
Glucuronolactone has been clinically proven to reduce sleepiness and sleep-related driving incidents under conditions of afternoon monotonous driving following sleep restriction the night before.1 It is widely known to improve mental performance, reaction time, concentration and memory.2,3,4
Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
The body manufactures Glucuronolactone naturally and deficiencies are rare.
Supplementation can be of benefit to those who want increased energy levels and increased feelings of well-being.
How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?
Strictly adhere to label instructions.
Glucuronolactone is not available over-the-counter in Canada, England, Germany and France.
1. Reyner LA, Horne JA. Efficacy of a 'functional energy drink' in counteracting driver sleepiness. Physiol Behav. 2002 Mar;75(3):331-5.
2. Alford C, Cox H, Wescott R. The effects of red bull energy drink on human performance and mood. Amino Acids. 2001;21(2):139-50.
3. Horne JA, Reyner LA. Beneficial effects of an "energy drink" given to sleepy drivers. Amino Acids. 2001;20(1):83-9.
4. Seidl R, Peyrl A, Nicham R, Hauser E. A taurine and caffeine-containing drink stimulates cognitive performance and well-being. Amino Acids. 2000;19(3-4):635-42.
It has been tested medically in the treatment of congestive heart failure, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, epilepsy and several other conditions with positive results. It is used by some as a neutralizer for monosodium glutamate . However, neither the harmfulness of monosodium glutamate nor the benefit of taurine has been proven.
Sources of dietary taurine include shellfish and organ meats such as liver.
Taurine, it is hoped, could eventually be used to reverse liver damage caused by alcoholism or a heavy night's drinking. Tests show that taurine can reverse, or even prevent, the build up of liver fat.
Taurine is one of the active ingredients commonly found in energy drinks such as Red Bull, and in pills which often feature caffeine and/or other stimulant ingredients. The manufacturers claim that taurine enhances the effects of caffeine, but to date there have been no studies performed to confirm this.
Taurine is essential for cats; cat food is supplemented with taurine, which is why other pet foods are not recommended for cats. In cats, taurine "helps maintain good eye health, regulate the heart beat, maintain cell membrane stability, and prevent brain cell over-activity" .
Taurine supplements may be important to counteract the effects of human aging on the natural taurine production process. As humans age, hepatic taurine production can fall or fail completely, producing low to no energy; cardiac, digestive, and mental problems; and premature death.
In biomedical research, taurine is also used in buffers for gel electrophoresis of nucleic acids.
Some multi-purpose solutions for contact lenses contain taurine. For example, one provider claims that  taurine protects corneal cells from osmotic stress and functions as an antioxidant. Taurine does occur naturally in tears and ocular tissues.
meh. the news is exaggerating. how could you have a daily intake of Taurine if we don't even know exactly what it does, and it only comes from a couple dietary sources (that most people don't eat daily).
and glucuronolactone may be similar to ghb, but it's NOT ghb.
I do agree, however, that stimulants and depressants should not be combined.