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Effect of Processing on Fate of Dietary [14C]Taurine in Cats

Updated: May 9, 2020

ARTICLE DATE: September 1990


Mary A. Hickman, Quinton R. Rogers, James G. Morris The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 120, Issue 9, September 1990, Pages 995–1000




The objective of this study was to determine the fate of a pulse-labeled oral dose of uniformly labeled [14C]taurine in cats fed four separate diets. The diets were a heat-processed commercial diet, the same diet frozen-preserved and two purified diets containing 0 or 1325 mg taurine/kg. The commercial formulations contained 1070 mg taurine/kg dry matter (by analysis). The excretion of 14C in CO2, urine and feces was monitored. Significant quantities of 14CO2 were produced, with greater amounts excreted by cats fed the heat-processed commercial diet (9.4% of initial dose) than by those fed the frozen-preserved diet (0.09%), indicating extensive taurine degradation by the intestinal microflora. Purified diet groups were intermediate between the two commercial diet groups. Carbon-14 excreted in urine peaked at 24 h and was highest for cats fed the frozen-preserved commercial diet or 1325 mg taurine/kg purified diet. Carbon-14 excreted in feces was highest for cats fed the two commercial diet formulations, with peak amounts at 48–72 h. Because the frozen-preserved commercial diet had previously been shown to maintain plasma taurine concentration, whereas the heat-processed diet did not, these results indicate that processing affects the digestive and/or absorptive process in a manner that increases the catabolism of taurine by gastrointestinal microorganisms.


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