Cats with intestinal disease and taurine
Because taurine is an essential amino acid in cats, whole blood taurine concentrations currently remain a focus of feline disease research.
A recently published study is the first to investigate whole blood taurine concentrations in cats newly
diagnosed with intestinal disease. Taurine is the amino acid essential to conjugate bile acids. Conjugated bile acids are then absorbed from the distal small intestine (ileum). Cats with clinical disease of the ileum may have impaired absorption of these conjugated bile acids leading to decreased taurine concentrations, especially if they can't replenish their body stores by increased intake of a complete and balanced diet.
The study demonstrated that cats with predominantly large intestinal signs had significantly lower whole-blood taurine concentrations compared to cats with small intestinal or mixed bowel signs. The whole-blood taurine concentrations though remained within the reference range. Additional studies are needed to assess the role of bile acids and taurine in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory enteropathy.