What does the 'L' in front of supplement names mean?

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    Timmo's Avatar
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    What does the 'L' in front of supplement names mean?


    i.e. L-arginine, L-Carnitine etc. I have always wondered what the L stood for but have never been able to find out what. Anyone out there know?

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    L = "Levo" (left)
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    It has to with how the molecule rotates a plane of polarized light. Counter-clockwise equals Levorotary(L), clockwise equals dextrorotary. These molecules have a chiral center and that is what they are described as rotating about... Your body will react to the two enantiomers differently. One may be more eaisly absorbed, or preferentially used, etc.
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    What Korben said..
    Also- the L- types are more readily absorbed by the human body, afaik
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    And I'm pretty certain that it's only used to describe Amino Acids. Simply put, if you see L- something, and you don't know what it is, you can assume it's some type of free form amino acid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by doggzj View Post
    And I'm pretty certain that it's only used to describe Amino Acids. Simply put, if you see L- something, and you don't know what it is, you can assume it's some type of free form amino acid.
    Sorry, bro this terminology can be used with any chiral molecule. It truly speaks to a molecules specific rotation.. Not trying to call you out just giving you a little more info.
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    Interestingly enough also is that humans are only made up of "left handed" amino acids.
    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/universo/cosmos11.htm
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    interesting looking article will have to read through it later... back to finals...
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