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  • L-DOPA


    L-DOPA (), also known as levodopa () or L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine is an amino acid that is made and used as part of the normal biology of humans, as well as some animals and plants. Humans, as well as a portion of the other animals that utilize L-DOPA in their biology, make it via biosynthesis from the amino acid L-tyrosine. L-DOPA is the precursor to the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline), which are collectively known as catecholamines. Furthermore, L-DOPA itself mediates neurotrophic factor release by the brain and CNS. L-DOPA can be manufactured and in its pure form is sold as a psychoactive drug with the INN levodopa; trade names include Sinemet, Pharmacopa, Atamet, Stalevo, Madopar, and Prolopa. As a drug, it is used in the clinical treatment of Parkinson's disease and dopamine-responsive dystonia. L-DOPA has a counterpart with opposite chirality, D-DOPA. As is true for many molecules, the human body produces only one of these isomers (the L-DOPA form). The enantiomeric purity of L-DOPA may be analyzed by determination of the optical rotation or by chiral thin-layer chromatography (chiral TLC).

  • Carnitine


    Carnitine (β-hydroxy-γ-N-trimethylaminobutyric acid, 3-hydroxy-4-N,N,N-trimethylaminobutyrate) is a quaternary ammonium compound involved in metabolism in most mammals, plants and some bacteria. Carnitine may exist in two isomers, labeled D-carnitine and L-carnitine, as they are optically active. At room temperature, pure carnitine is a white powder, and a water-soluble zwitterion with low toxicity. Carnitine only exists in animals as the L-enantiomer, and D-carnitine is toxic because it inhibits the activity of L-carnitine. Carnitine, derived from an amino acid, is found in nearly all organisms and animal tissue. Carnitine is the generic expression for a number of compounds that include L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-carnitine. It is most accumulated in cardiac and skeletal muscles as it accounts for 0.1% of its dry matter. It was first derived from meat extracts in 1905, therefore the name carnitine is derived from Latin "carnus" or flesh.

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