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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The nutritive value and safety of D-phenylalanine and D-tyrosine in mice.

Growth studies in mice fed synthetic amino acid diets showed that: 1) the biological utilization of D-phenylalanine relative to its L-isomer ranged from 28-81%, depending on the respective concentrations of these amino acids in the diet; 2) L-tyrosine can replace about one-half of the L-phenylalanine needed to achieve maximum weight gain and 3) D-tyrosine has no similar sparing effect on L-phenylalanine. In fact, addition of D-tyrosine to amino acid or casein diets depressed weight gain to 10% that of the control. This inhibition was significantly reduced by increasing the L-phenylalanine content of the amino acid diets and the protein content of the casein diets. Growth inhibition, therefore, appears to be related to the ratio of D-tyrosine to L-phenylalanine and possibly other amino acids in the diet, rather than to the absolute levels of D-tyrosine. Mechanistic rationalizations are offered to account for the toxic or antinutritional manifestation of D-tyrosine.[1]


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