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Commonly found in a variety of meats, dairy products and eggs, the amino acid Taurine can be obtained from the diet in minimal amounts. Unfortunately, physical activity depletes our Taurine reserves faster than most people can produce it. As a result, vegetarians, athletes and individuals lacking meat in their diets are at the greatest risk for deficiency, and stand to benefit the most from supplementing this life-crucial nutrient. As a catalyst to general amino acid efficiency as well as one of the most abundant amino acids in the human body, Taurine has a number of useful health benefits. As a key constituent of bile acids, it helps the body absorb other nutrients with greater ease while moderating healthy cellular activity. It has also been known to exhibit antioxidant properties that may help protect macular regions of the eye.* At the end of the day NOW® Taurine Pure Powder is an outstanding all-around supplement.
NOW® only sells the natural forms of amino acids. These are typically the “L form”, as in L-arginine, L-cysteine, etc. Synthetic forms are denoted as “D forms”, such as D-Methionine and D-Carnitine. But there are 2 aminos that have only one form without these variations: Glycine and Taurine. These two aminos are sometimes called L-Taurine or L-Glycine, but are more properly called just “Taurine” and “Glycine”. Regardless of the name used, they are always natural amino acids. Technical explanation: Most aminos have a property that, when the molecule is put into a solution, it will polarize and rotate light either to the left or right. The Greek words denoting left and right are Levo for left and Dextro for right, so the letters L and D are used to distinguish these forms. This polarization and rotation of light is called “optical rotation”. The differing L and D forms are called stereoisomers. For amino acids that polarize light, the L form is the natural form.
However, Taurine is an amino acid that does not polarize light. It thus is properly called just “Taurine”, without L or D configurations. While some label Taurine as “L-Taurine”, that name is not technically correct. “Taurine” is the same exact molecule and form as what is commonly mislabeled as “L-Taurine”.
There is another amino acid that lacks a potential optical rotation. Glycine is a very simple molecule that comes only as “Glycine”, also lacking different L or D stereoisomer forms.
The D forms of amino acids sold commercially are considered to be synthetic. However, D forms of amino acids are not always synthetic. There are several D forms that exist in nature. In addition, amino acids can be racemized by the body and go back and forth between the D form and the L form quite easily. However, only L forms can be incorporated into proteins. For the purposes of dietary supplements, the L forms are natural and the D forms are synthetic. DLPA and DL-methionine are actually racemic mixtures of both L and D forms.
But there is no such thing as D-Taurine or D-Glycine; in other words, no synthetic forms exist of these two aminos since each only comes as one isomer that doesn’t polarize and rotate light to the right. Nor are there really L forms of these, since they do not polarize and rotate light to the left, either. There are simply single, natural isomers of just plain Glycine and Taurine.
Don’t assume that all D or L forms of molecules are good or bad, since it really depends on the individual substance concerned. For example, the D isomers of vitamin E are the natural forms and the L isomers are synthetic; just the opposite of amino acids. Thus the terminology and forms of what is natural or synthetic will vary by substance. Some natural molecules exist as L form, some as D form and some have only one form, whether in food or if synthesized.
NOW® prides itself as being science-based. We only sell natural form amino acids and Vitamin E and we use the correct scientific names for substances and compounds on our labels.
*Statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Prices are subject to change at anytime and without notice. The majority of the product information has been reprinted from the manufacturer.