View Full Version : Mirror foods

Tom Mazanec
2012-Aug-26, 02:17 AM
Would food that is all stereoisomers of "regular" food be poisonous? Or would it taste different? Or would it just be a good way to lose weight?

2012-Aug-26, 02:28 AM
I would think that they could be toxic. Thalidomide had issues with stereoisomers and it didn't work out that well. Here is a link to PDF (http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/free_services/teaching/modules/stereochemistry/steroechemistry.pdf) from The Cambridge Crystallographical Data Centre.

2012-Aug-26, 07:52 AM
I think a lot of them were toxic. This may not be accurate but my high school science teacher said that this was because they react very similarly to their chiral counterparts but the products are different enough to disrupt a range of biological functions that rely on chirality to 'get the right answer'

2012-Aug-26, 01:01 PM
I don't think there is a single answer. In some cases, one form will do nothing and the other will be biochemically active (e.g. most insect pheromones). In others, they may have different effects (e.g. thalidomide). In the case of glucose, both forms taste sweet but only one can be digested. Carvone is interesting; the S form smells of spearmint but the L form smells of caraway.

2012-Aug-26, 05:29 PM
I've always love the limonene pair. One is that fresh pine scent, the other is moth sex pheromone. Do not mix them up when making air fresheners.

Tom Mazanec
2012-Aug-27, 11:36 AM
I seem to remember reading that d-LSD is the most potent hallucogenic drug known, but l-LSD is inert.