D aspartic acid can best be described as a type of amino acid, a branch of L aspartic acid, which belongs to the group of twenty six amino acids that help create proteins.
D aspartic acid can be found in the humans and in certain foods, and is believed to play an important role in relation to cognition in vertebrates. Moreover, this amino acid is vital for the production of growth factors and sex hormones (male).
D aspartic acid supplementation has seen a massive increase in recent times because it is believed to enhance athletic performance.
D aspartic acid has shown to elevate the production of certain hormones including the growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1, and testosterone, and in contrary to what some people claim, it does not produce results like steroids.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that D aspartic acid supplementation cannot benefit the body. Athletes usually supplement D aspartic acid because studies have shown it to increase production of certain hormones, although nowhere near as much as anabolic steroids.
Hormone Production In Males
Testosterone is the “king” of hormones for males, and it is produced in the testes. Along with other hormones, testosterone is governed by a sophisticated system distributed across the testes, the liver, the pituitary gland, and the hypothalamus.
The moment testosterone concentrations drop below a certain level:
- Hypothalamus produces the all-important gonadotropin releasing hormone
- The pituitary gland identifies this
- Secretes the luteinizing hormone
- Luteinizing hormone is discovered by the testes
- Which in turn produce testosterone
The insulin-like growth factor 1 and the growth hormone are governed by the same pathway (as above). The moment the hypothalamus creates the growth hormone releasing hormone, the pituitary gland pulsates out the growth hormone. The growth hormone then sends signals into the liver to start producing insulin–like growth factor 1.
This is a pretty basic illustration on how the mentioned hormones are fashioned in human males. Now let’s see how D aspartic acid can affect these practices.
How D Aspartic Acid Functions in Males
Repeated studies have suggested that D aspartic acid seems to interact with the hypothalamus, as well as encouraging the secretion of both the gonadotropin releasing hormone and the growth hormone release hormone, ultimately leading to more testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor 1 production.
Moreover, researchers now suspect that D aspartic acid may help to stimulate production of T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones). Researchers seem to think that this results from the D aspartic acid oxidation within the thyroid gland, converting it to hydrogen-peroxide, which is a fundamental precursor for the iodination of “tyrosylmoieties”, essential to the thyroid hormones synthesis.
Let’s take a look at a couple of studies:
- Study 1: involved 43 test subjects who were administered with 3 g of the aspartic acid daily for a period of 12 days. Researchers noted increases in synthesis of the luteinizing hormone, as well as testosterone. See more here.
- Study 2: involved 60 male subjects, aged between 18 and 44 years, who were administered with 2.66 g of D aspartic acid daily for a period of 90 days, and researchers noted increases in serum testosterone by up to 60%. Moreover, an average 26.6% increased fertility in infertile subjects was also noted.
Okay, accepted you can’t read too much into a couple of studies, but it’s definitely a good indicator as to what D aspartic acid is capable of.
The Benefits of D Aspartic Acid Supplementation
Although the effects of D aspartic acid supplementation will vary from individual to individual, there is widespread consensus that this amino acid can:
- Increase levels of growth hormone
- Increase insulin-like growth factor 1
- Increase testosterone
- Enhance athletic performance
- Enhance sexual performance
- Increase T3 & T4 production
- Increase metabolism
As you can see, D aspartic acid benefits are pretty significant because it increases insulin-like growth factor 1, growth hormone, and testosterone, and all this can lead to enhanced recovery, especially after weight training.
Other benefits include:
- Enhanced muscle growth
- Improved physical endurance
- Skyrocketing the libido
- Providing numerous other positive effects
The Downside of D Aspartic Supplementation
Okay, it’s a no-brainer that D aspartic acid supplementation is a pretty good thing because it helps to increase production of hormones.
Nevertheless, there are a small number of ill-effects which you should be aware of that can arise from D aspartic acid supplementation. Not only does D aspartic acid increase hormone levels, it can also affect other metabolites including:
- Dihydrotestosterone: can lead to outbreaks of acne and hair loss
- Estrogen: can lead to prostate complications, low libido, bloating, and gynaecomastia
When to Avoid D Aspartic Acid Supplementation
Although most people can supplement with the aspartic acid, there are a few concessions. The following category of people should avoid D-aspartic supplementation:
- Under the age of 21 years
- Currently battling high levels of estrogen/dihydrotestosterone
- Currently battling hypothyroidism
How to Supplement D Aspartic Acid
- It’s highly recommended that you cycle your D aspartic acid supplementation: three weeks on, followed by two weeks off, before repeating the whole process
- It is preferable to supplement in powder form
- It is advisable to divide your dose through the day
Correct D Aspartic Acid Dose
- It is recommended to start with 3 g daily to assess tolerance
- Never exceed more than 20 g in one day
- Ideal dose for most people is between 5 and 10 g daily