Quick Summary Points
- D-Aspartic acid is a natural compound that is synthesised within the human body
- D-Aspartic acid has a distinct biological role separate from l-aspartic acid
- There is evidence that D-Aspartic acid may be more effect for males over 40, who have naturally reduced testosterone levels relative to their youthful counterparts
- The general recommended dose of D-Aspartic acid is 3g per day
D-Aspartic Acid - The Edge on Testosterone
Testosterone is the single most important hormone responsible for the varying masculine characteristics expressed in humans. In bodybuilding, considerable focus is constantly directed to increasing testosterone levels to encourage muscle growth and achieve increased muscle mass and strength. In males, specialised Leydig cells produce testosterone. Androgen receptors expressed by satellite cells in muscle tissue and muscle nuclei allow testosterone to produce the much sought after anabolic effects. This has become an important factor to the use of anabolic androgenic steroids. However, a lack of professional and medical supervision coupled with the obsession to grow bigger fast can easily lead to steroid abuse and pose serious long term risks to health (cf. Protein Supplements vs Steroids).
How D-Aspartic Acid Works
A growing number of researchers are supporting the roles of other biochemical compounds in modulating testosterone levels. D-amino acids have a different molecular form compared to L-amino acids, which have been thought to be the only naturally existing compounds. L-amino acids are converted to their D form via their respective enzymes called racemases. D-amino acids especially D-Aspartic acid (DAA) have been identified to have important biological roles in the neurological and endocrine systems. DAA is released from nerve endings to increase cAMP levels thus mediating neuronal transmission. In the endocrine system, DAA forms the precursor to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) which induces the release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus. GnRH then stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to produce luteinising hormone (LH) which then acts on specific Leydig cells of the male testes to ultimately increase testosterone.
D-Aspartic Acid Dose
While different supplement manufacturers have directions which can vary, the general recommended dosage of DAA is 3g daily. On workout days to be taken 45 minutes prior to training or on non-workout days to be taken either first thing in the morning or last thing at night on an empty stomach.
D-Aspartic Acid Results & Side Effects
Is DAA a miracle in the making? The discovery of DAA may seem like a viable alternative to steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. However, the quest to produce a quality & proven formulation to boost testosterone levels still requires vigorous clinical trials and thorough analysis of other physiological actions. In saying this DAA thus far shows enormous promise with DAA supplement users reporting pleasing results generally with a most noticable increase in libido as well as increases in strength and even aggression, negative side effects are unreported. In making these comments though the results of D Aspartic Acid are yet scientifically inconclusive & further detailed scientific studies are required.
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2 Di Fiore, MM et al, 'Opposing effects of D-aspartic acid and nitric oxide on tuning of testosterone production in mallard testis during the reproductive cycle' (2008) 6(1) Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 28
3 Gwartney, D., Testosterone (2011)
4 Kadi, F, 'Cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the action of testosterone on human skeletal muscle. A basis for illegal performance enhancement' (2008) 154(3) British journal of pharmacology 522
5 Topo, E et al, 'The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats' (2009) 7(1) Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 120