D-Aspartic Acid (DAA)
D-aspartic acid, or DAA, was discovered in 1827 when a pharmacist boiled asparagus extract and hydrochloric acid. However, for almost 200 years, D-aspartic acid remained relatively unknown and unexplored. Later, modern research sparked interest in DAA, and it is now included in many dietary supplements.
As an amino acid, D-aspartic acid is building block of protein. But, it’s more involved in hormone production and release than in protein synthesis. DAA primarily functions and accumulates in the pituitary gland and the testes.
Research indicates D-aspartic acid acts as an endogenous neurotransmitter which transmits signals to brain cells. As a result, it may improve memory and learning, enhance brain function and focus, and elevate mood.
Inside the pituitary gland, D-aspartic acid triggers the release of luteinizing hormones (LH), follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH), and growth hormones (GH). LH and FSH increase sperm production and stimulate testosterone production and release. GH regulates cell growth, reproduction, and regeneration.
After the testes absorb D-aspartic acid, it works with another hormone (HCG) to promote testosterone release. In addition, DAA activates receptors in the hypothalamus, which enhances testosterone release and improves brain function and memory.
Several scientific studies examined the effects of D-aspartic acid’s interactions with hormone release. In a 90-day study, men taking DAA showed improvements in sperm count and quality.
In another study, men consumed D-aspartic acid or a placebo. The placebo group did not experience significant results. However, blood tests showed 87% of men taking DAA had 33% more LH and 42% more testosterone after 12 days.
Reports exist from 2 human studies testing D-aspartic acid’s safety and efficacy. These studies are the most trustworthy indicators of whether DAA causes side effects.
One study lasted 12 days. In this study, participants drank a solution of D-aspartic acid and several other nutrients every morning for the duration of the trial. No side effects were reported.
During a 90-day study, researchers measured participants’ electrolytes, liver enzymes, glucose, creatinine, urea, and red and white blood cell functions. No irregularities were noted. Researchers concluded DAA is safe, non-toxic, and doesn’t cause side effects.
Anecdotally, some D-aspartic acid users report these side effects:
- Mood swings
However, the nature of these reports is unscientific. These people were not monitored closely like those in a research study. Consequently, these side effects may be caused by many other factors, such as diet, medical history, or environmental influences.
If you have a medical condition or take medication, consult a doctor before using DAA.
Due to the lack of research, a recommended dosage for D-aspartic acid has not been firmly established.
Based on current research, these are safe dosages. Exceeding them is not advised, however.
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