An amino acid linked with testosterone production, d-aspartic acid (DAA) emerged as a go-to supplement for men seeking a variety of benefits. By increasing testosterone production, DAA improves many aspects of both physical and mental health.
If any of the following four health benefits appeal to you, consider seeking out a DAA supplement.
1. Muscle Building and Strength
Perhaps the most common reason people seek out natural testosterone boosters is for the muscle-growth benefits. Testosterone, and therefore d-aspartic acid, increases muscle protein production, which leads to lean muscle growth. Testosterone also suppresses cortisol production, which is helpful as cortisol leads to increased abdominal fat and muscle tissue breakdown.
These benefits are clinically proven. A report in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism states increased testosterone improves men’s maximum leg press relative to baseline—a good indicator of strength.
2. Increased Energy
Increased testosterone levels through DAA also lead to increased energy production. This should be especially welcome to men, as a 2009 report found nearly 25 percent of men suffering from low testosterone report lethargy and recurring tiredness.
With greater circulating testosterone levels, you’ll get better sleep, which improves energy. More directly, testosterone boosts red blood cell concentration and carries oxygen to your muscles.
3. Improved Mental Health
Taking d-aspartic acid and improving testosterone production benefits mood. According to a 2012 study, testosterone supplementation stimulates the amygdala, which promotes greater drive, ambition, and confidence
This may indirectly improve exercise performance. At the very least, you’ll enjoy it more.
4. Better Heart Health
It may not be your reason for seeking a natural testosterone booster like d-aspartic acid, but improved testosterone levels also improve heart health. Heart disease is the number one killer of men in the United States, so this is a big deal.
In one study, heart disease patients given testosterone patches and injections improved exercise performance through greater oxygen in the body. Testosterone also widened blood vessels and allowed more hemoglobin to reach the muscles and heart.
These effects haven’t been demonstrated with DAA, but if it improves testosterone production enough, these benefits may not be too far off.
Are There Any Backing Studies?
There are a few studies linking d-aspartic acid supplementation with increased testosterone levels.
D-aspartic acid was first theorized to increase testosterone production in 2006. Researcher Antimo D’Aniello hypothesized this amino acid increased LH, thus improving testosterone production.
However, the first time DAA was studied specifically in relation to testosterone production was 2008. In this study, D’Aniello and a team of researchers looked at d-aspartic acid supplementation in mallards. In addition to DAA, mallards were also given supplements to increase nitric oxide production.
After just 60 minutes, circulating testosterone levels were significantly higher in mallards given dDAA. After 120 minutes, testosterone levels were even greater.
Following this study, the same scientific team began experimenting with humans and rats. For rats, 10 rats drank either a d-aspartic acid solution or a placebo for 12 days. For humans, 23 men were given a daily dose of DAA while 20 more men were given a placebo.
At the end of the study, both LH and testosterone levels were higher in rats and humans. According to researchers, the principle changes were seen in the pituitary gland and testes.
It would be nice to see a wider range of studies on d-aspartic acid with a larger number of subjects, but these first few are promising.
How Do You Get the Most From D-Aspartic Acid?
Because the studies on d-aspartic acid are not long-term, it’s difficult to say there’s a sure-fire method for getting the most benefits from DAA. However, most manufacturers of DAA products recommend using the product for 4 to 12 weeks, followed by a 2- to 4-week period of no supplementation.
The dosage that prompted testosterone increases in human studies was 3.12 grams per day.
Whether you’re taking d-aspartic acid as part of a supplement or on its own, always follow manufacturer instructions carefully.
-  D’Aniello, Antimo. 2006. D-Aspartic acid: An endogenous amino acid with an important neuroendocrine role. Brain Research Review: Vol. 53, 215-234.
-  Fiore, Maria M., Glaudia Lamanna, Loredana Assisi, and Virgilio Botte. 2008. Opposing effects of D-aspartic acid and nitric oxide on tuning of testosterone production in mallard testis during the reproductive cycle. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology: Vol. 6, Issue 28.
-  Enza, Topa, Andrea Soricelli, Antimo D’Aniello, Salvatore Ronsini, and Gemma D’Aniello. 2009. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology: Vol. 7, Issue 120.
-  Shalender, Bhasin, Robert Parker, Fred Sattler, Richard Haubrich, Beverly Alston, Triin Umbleja, and Cecilia M. Shikuma. 2007. Effects of testosterone supplementation on whole body and regional fat mass and distribution in human immunodeficiency and virus-infected men with abdominal obesity. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: Vol. 92, Issue 3.
-  Perez, Sylvia. 2009. Low testosterone linked to fatigue in men. ABC News.
-  The Heart Foundation. 2013. Heart Disease: Scope and Impact.
-  Ackermann, S., K. Spalek, B. Rasch, L. Gschwind, D. Coynel, M. Fastenrath, A. Papassotiropoulos, and D.J. de Quervain. 2012. Testosterone levels in healthy men are related to amygdala reactivity and memory performance. Psychoneuroendocrinology: Vol. 27, Issue 9.
-  Ezekowitze, Justin. 2012. Circulation Heart Failure.