In health and fitness, everyone is looking for something to give them that little extra boost that will make them better than the next person. Because of this, supplement companies are always developing new products with better claims in order to convince people to purchase them. If you have spent any time online, then you have probably seen ads claiming an “effective natural testosterone booster”.
This may have interested you, or you may have just laughed at it and moved on, but could there be some truth to these claims? One of the most prevalent natural supplements with the claim of boosting your testosterone is D-Aspartic acid. Of course, companies can make a lot of claims, but what does science say about D-Aspartic acid?
What is D-Aspartic Acid?
Aspartic Acid is a non-essential amino acid, which means that our bodies will naturally produce Aspartic Acid and specific supplementation is not required for general health (1). There are two classifications of aspartic acid, L-aspartic acid and D-aspartic acid, and both have different roles in the body. L-aspartic acid is mainly used by the body for protein synthesis and muscle growth. On the other hand, D-aspartic acid has been shown to be involved in the production of testosterone in the body (4). Some natural sources of D-Aspartic acid include soybeans, lentils, peanuts, beef, eggs, and salmon, among others (1).
What Claims Have Been Made About D-Aspartic Acid?
Like any fitness supplement, there are many different benefits that D-Aspartic Acid is claimed to give to the user. These include increased testosterone levels in men, increase in muscle mass and strength, increased energy, improved mental health, and improved heart health. It is important to note that these are claimed benefits, so in order to get a better understanding of realistic benefits, we need to look at what the research suggests. First, let’s look at how D-Aspartic acid is processed and used in our bodies.
How Does D-Aspartic Acid Work?
When D-aspartic acid is present in the body, it signals the brain to release various hormones, like luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and growth hormone (2). In a study done on birds, the luteinizing hormone traveled through the body and collected in the testicles in specialized cells, called Leydig cells, which in turn produce testosterone (4). This is thought to eliminate a limiting factor in the production of testosterone, leading to a small increase in testosterone (2). Of course, this study was done on birds, so how do we know it will work similarly in humans?
D-Aspartic Acid Studies
In the study mentioned above, Mallards (male ducks), were given D-Aspartic acid supplements to see how they affected testosterone levels. The study then looked at slices of the testis of both the control group and the group of Mallards that were give D-Aspartic acid. In the D-Aspartic acid group, testosterone levels in the testis had increased after 60 and 120 minutes of incubation (3).
In another study, 23 men were given a solution containing 3,120 mg of D-Aspartic Acid in the morning at breakfast for twelve straight days and 20 men were given a solution containing table salt. A similar method was also used with various groups of 10 rats. The results of the research showed that D-Aspartic acid led to an increase of luteinizing hormone and consequently an increase in testosterone released (5).
In an ideal world, it would be better if there would be more studies to back these findings and other studies looking at the long-term effects of supplementing D-Aspartic acid on the human body.
Aspartic Acid Side Effects
Taking into consideration all of the research we have up to this point, it is not possible to definitively say if D-Aspartic acid is completely safe or not. While there are no major known side effects, some possible side effects are acne, headaches, diarrhea, and changes on mood. Also, while D-Aspartic acid has been shown by some studies to increase testosterone levels in males, this increase is only temporary and more testing is needed to determine the best cycling or D-Aspartic acid.
Take Home Message
D-Aspartic acid has been shown as a natural testosterone booster, but these affects are only temporary, with a daily dosage of 2,000 mg to 3,000 mg (2). D-Aspartic Acid can be bought as a powder, which makes it easy to mix with your favorite beverage to get the recommended daily dosage. Currently, testing on whether or not D-Aspartic acid is 100% safe and effective and the recommended cycling of it are still inconclusive.
There have not been any major side effects found, but as with all supplements, it is important to talk to a health professional before taking anything to ensure your safety. If you are a healthy male who is looking to get a slight testosterone boost and an increase in muscle size, strength, and energy, then D-Aspartic acid might be a supplement to consider.