D-Aspartic Acid and Testosterone

Plants And your Hormones Series

D-Aspartic Acid

D-aspartic acid (DAA) is a non-essential amino acid that has been gaining popularity in recent years for its purported ability to naturally boost testosterone levels. Many supplements marketed to athletes and bodybuilders contain DAA and claim to increase muscle mass, strength, and endurance. However, the research on the effects of DAA on testosterone levels is mixed, 

Why We Research D Aspartic Acid And Testosterone

DAA has been seen in its highest concentrations in the embryos of humans and animals. This led some researchers to investigate what mechanism it might be fulfilling.

What is D-Aspartic Acid?

D-aspartic acid is one of two acidic amino acids and is essential to the neural-hormonal mechanism in the body. It plays a role in hormone production and nervous system function, and it is responsible for maintaining the solubility and ionic bonding of proteins. Additionally, DAA participates in the synthesis of other amino acids, such as citric acid, asparagine, arginine, and lysine, among other nucleotides.

The structure of DAA is almost the same as that of alanine, another amino acid, but with one of the beta hydrogens replaced by a carboxylic acid group. Aspartic acid and oxaloacetate are interconvertible and can transfer from one amino group to another.

D-Aspartic Acid and Testosterone: The Research

Several studies have investigated the effects of DAA on testosterone levels, and the results have been mixed. Some studies have shown that DAA can increase testosterone levels in inactive men or men with low testosterone, while others have not found any significant effects. One study in healthy men aged 27-37 examined the effects of taking DAA supplements for 12 days. It found that 20 out of the 23 men taking DAA had higher testosterone levels at the end of the study, with an average increase of 42%. Three days after they stopped taking the supplement, their testosterone levels were still 22% higher, on average, than at the beginning of the study.

Another study in overweight and obese men taking DAA for 28 days reported mixed results. Some men had no increase in testosterone. However, those with lower testosterone at the beginning of the study experienced increases exceeding 20%. Another study examined the effects of taking DAA supplements for longer than a month. The researchers found that when men aged 27-43 took supplements of DAA for 90 days, they experienced a 30-60% increase in testosterone.

Three other studies examined the effects of DAA in active men, and the results were mixed. One found no increase in testosterone in young adult men who performed weight training and took DAA for 28 days. Another study found that two weeks of taking a high-dose supplement of 6 grams per day actually decreased testosterone in young men who weight trained. However, a three-month follow-up study using 6 grams per day showed no change in testosterone. Similar research in women is not currently available, perhaps because some of the effects of DAA are specific to the testicles.

How Does D-Aspartic Acid Work?

After we discovered DAA was highest in embryos researchers began looking into exacty why that was. The studies that found DAA playing a role in how the brain sends signals to other endocrine (hormone) systems, telling the various organs like the testes which hormones to produce and in which amounts. Research shows a direct link between DAA and testosterone in men and animals.

 Furthermore, DAA has been shown to improve luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates the male testes to produce testosterone. LH is directly responsible for higher testosterone production in men.

Side Effects of D-Aspartic Acid

No side effects have been seen in animal or human studies, but more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of DAA supplementation. As with any supplement, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before adding it to your regimen, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.

Best Practices for D-Aspartic Acid Supplementation

If you are considering adding DAA to your supplement regimen, it is essential to follow best practices. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Stick to Recommended Dosages

DAA supplements are available in various dosages, and it is essential to stick to the recommended dosages. Taking too much can lead to adverse effects, including nausea, headaches, and gastrointestinal distress.

Cycle Your Supplements

Cycling your supplements can help prevent the body from becoming desensitized to the effects of DAA. It is recommended to take DAA for six weeks and then take a break for two to four weeks before resuming.