The emergence of D-Aspartic Acid
D- Aspartic Acid is relatively new to the ever evolving supplement world. It made an impact in the market for its reported ability to stimulate the production of testosterone, a key component in the development of size, strength and overall lean muscle mass! D- Aspartic Acid is an endogenous amino acid, meaning it is made within the body placing it in the ‘non-essential’ amino acid category. It plays a key role in the normal functioning of the neuroendocrine system and neuron development. It has been reported to stimulate the release of growth hormone and luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland (key anabolic/growth hormones). Growth hormone is vital to maintaining growth and development during periods of fasting, whereas Luteinizing hormone promotes the release of testosterone from the Leydig cells. D-Aspartic acid is also present in the testes which is utilised by the body to further stimulate testosterone production, meaning D-aspartic acid could be a very useful accompaniment to your supplement regime (Kreider, Wilborb, Campbell, 2010).
A study by Topo, Soricelli, and D'Aniello, (2009) demonstrated a 40% increase in testosterone production as a result of D-aspartic acid consumption. Testosterone profoundly supports muscle development, strength and bone mineral density, whilst potentially increasing libido too! The abovementioned 40% increase in testosterone was seen after the ingestion of 3g of D-aspartic acid, leading to many companies setting the ideal dosage recommendation at 3g per day. Some have suggested up to 6g but like any supplement, it is better to start low and assess tolerance before ever considering the upper end of a recommendation.
Risks and the need for cycling (rest periods)
Testosterone boosters should be cycled, meaning the consumer must abstain from using them for around 3-4 weeks after a 30 day period of using them. By not observing this rest period you expose yourself to some risks/side effects including oily skin and spots, some hair loss and unnecessary strain on the liver and kidneys if not taken properly. Risks can be associated with any supplement, beverage and even foodstuffs if they are not taken correctly or in excess, but through not exceeding the recommended dosage and allowing some rest time no such problems should arise.
Natural Testosterone boosters
Consider herbal boosters such as Tribulus terrestris if you are concerned about consuming artificial supplements. Other natural forms of enhancing testosterone is to consume eggs, chicken, beef, garlic, cabbage and other green leafy vegetables.
It is of course, to the consumer’s absolute discretion whether they ultimately decide to consume testosterone boosters. Any supplement should be cycled correctly, consumed alongside a healthy balanced diet and not in excess of the recommended daily dosage. If these factors are observed then it is probable that a testosterone booster will deliver in the areas that you need i.e. size, strength, bone density and training efficiency.
D’Aniello, A. (2007). D-Aspartic acid: an endogenous amino acid with an important neuroendocrine role. Brain Research Reviews; 2:215-34.
Kreider, R, B., Wilborb, C, D., Campbell, B., Almada, A, L., Collins, R., Cooke, M et al, (2010). ISSN exercise & Sport Nutrition Review: Research & Recommendations. Journal of the international society of sports nutrition. 7: 1550-2783.
Topo, E., Soricelli, A., D'Aniello, A., Ronsini, S & D'Aniello, G. (2009). The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Biology and Endocrinology. 10: 1186-1477.