How Does D-Aspartic Acid Affect Testosterone Levels?
Here Is Everything You Need To Know About D-AA & Testosterone
D-Aspartic Acid is easily one of the most effective, reliable, safe, and available natural testosterone boosters in existence.
Supplementing with D-Aspartic Acid is one of the simplest yet powerful weapons in the arsenal of someone looking to maximize testosterone production without turning to anabolic steroids or pro-hormones.
It is found in many natural testosterone boosters today. Manufacturers have been quick to learn that people love this stuff, so it is cropping up in more and more stack all the time.
Of course, it isn’t in every supplement. Many testosterone boosters go without it.
Whether this is to keep costs down or just because they want to offer something different, it doesn’t really matter. In our opinion, to leave out D-Aspartic Acid is always a mistake.
Yes it does occur naturally in our diet, but getting enough naturally comes at a cost of increased cholesterol intake and having a high dairy consumption (bad news for the lactose intolerant and vegans).
If you care about elevating free serum testosterone, then supplementing with D-AA is a very good first step to take.
Many of us know this by now.
Yet few people actually understand why D-Aspartic Acid is so powerful.
Not many people understand how it works in practice. Yes they know the results; they know that supplementing D-AA leads to higher testosterone levels in the blood, but not what happens in between.
What does D-Aspartic Acid actually do in your body?
How effective is it relative to other substances?
How strong is the evidence? Does it have a robust scientific pedigree?
What is the best way to use D-Aspartic Acid?
Do you really need to supplement?
What are the best natural sources?
In this article, we’ll answer all of these questions in as much detail as we think necessary. Hopefully, after reading it you’ll know everything you need to know about D-Aspartic Acid. We’ll try to keep the pace up, and to not get too bogged down in the science. As always, we’ll try not to sit on the fence; we’ll tell you if we think a substance really lives up to its hype or not. If you have any questions, please just post them in the comments section at the end. We’ll do our best to get back to you within 48 hours.
What Is D-Aspartic Acid?
Before we get stuck into the science behind D-AA, it’s probably best if we talk a little bit about what it is!
D-Aspartic Acid is an amino acid.
It is one of two forms of the amino acid Aspartic Acid, or Aspartate as it is also known (the other is L-Aspartic Acid). It is also one of the two D-amino acids typically found in mammals.
The uses of D-Aspartic Acid are much more limited than L-Aspartic Acid. The latter is incorporated into proteins directly. We will come to the main uses of D-Aspartic Acid later.
It is important to know that D-Aspartic Acid is a non-essential amino acid.
That means that you do not need to consume it; your body is capable of making its own D-AA if necessary from other base materials.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consume any yourself.
But it is true that you do not need to worry about your D-AA consumption.
You only need to concern yourself about D-AA intake if you are at all concerned about maximizing your free serum testosterone.
Where Do We Get D-AA From?
There are a number of sources of D-Aspartic Acid in the human diet.
Unlike many specialist supplement ingredients, D-Aspartic Acid is found in many common foods.
Here is a list of sources of D-Aspartic Acid:
The fact that asparagus contains D-AA is surprising to many. But in fact, D-Aspartic Acid was first isolated from another isolate taken from asparagus.
Interestingly, the best sources of D-AA don’t fall easily into a single category.
As far as getting the biggest serving per calorie, then soy beans (tofu, tempeh), halibut, eggs, and seaweed are your best options.
If you want to maximize D-AA intake in terms of how much actual food material you have to eat, then things like cheese and milk are probably your best bet.
That said, many fish species, and halibut in particular, seem to be extremely high in D-Aspartic Acid.
How much of this consumed D-AA you actually digest and absorb is of course open to questioning.
But it is good to know that a single meal of a hard boiled egg and a halibut fillet will give you about 3g of D-Aspartic Acid.
If you eat plenty of nuts, tofu, and fish, then your D-Aspartic Acid intake is probably very healthy already.
How Does D-Aspartic Acid Work?
That’s enough of the background.
Let’s get into the good stuff.
How does D-Aspartic Acid actually influence your testosterone levels?
How effective is it?
D-Aspartic Acid technically has an indirect influence over testosterone synthesis and release. Yet its influences testosterone synthesis on a hormonal level; much more direct than other ingredients commonly found in testosterone boosters today.
To put it simply, D-Aspartic Acid seems to stimulate the release of Luteinizing Hormone Releasing Hormone.
This hormone tells the pituitary gland that it needs to produce and release Luteinizing Hormone.
It is Luteinizing Hormone which acts as a signal for the testes to start pumping out more testosterone.
You can see where D-AA gets involved with your normal testosterone producing cycle by looking at this graphic:
As you can see, the hormonal system which controls the male reproductive machine is pretty complicated.
This feedback loop is call the HPTA Axis.
And as we now know, D-Aspartic Acid makes its intervention at the pituitary gland.
By stimulating the creation and release of more Luteinizing Hormone, D-AA effectively tells the Leydig Cells in your testicles to start producing more testosterone.
As far as we know, D-Aspartic Acid does not have any influence on Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). This is the hormone responsible for controlling spermogenesis, or the production of sperm cells, to put it another way.
Of course, the testosterone produced by your testes is then involved in the creation of sperm cells too.
But this is past the point at which D-AA can really be said to be involved, and it is not what we’re interested in here.
Is There Proof That This Works?
There are many studies showing that D-Aspartic Acid works in this way.
Even more interestingly, there are a number of robust clinical trials which show that D-AA doesn’t just work; they show that it works extremely well.
Let’s take at some of the most notable scientific studies and clinical trials.
We’ll start with this study, published in 2009 in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. Here, researchers noted that D-Aspartic Acid was present in the neuroendocrine cells of many animals. They wanted to examine the role it had in regulating the release of LH and testosterone. The researchers wrote in their conclusion: “In humans and rats, sodium D-aspartate induces an enhancement of LH and testosterone release.”
Next, take a look at this paper published in Brain Research Reviews in 2007. The researchers in this paper present conclusions which reinforce those presented in the above cited study: “In the pituitary gland, it stimulates the secretion of the following hormones: prolactin (PRL), luteinizing hormone (LH), and growth hormone (GH) In the testes, it is present in Leydig cells and is involved in testosterone and progesterone release. Thus, a hypothalamus-pituitary-gonads pathway, in which d-Asp is involved, has been formulated.”
These studies confirm that D-Aspartic Acid is involved in the production of testosterone.
They show that D-AA stimulates the pituitary gland to release LH, which in turn tells the testes to release more testosterone.
There are more studies showing the same effect, but if you want to find them we think you’re more than capable from this point.
We’re now going to turn our attention to the question you’re probably more interested in: how WELL does D-Aspartic Acid work?
Lots of things can be said to influence testosterone.
But we want the things that will influence it in a MEANINGFUL WAY.
Is D-AA a candidate?
One paper commonly cited to show the potential power of D-Aspartic Acid is this one, published in Advances in Sexual Medicine in 2012.
This study was originally designed to test whether or not D-Aspartic Acid could really serve as a complimentary treatment for infertile men. On that front, the answer was a resounding yes. The conclusion was as follows: “Treatment of sub-fertile patients with sodium D-aspartate improved the number and the motility of the spermatozoa and consequently improved the rate of pregnancies of their partners.”
But one surprising find of this study was just how much D-Aspartic Acid improved sperm count and motility: “In oligo- asthenozoospermic patients the increase of sperm concentration was found to be 2.0-fold…In asth- enozoospermic patients, the increase of spermatozoa was 1.6-fold”.
A 1.6-fold increase in the number of sperm you have is nothing to turn your nose up at if you’re struggling with fertility.
Even more interesting from our point of view though, was this finding: “The only variation was observed in the LH and testosterone concentrations that were found to be increased between 1.3 – 1.6 fold compared to their basal levels in the Daspartate group. However, the increased levels of LH and testosterone observed in this study were in agreement with the previously reported results  demonstrating that D-aspartate has the capacity to increase LH and testosterone blood levels. Therefore, D-aspartate treatment for a prolonged time (90 days) is in no way harmful to health.”
THAT’S A 30-60% INCREASE IN SERUM TESTOSTERONE OVER 90 DAYS.
Regardless of what your expectations are, that is a serious lift in free serum testosterone.
That kind of increase will have an enormous impact on your strength, your ability to gain lean muscle mass, your sex drive, and your overall mood.
Is D-Aspartic Acid Safe?
When something is as powerful as D-Aspartic Acid, then you’d expect some pretty heavy side effects to come with it.
But D-Aspartic Acid seems to cause no side effects whatsoever in the short to medium term.
In many of the studies cited above, participants were given around 3g of D-AA per day for up to 90 days. In every case the participants reported no side effects.
90 days is about the longest you will find this stuff tested for; that is true of most substances used for supplementation purposes.
There also doesn’t seem to be any long-term health concerns regarding D-AA supplementation. Remember, this stuff is in everything from cheese to tofu to asparagus. It is added to lots of multivitamin drinks, and to many “bulking powders”.
It is not generally thought to have any long-term adverse health effects.
D-Aspartic Acid supplements are consumed every day around the world with no problems.
It is, at the end of the day, a naturally occurring amino acid. Your body is adept at dealing with it already. While it is highly unlikely that you will consume excessive amounts by accident (even without keeping an eye on your diet), your body will be able to get rid of what it doesn’t need.
Most supplements contain somewhere between 1g and 4g of D-AA.
Obviously we can’t really comment on extreme cases (we’re not doctors), but using 1-4g per day for 90 days seems to be perfectly safe for the overwhelming majority of people.
Of course, you need to remember that WE ARE NOT DOCTORS.
THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE.
To stay safe, you really need to talk to a qualified health professional before you start using a new supplement.
Possible Negative Feedback Loop? – Keep Your Dose Below 5g!
As explained above, we aren’t aware of any side effects that come with proper D-AA use.
Plenty of people use this stuff on a regular basis, and even reports of stomach upset are rare – this is usually the bare minimum that some people experience when using concentrates and isolates.
Studies looking at D-AA use to the tune of 3g per day for 90 days found no adverse effects.
However, some people are now suggesting that large doses of D-Aspartic Acid, consumed over a long period of time, can cause a sort of “negative feedback loop” which starts to suppress testosterone production.
The logic goes that, as your pituitary gland starts to pump out large amounts of Luteinizing Hormone, your body begins to recognize it as a kind of excess. With so much LH floating around, the pituitary gland stops producing more.
There is actually some scientific evidence for this effect.
In this paper, researchers present the finding that 6g of D-Aspartic Acid supplementation per day DRASTICALLY DECREASED testosterone levels in otherwise healthy men.
These researchers don’t posit a cause for this, but they did note that the 6g per day group was the only one to show such an effect.
While we think there isn’t much evidence for this negative feedback loop, the fact that 6g might decrease testosterone production gives us reason to consider the possibility carefully. That brings us neatly onto our next section – how to properly consume D-Aspartic Acid.
How To Take D-Aspartic Acid
It’s all well and good knowing that you want to add D-Aspartic Acid to your supplement regime.
But how do you go about it?
What’s the most effective way to incorporating more D-AA into your diet?
How do you get the most bang for your buck?
In terms of getting the most possible bang for your buck, the best thing to do is use a highly potent form of D-Aspartic Acid.
The “problem” with consuming things orally is that your body doesn’t absorb everything. This is true of the food that you eat, the water you drink, and the supplements you take. Some will get passed out of your system one way or the other (of course how much gets absorbed depends on many things – your needs, composition of meal, physical state, etc – but we don’t have room to get into that here).
To ensure that you are really getting as much out of the D-AA that you consume as possible, it’s best to use a form of D-Aspartic Acid that we know to be highly potent, highly efficient, and highly absorbable.
One such form sometimes found in testosterone boosters is D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate.
This is just D-Aspartic Acid bound to Calcium Chelate. Binding D-AA to Calcium Chelate just makes it much easier for your body to absorb.
In practical terms, this means you can use much less raw material.
While many of the studies cited above used around 3g of D-Aspartic Acid per day to achieve results, you only need to use between 1 and 2 grams of D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate to get the same results.
This is a relatively new way of administering D-AA. As such, studies using this exact analogue are thin on the ground.
But we know by virtue of the fact that D-AACC is more absorbable that it is preferable to regular D-AA from a supplementation standpoint.
Some high quality testosterone boosters have been using this form of D-AA for years. It has yielded impressive results for their customers.
So why is this important?
Why would you want to use less raw material?
Well, a number of reasons make this pretty important in our eyes.
For one thing, consuming less D-Aspartic Acid means that you have more room for other potent testosterone boosters. As we always say, it is better to take a multi-pronged approach to raising testosterone naturally.
To put it another way – don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Less D-AA in a capsule for the same end result means more space for different ingredients.
Another good reason to opt for D-AACC is that less D-Aspartic Acid in your system makes side effects less likely to occur.
We think it is unlikely that this “negative feedback loop” actually happens with D-Aspartic Acid intake. We think there is little evidence that it happens, and the body is normally excellent at regulating this kind of thing.
Yet it is a concern nonetheless. Opting for D-AACC means there will be less D-Aspartic Acid in your system. This means the “negative feedback loop” mentioned above is much less likely to happen – if it ever happens, that is.
What IS clear is that excessive amounts of D-Aspartic Acid can DECREASE testosterone levels.
It is unlikely that any of you will consume 6g of pure D-AA per day of course, but the fact that an upper ceiling exists gives us reason to pause for thought.
D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate – Powerful Yet Expensive
So it seems like a no-brainer, right?
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, avoid accidentally over-dosing and crashing your testosterone levels, and avoid this possible negative feedback loop, D-Aspartic Calcium Chelate is the obvious way to go.
So what’s the problem?
Well, like all premium quality products, D-AACC comes with a premium price tag.
Compared to regular D-AA, D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate is pretty damn expensive.
For most of you, even finding this stuff is going to be hard.
It isn’t sold in every supplement and vitamin store like D-Aspartic Acid.
It doesn’t come in vitamin water, and it isn’t found naturally in food.
To get it, you have to pay for it, and the few reputable manufacturers that produce it today charge quite a bit for it.
We think that if you want to take this stuff as a standalone supplement, or for instance as an addition to your protein shake in the morning, then 90% of you are going to have to make do with regular old D-Aspartic Acid.
However, if you do want a cost-effective way of using D-AACC, then opting for a comprehensive testosterone boosting stack is the best way to go.
By buying in bulk, manufacturers can bear the brunt of D-AACC’s high production costs.
They can really keep the price of D-AACC to a minimum by buying in large amounts. They can then offer you this fantastic ingredient as part of a complete testosterone booster, along with other great ingredients, for a very reasonable price.