Differences between L-aspartic acid and D-aspartic acid

Differences Between L-Aspartic Acid and D-Aspartic Acid

Differences Between L-Aspartic Acid and D-Aspartic Acid

The human body is a complex mechanism, and we, humans, still do not know how it works. We consume as much energy as a light bulb, but our brain is more productive than thousands of computers. Human neurons can communicate with each other and with other organs with the help of different chemicals. And here is the information about them.

In this paper, we will tell you about one of the building materials for our DNA, the amino acid aspartate, with the symbol Asp. Actually, it is two amino acids. What does this mean?

Aspartic acid has two enantiomers, substances with the same chemical structure, but different chiralities. Still too difficult? In layman’s terms, they are the mirror reflections of each other. One molecule faces (let’s imagine that one side of it is a face) the left, and the other faces the right, just like our hands. In spite of their structural resemblance, the actions of optical isomers of chemical agents can be different. This completely pertains to aspartate, too.

The systematic name of Asp is aminobutanedioic acid, but originally it was known as asparagic or asparaginic acid. This name was given to the organic chemical after the vegetable asparagus. In the early nineteenth century, two French chemists, professor Ossian Henry and Mr. Plisson, hydrolyzed the natural amino that is found in this plant, asparagine. Our bodies produce aspartate in the process of the biosynthesis of oxaloacetate. It is also a product of the chain of biochemical reactions, which result in urea production and ammonia detoxification.

L-Aspartic Acid Definition

The left enantiomer of aspartic acid, which is also called LAA and L-aspartate, is used to develop proteins in our bodies. It is one of the 22 organic compounds which are included into proteins in the process of their synthesis. Such substances are known as proteinogenic amino acids. To be more exact, the molecules of L-aspartic acid (shortened as LAA) are the bricks for peptides. LAA is abundantly present in our bodies; in its pure form it appears as colorless crystals, it has a higher solubility in acids than in water, and it is completely insoluble in ethanol. It also occurs in plants and microbes, as they convert this amino acid into others, like threonine, isoleucine, methionine, and lysine, etc.

Differences between L-aspartic acid and D-aspartic acid

Even though L-aspartate is naturally produced by our bodies, it can be consumed with various medicinal products. It is also found in food. The natural products that contain LAA are:

  • phytogenics, like asparagus, avocado, sugar cane and black treacle, sugar beet, oats, germinating seeds, and other plant proteins;
  • of animal origin, e.g. meat products, wildfowl, oysters, etc.;
  • nutritional supplements, which may contain the acid in its original form or its salt, like zinc L-aspartate, magnesium, or manganese L-aspartate, and many others. Aspartame, the sweetener that contains LAA, marketed under the brand names NutraSweet, Twinsweet, AminoSweet, and others, can be also included in the group of dietary sources of aspartate.

It is not an essential dietary product, but in some very rare cases our bodies get LAA deficient. First of all, this state can be caused by a protein-poor diet. It results in depression, lack of energy, and sleepiness. It is a dangerous health condition that requires professional medical assistance. At the same time, the normal level of Asp in our bodies prevents the deficiency of other aminos and provides the synthesis of the nucleotides — the bricks that compose our DNA and RNA (deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid correspondingly). Asp is also employed to chelate vitally important elements (metals, minerals, etc.) and to produce nutritional substances.

What Is D-Aspartic Acid?

Our definition of D-aspartic acid, a.k.a. D-aspartate and DAA, is as follows — an endogenous chemical compound that occurs in the brain and endocrine system of mammals, the D enantiomer of Asp. It is present in our bodies in fewer amounts than its L form, and is believed to be converted from LAA. At the same time, the insignificant transformation of DAA to LAA was also observed in ganglia. Our organisms involve certain enzymes to synthesize D-aspartate, and the high concentration of it is present in corpus pineale, hippocampus, basal gland, and testis. In order to support that normal level of DAA in your system, you should eat more meat and poultry, milk products, seafood, eggs, grains, nuts, cereals, beans, etc. You can find dietary supplements that contain this amino acid, too.

Difference of Their Work

D-aspartic acid

We have already told you that the left isomer of Asp is used by our bodies to produce various vitally important compounds — proteins, nucleic acids, pyrimidines, purines, and L-arginine. It takes part in glycogenesis, which means that the metabolism of LAA in the Krebs cycle provides us with energy. L-aspartate is involved in ATP formation. ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is a molecule that works as the fuel for our cells. All living organisms use it as a source of energy.

These ergogenic actions of LAA seem to be the key to a higher physical performance, increased the level of glycogen and sped up its metabolism during exercise. This is why there is a theory that LAA has anti-fatigue capacities, though this were never proven scientifically. Nevertheless, LAA supplements are very popular in bodybuilders, as they increase muscular endurance and supply them with energy. Several tests and studies have shown that LAA mitigates mental and physical tiredness, gives additional stamina, and burns more fat as it boosts metabolism.

Further research on the effects and benefits of L-aspartate supplementation is still going on, but we already know about one very important role of it in the healthy performance of the liver. In combination with another nonessential amino acid, L-ornithine, LAA works as a powerful therapeutic medication for patients with hepatic encephalopathy and cirrhosis It reduces the level of ammonia in the blood and improves the regeneration of the liver. They also decrease the level of gamma-glutamyltransferase, which is a marker of various liver diseases. Research is going on to discover the effectiveness of another blend of amino acids — leucine, valine, and aspartate. Scientists hypothesize that this ligand can affect the motility and viability of cancer cells, but it has to be studied to make sure if the novel drug really works.

D-aspartic amino acid is rarely employed in protein formation, but it has other, no less important actions. In the brain it can work as a neurotransmitter, meaning that it helps to deliver signals between cells. DAA potentiates the performance of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors in the hippocampus and alleviates the symptoms of their aging. Thus, high DAA in the brain is incorporated in better learning and memory. The function of DAA in hypothalamus and neurohypophysis was studied by the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Researchers documented the efficacy of D-aspartic acid to increase GABA (stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid) and suppress dopamine in hypothalamus. It seems that DAA can be involved in the regulation of our circadian rhythms, as it takes part in the release of the sleep hormone melatonin.

LAA & DAA Benefits for ED and Libido

TestosteroneD-aspartate is involved in the reproductive system of humans. It enhances the excretion of the luteinizing hormone (LH) in the pituitary gland, which is essential for both men and women. Females employ it to develop ovaries and stimulate ovulation, and some papers claim that women use DAA to convert the men’s sex hormone to estrogen. In males, LH enhances and prolongs the action of Leydig cells, which release testosterone. It also amplifies the effects of the follicle-stimulating hormone, which works synergistically with LH. The alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, induced by DAA, enhances sexual excitement. D-aspartate also stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which is a key element to relax the smooth muscles and boost blood flow. In the test-tube studies, DAA potentiated the release of the growth hormone and progesterone. It is also involved in the Sertoli cells functioning and elongated spermatids’ development, which is essential for spermatogenesis.

Why do you need all this boring biochemistry? Because without it you would not understand how aspartic acid can change your sexual life for the better. The hormonal imbalance is a nasty thing for both men and women. When we are talking about sexual health, testosterone is vitally important. A low testosterone level causes such impairments, as:

  • poor interest in intimate relationships;
  • inability to get a boner during sexual intercourse;
  • reduced sperm quality and count;
  • lack of physical and mental energy;
  • loss of muscles and bones;
  • extra weight, changes in body shape and appearance, hair loss;
  • depression, problems with sleep, lack of motivation.

In spite of the fact that testosterone is a male sex hormone, its deficiency can cause serious health problems in females, too. This hormone has an essential part in the formation of women’s genitals during the pubertal growth stage. The increased secretion of this hormone is observed in female ovaries when a woman is pregnant. The sudden and significant failure of testosterone makes women chronically tired and unmotivated, as well as causes emotional disorders and a poor libido. As well as men, women with testosterone deficiency can gain fat, experience insomnia, and suffer from osteoporosis.

The combination of arginine and aspartate is often used as sports nutrition, as it increases metabolism and enhances energy. Together with this use, it is rather popular as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), especially when taken with the extract of bark of the maritime pine. This stack enhances the action of the nitric oxide in the penile vessels and induces blood flow into the cavernous body. Together with the increased energy and, consequently, better mood and motivation, LAA becomes an efficient remedy for intimate problems.

L-Aspartic Acid vs D-Aspartic Acid Dosage

Aspartic acid dosageIf you want to get acquainted with the beneficial effects of Asp on your own, both isomers of the amino acid are available for sale in the form of dietary supplements. They are preparations that are sold without a prescription and do not have any scientific confirmation of their efficacy. Still, a lot of people take them for various reasons. The dosages may differ from one brand to another, and even the same product can be administered in different rates by different people. When you decide how much per day of DAA or LAA you want to take, you should consider your weight, age, and health condition. No matter what supplement you choose, the detailed advice of your health provider is required.

It is senseless to compare the prices and average dosages of L-aspartic acid vs D-aspartic acid when you try to choose between the two. They are completely different drugs and should be taken strictly as they are indicated. So, a better question to answer is: “When should I take LAA or DAA?” If you are a bodybuilder and you need more energy and better physical stamina for your exercises, you can try L-aspartate supplementation. If you think that you are testosterone deficient, it is time for DAA.

The average starting dose of L-aspartate is 500 mg per day, but it can be increased up to 1,5 g and split into three administrations. Some manufacturers indicate a recommended serving size of the pure LAA powder up to 2 grams, three servings per day maximum. Some products, e.g. the chelates of LAA and zinc or magnesium, should be used only with special measuring equipment, like precise weights or special spoons that equal 1/32 of a usual teaspoon. The daily intake of zinc L-aspartate should not be more that 200 mg per day; however, this measure can change depending on the drug’s concentration. The usual daily amount of magnesium L-aspartate is higher, 500 mg divided into three intakes, or one special spoon thrice a day.

There were several clinical trials conducted to examine the effectiveness of different doses of DAA. Men took from 1.6 g to 3.2 g of D-aspartate to increase luteinizing and male sex hormones, sperm count, and fertility. Those studies have shown that the average effective dose for the common uses of D-aspartate is between 2 and 3.5 grams per day. This dosage will not cause dangerous side effects, but will help you improve your health and physical performance. Doctors do not recommend taking the DAA supplements for longer than 3 weeks in a row. You can start over after a 7-day break and repeat the cycle again and again. It has to be done to avoid tolerance.

Top L- and D-Aspartic Acid Supplements

Aspartic acid supplementsThere are a lot of brands of the dietary supplements that contain L- and D-forms of aspartic acid, and they are widely represented in the pharmacies next door and on the internet. You can find the powder, soluble in water, which can be used for personal consumption, research, or bulking. Here are some of the most popular aids with these ingredients:

  • pure D-Aspartic Acid by Nutricost, manufactured in the forms of powder and capsules. The powder bottle contains 300 grams of the drug, one serving equals one scoop, 3 grams. The capsule also contains 3 grams of pure DAA, 180 caps come in a package;
  • the company Nutrition Science, commonly known as NuSci, manufacturers the pure powder of LAA and DAA, 1 kilogram of medication in each package;
  • L-Aspartic Acid by Swanson Ultra, 60 vegetarian caps 500 mg each;
  • Biotech Nutritions produces DAA 3000 mg caps, 200 servings in a bottle;
  • 3Care Therapeutics markets the preparation TestoRight Powder, which is a combination of DAA, Vitamin D3, and Lycopene;
  • AI Sports Nutrition represents 300 grams of DAA pure powder;
  • Magnesium & Potassium Aspartate is a blend of two chelates, magnesium and potassium aspartates, and taurine;
  • a patented male sexual enhancer Prelox, produced by Purity Products, comprises L-aspartate, L-arginine, taurine, and pine bark extract.

Some manufacturers produce child nutrition formulas, like Neocate Junior or Neocate Nutra, that contain the most important amino acids, like aspartate, leucine, glycine, proline, valine, isoleucine, lysine, and many other ingredients.

The Best Time to Take It

There is no common opinion as for the best time to take DAA and LAA. The L supps should not be mixed with food, so it is better to take them on empty stomach, half an hour before meals. As for DAA, you can take it with food, so the best time will coincide with your usual time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. If you take DAA for bodybuilding, it is best to take it at least 30 minutes before going to the gym. However, the observations say that a single intake in the middle of a day, will be as effective as splitting it into two or three administrations. You can take the supplement with water or juice, to “camouflage” the taste, which is not very pleasant.

Are They Both Legal?

FDA approvedAccording to the Food and Drug Administration, both L- and D-forms of aspartic acid are recognized as generally safe. In simple words, their legal status is the following — they can be sold without a prescription as biologically active food additives. When buying these preparations, users should pay attention to the manufacturer’s reputation and always adhere to the package leaflet guidelines. Remember, that the curative and beneficial virtues of both DAA and LAA supplementations are not clinically proven, and medical authorities need more research and information to evaluate their effects and recognize them as drugs that can be used as treatments for any disease. The World Anti Doping Agency did not include DAA in the list of banned drugs, so professional sportsmen can take it for better results.

Do LAA & DAA Side Effects Differ?

There clinical data about the dangers of both drugs is not sufficient. They are usually well-tolerated, if used with care and according to recommendations. If you ask what is the key element of the safe aspartate usage, our answer would be: “Never overdose and do not take it for too long.” Prolonged application of the drugs can cause impairments in natural testosterone secretion. No interactions or contraindications were documented, but the manufacturers do not recommend this drugs for individuals with serious medical conditions, as well as pregnant or lactating women.

D-aspartate supps are actually a testosterone replacement therapy (shortened as TRT), and they can cause the same reactions as other TRT injections, transdermal patches, gels, etc. Although, there is no evidence of any side effects of the normal dosing of DAA supplements, the treatment can result in certain adverse reactions:

  • sudden and quick alopecia in both men and women;
  • any symptoms of digestive disorders, e.g. nausea or diarrhea;
  • chronic intake of testosterone boosters can cause acne;
  • mood disorders, like aggression or depression, and chronic headaches should be a reason to discontinue the supplementation.

Still, there is very little information about the side effects of the aspartic acids. If you notice any undesired body response, you should seek medical assistance immediately.

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