Aspartic acid is basically a variety of amino acids and is one among the 20 proteinogenic amino acids. This means aspartic acid is one of the protein building blocks. In effect, aspartic acid’s carboxylate anion is known as aspartate. It is believed that aspartic acid functions in the form of a neurotransmitter having a tendency to excite (excitatory) within the central nervous system (CNS). It may be noted that asparagines, glutamate and glutamine are created from their forerunner – aspartic acid. Aspartic acid too is a non-essential or supplementary amino acid and is present in several proteins. Aspartic acid is said to have a close association with asparagine. Medical as well as biochemical studies use aspartic acid in the form of an organic intermediary. Besides, it also has various industrial applications. It may be noted that aspartic acid is among the two constituents of aspartame, which is made up of two different amino acids – phenylalanine and aspartic acid, much like the methyl ester. Aspariginase is basically an enzyme that facilitates converting asparagine into aspartic acid.
Aspartic acid is a supplementary or non-essential amino acid and is present in proteins found in plants, particularly germinating seeds. However, this non-essential acid may also be produced by the human body using oxaloacetic acid. Aspartic acid was isolated for the first time in 1868 from legumin present in plant seed. Aspartic acid, in addition to glutamic acid, is the solitary amino acid that, on the side chain, possesses a negatively charged carboxylate group.
Stamina in the body is increased by aspartic acid, and this amino acid is considered good for physical fatigue. Aspartic acid also performs a vital role in body level metabolism in the human body. Lowered levels of aspartic acid in the body may induce chronic fatigue in the body, this occurs due to lowered cellular energy in the body of the person. The presence of aspartic acid is believed to be beneficial for many neural and brain disorders affecting a person. The amino acid aspartic acid is said to be beneficial for athletes, and it is believed to help in the protection of the liver by affecting the elimination of excess ammonia from the body. Molecules that absorb toxins and remove them from the bloodstream are formed by combinations of the aspartic acid with other amino acids. Aspartic acid also aids in the functioning of cellular systems and in the biochemical function of RNA and DNA as well – these bio-molecules are the carriers of genetic information in the body. Aspartic acid also promotes the production of immunoglobulins in the body as well as the synthesis of antibodies – both of these bio-molecules are part of the proteins important in the immune system. Aspartic acid is found in great abundance in certain kinds of plant protein, particularly those found in certain sprouting seeds, aside from the animal protein sources.
Aspartic acid is extremely vital in the metabolic process throughout the development of additional amino acids as well as bio-chemicals in the case of the citric acid cycle. The bio-chemicals that are produced from aspartic acid include asparagine, lysine, arginine, isoleucine, threonine, methionine and many nucleotides.
Aspartic acid is required for the brain, health of the nervous system as well as stamina. This non-essential amino acid helps the liver by getting rid of the surplus ammonia as well as different toxic substances from the bloodstream. In addition, aspartic acid is also extremely essential in the performance of DNA, RNA, in addition to the synthesis of antibodies as well as production of immunoglobulin.
This non-essential amino acid has a crucial role in producing energy. In fact, aspartic acid is among the various elements that are essential to transfer high energy NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide plus hydrogen) molecules from a cell’s main body to its mitochondria or the key areas related to energy production. When it is already there, the NADH is utilized to produce ATP – the energy fuel which controls the entire activities of a cell. In addition to assisting in production of energy, aspartic acid is also a main excitatory neurotransmitter.
Aspartic acid also facilitates in delivering minerals for the robust DNA and RNA to places in the cells where they are required. This non-essential amino acid also boosts the immune system by means of encouraging augmented production of antibodies (proteins of the immune system) and immunoglobulins. Besides, aspartic acid also facilitates honing the memory by means of enhancing the NADH concentrations inside the brain. In addition, this amino acid helps in removing excessive toxic substances present in the cells, especially ammonia – a substance that is extremely detrimental for the brain, the nervous system, in addition to the liver. Aspartic acid also coalesces well with additional amino acids to take the shape of molecules that soak up toxic substances and eliminate them from the system of our body.
Taking supplements containing aspartic acid may possibly improve the body’s strength to combat exhaustion and, at the same time, enable athletes as well as bodybuilders to undertake more arduous and prolonged training facilitating superior performance, enhanced endurance, lesser fatigue and augmented stamina. On the other hand, any dearth of aspartic acid in the body is likely to give rise to depression and weariness.
As aforementioned, aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid, which denotes that this amino acid may be produced in humans from the central metabolic pathway intermediates. Aspartic acid is present in several foods, including vegetables, animal sources and dairy products. Some of the sources of aspartic acid are mentioned below.
The animal sources of aspartic acid include poultry, beef, wild game, luncheon meats in addition to sausage meat. On the other hand, vegetables that contain aspartic acid include asparagus, avocado, sprouting seeds, young sugarcane, oat flakes and sugar beet molasses. Besides being present in dairy products, aspartic acid is also found in many dietary supplements either in the form of salts (for instance, magnesium aspartate) or aspartic acid itself.
A shortage or dearth of aspartic acid may occur in the body, particularly in people whose diets are low in protein content as a result of inadequate supply of the antecedents required by the body to produce aspartic acid.
Stamina in athletic sports and physical endurance are said to be increased by taking aspartic acid salts as supplements. Supplemental forms of aspartic acid best taken to achieve this are the natural form of L-aspartic acid. This form of aspartic acid is available in the form of tablets. This form of aspartic acid is normally used in dosages of 500 mg, normally one to thrice daily with water or fruit juice, and on an empty stomach. Such supplemental doses must be used at least thirty minutes preceding mealtimes. During supplementation with aspartic acid, it is important that supplements with protein must not be taken at the same time; as such protein intake might interfere with the body’s natural ability to use aspartic acid at the same time.
Side effects and cautions
People taking supplements or food containing aspartic acid ought to be aware of its potential side effects and exercise necessary precautions to avoid them. Generally speaking, use of aspartic acid is harmless provided it is taken in recommended serving amounts. The potential side effects of taking excessive amounts of aspartic acid are similar to those which occur when one has excessive amount of protein in his or her diet. This is primarily owing to the fact that aspartic acid is basically an amino acid. When you have too much protein in your diet, it may result in the damage of the liver and/ or kidneys, in addition to developing gout. Prior to taking supplements containing aspartic acid, it is essential to confer with a professional healthcare practitioner.