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L Aspartic Acid
Overview

Aspartic acid, which is also known as L-Aspartame, is a non-essential amino acid that protects the liver from drug toxicity and the body from radiation. Found in sugar cane and molasses, aspartic acid aids in the conversion of ammonia in the body to uric acid. This conversion reduces the toxicity in the body and prevents harm to the kidneys.

As a nonessential amino acid, you don’t have to derive aspartic acid from foods because it occurs naturally in your body. In addition, you probably eat enough foods to make up for any aspartic acid deficiency that you may have.

The exception to this is if you have been diagnosed with non-essential acid deficiency. In this case, your doctor will recommend that you take an aspartic acid supplement or your doctor will write you a prescription for aspartames. Aspartames prescription supplements are also written for athletes. That is because it can help to prevent injury while they are working out or participating in their sport of choice.

What is L-Aspartic Acid ?
Aspartic acid, also known as L-asparaginic acid or L-aminosuccinic acid, is found primarily in sugar cane and molasses. It promotes a robust metabolism and also acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter.

L-Aspartic acid is of paramount importance in the citric acid cycle, better known as the Krebs cycle, during which other amino acids and biochemicals, such as asparagine, arginine, lysine, methionine, threonine and isoleucine, are synthesized.

Aspartic acid generates cellular energy. It transports coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) molecules from the main body of the cell to its power plant or mitochondria, where it is utilized to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel that powers all cellular activity.

In essence, the more NADH a cell contains, the higher its potential to produce the chemical fuel needed for energy. Some studies have shown that aspartic acid increases stamina and endurance levels in athletes because of its importance in generating ATP.

Aspartic acid helps in the delivery of minerals where they are needed to form healthy RNA and DNA to the cells. It bolsters the immune system by stimulating increased production of immunoglobulins and antibodies (immune system proteins). Aspartic acid helps sharpen the memory by increasing concentrations of NADH in the brain. It also aids in the disposal of excess toxins from the cells, particularly ammonia, which is very damaging to the brain and nervous system as well as the liver.

Aspartic acid is a nonessential amino acid. "Nonessential" means the body produces it regardless of diet, making a deficiency unlikely. It can also be obtained from the diet through dairy, beef, poultry, sugar cane and molasses.

The artificial sweetener aspartame is made from aspartic acid and phenylalanine, another amino acid.

Where it is found
Aspartic acid is not an essential amino acid, which means that it can be synthesized from central metabolic pathway intermediates in humans. Aspartic acid is found in:

arw Animal sources: luncheon meats, sausage meat, wild game
arw Vegetable sources: sprouting seeds, oat flakes, avocado, asparagus, young sugarcane, and molasses from sugar beets.
arw Dietary supplements, either as aspartic acid itself or salts (such as magnesium aspartate)
arw The sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel, etc.)

Benefits / uses
L-Aspartic acid helps rid the body of ammonia, sparing the liver from the stress of having to remove excess ammonia from the bloodstream. L-Aspartic acid combines with other amino acids to form molecules that absorb toxins and remove them from the body’s system.

Supplementation with L-aspartic acid may increase resistance to fatigue and allow performance athletes and bodybuilders to train harder and longer with greater performance, less fatigue, increased stamina and increased endurance.

1 Aids in gluconeogenesis: Gluconeogenesis occurs when glucose is created from non carbohydrate substances in the blood. In order for this process to work, these substances must have sulfur in them. The benefit of gluconeogenesis is that it prevents blood glucose levels from dropping off, which prevents hypoglycemia in diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
2 Stimulates NMDA. NMDA triggers the memory receptors in the brain. This brain function is enhanced when the proper amount of aspartic acid is in the body. NMDA also aids in alertness.
3 Aids in the synthesis of arginine, lysine, methionine, threonine and isoleucine. All of these are amino acids, which, in part, are building blocks of protein:
 
arw Arginine ethyl ester aids in keeping the liver, skin, joints and muscles healthy. It also helps regulates hormones and boosts the immune system.


arw Lysine offers antiviral properties. Among other things, lysine helps to prevent breakouts of herpes and cold sores. Lysine is also needed for hormone production and aids in the growth and maintenance of the bones. Like arginine, lysine boosts the immune system as well.


arw Methionine enables to process of eliminating fat in the body. In addition, methionine aids in the production of glutathione. In the human body, this is the most productive natural antioxidant in existence. Methionine also prevents fat from building up in the liver.


arw Methionine also aids in the production of cysteine and taevine. Cysteine, which is a sulfur containing amino acid, is needed to create glutathione. Without glutathione, your body wouldn’t have any natural antibodies.


arw Taevine has multiple functions. Not only does it ensure that your heart and brain are healthy, but it also ensures that the nervous system is regulated properly. In addition, it helps to ensure that your muscles are healthy as well.


arw Threonine aids in the function of the heart, liver, the central nervous system and the immune system. It maintains your body’s protein balance and helps the body produce collagen, elastin and muscle tissue by creating glycine and serine in the body.


arw Isoleucine is an energy booster, like many of the other amino acids ins aspartic acid. What’s more, it acts to clot blood at injury sites and speeds healing. It is also valuable in the healing of muscle tissue. Lastly, isoleucine increases muscle endurance.
4 Liver health - aspartic acid benefits the liver by removing excess ammonia from the liver. Aspartic acid combines with other amino acids to form molecules that absorb toxins and remove them from the bloodstream
5 Chronic fatigue syndrome - since aspartic acid increases stamina, it is good for fatigue (chronic fatigue syndrome may result from low levels of aspartic acid, because this can lead to lowered cellular energy)
 

Doses
As a dietary supplement, take 2 grams (1/2 level teaspoon) up to three times daily between meals (or as directed by a physician.) Individual preferences vary and range from 2000 milligrams to 6000 milligrams (6 grams) per day, depending upon individual needs. DO NOT EXCEED 6 GRAMS IN A DAY. It should be taken in divided doses between meals. For bodybuilders and performance athletes a 1/2 level teaspoon (approximately 1926 milligrams) taken up to three times per day between meals is sufficient.

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
There are no scientific studies of adverse effects of L-aspartic acid available. Possible side effects of taking too much L-aspartic acid are the same as potential effects of too much protein in the diet since L-Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Excessive amounts of protein in the diet may lead to liver or kidney damage, or gout. Talk to a medical professional about aspartic acid supplements before taking them.
Deficiency can occur, especially in individuals who are on low protein diets due to an insufficient supply of the precursors needed for the body to make L-aspartic acid.

Research studies / References

arw a b "862. Aspartic acid". The Merck Index (11th ed.). 1989. p. 132. ISBN 091191028X.


arw a b "Nomenclature and symbolism for amino acids and peptides (IUPAC-IUB Recommendations 1983)", Pure Appl. Chem. 56 (5): 595–624, 1984, doi:10.1351/pac198456050595.


arw R.H.A. Plimmer (1912) [1908]. R.H.A. Plimmer & F.G. Hopkins. ed. The chemical composition of the proteins. Monographs on biochemistry. Part I. Analysis (2nd ed.). London: Longmans, Green and Co.. p. 112.


arw http://books.google.com/?id=7JM8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA112. Retrieved January 18, 2010.


arw Lehninger, Albert L.; Nelson, David L.; Cox, Michael M. (2000), Principles of Biochemistry (3rd ed.), New York: W. H. Freeman, ISBN 1-57259-153-6.


arw Chen, Philip E.; Geballe, Matthew T.; Stansfeld, Phillip J.; Johnston, Alexander R.; Yuan, Hongjie; Jacob, Amanda L.; Snyder, James P.; Traynelis, Stephen F. et al. (2005). "Structural Features of the Glutamate Binding Site in Recombinant NR1/NR2A N-Methyl-D-aspartate Receptors Determined by Site-Directed Mutagenesis and Molecular Modeling". Mol. Pharmacol. 67 (5): 1470–84. doi:10.1124/mol.104.008185. PMID 15703381. http://molpharm.aspetjournals.org/cgi/content/full/67/5/1470.


arw Dunn, M. S.; Smart, B. W. (1950), "DL-Aspartic Acid", Org. Synth. 30: 7, http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/orgsyn/prepContent.asp?prep=CV4P0055; Coll. Vol. 4: 55.