Every once in awhile, a new “next best thing since sliced bread” appears on the supplement market.
A few years ago it was Tribulus Terrestris.
Before that, Ashwagandha was all the rage.
Lately, the ingredient bodybuilders have praised is D-aspartic acid.
It promises to pump up your testosterone, fast-track your muscle growth and supercharge your libido.
However, as with every new magic pill, we have to look at the science behind it.
And I mean the real science - interpreted correctly, from full studies, with understanding of what it all actually means.
(If someone is hell-bent on selling you something, well, they probably don’t have your best interest in mind.)Otherwise, you will end up spending a lot of money to make your pee very expensive.
Look, I know that the Hodge twins aren’t exactly the prime example of science. They’re bros!
But they do raise a great point in the video: who were the people in the study? It matters a lot if you give a supplement to a teenager or a 50-year-old man.
But we’ll get to all of this in the article.
So, how effective is D-aspartic acid for testosterone boosting?
What Is D-aspartic Acid?
Before we can get to the answer, we have to look at the nuts and bolts of how it works.
D-aspartic acid (D-AA for short) is a non-essential amino acid.
Amino acids are building blocks of protein. Branched-chain amino acids (you may be more familiar with the term BCAA’s) are often used to get around the digestive process and get the good stuff as fast as possible.
Non-essential means that our body can make its own from essential amino acids, which we get from food.
We also get D-AA directly from food. Some potent sources include soy protein, casein (protein found in milk) and zein (corn protein).
As we get older, the level of D-AA in our body drops as the production slows down.
D-AA works in the central brain region to cause a release of hormones, such as luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and growth hormone.
Luteinizing hormone is closely linked to testosterone. In men, a release of the hormone triggers production of T.However, as we will see in the next section, this is not necessarily the sign that you need to order it right now.
D-aspartic Acid Studies
Multiple studies have tested D-aspartic acid on animals - with promising results.
However, I hope you’d never use a supplement that has only been tested on animals.
So far, there have only been 3 relevant studies of D-AA on humans that we need to look at.
Needless to say, the current evidence is not final.
But here’s what we know so far.
One study that lasted for 12 days found that supplementation with D-aspartic acid (brand DADAVIT) was able to “increase testosterone by 15% after six days and 42% after twelve days relative to baseline, which declined to 22% after three days of cessation.”
This is the study many people point to as the definite proof of the effectiveness of D-AA.First off, the study was conducted on healthy, but not trained individuals. We’ll come back to this point later.
DADAVIT is a popular fertility supplement in Italy. The only problem: besides D-AA, it also contains vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid, all of which can also increase testosterone.
This makes this study (and another one which replicated the first study) pretty much useless when it comes to figuring out how effective D-AA is on its own.
But, the combination of D-AA and the vitamin B complex does seem to be helpful in raising testosterone levels.
However, positive effects seem to only show on sedentary or infertile men.
Studies on athletes haven’t had the same effects.
This study supplemented 3g daily for 28 days, with no increase in T-concentrations at the end.
Another one, a double-blind randomized controlled trial, ran for 12 weeks with 6 grams a day, with the same result.
The same study also found that the levels of D-aspartate oxidase nearly doubled.
D-aspartate oxidase degrades D-aspartic acid.
This may mean that the more D-AA you take, the more your body tries to counteract the effects.
If you’re a healthy man who is physically active, you may very well get no benefits from taking D-AA.
This doesn’t happen in people with low testosterone, only in those with normal or high levels.
Thus, D-aspartic acid only looks promising as a testosterone regulator (meaning that it can elevate low levels back to normal), but not a total booster.
Which is a good thing: if you struggle with low testosterone, it is definitely something that could be helpful.
In other words: lifting weights is probably better for your testosterone than D-AA.Also, D-AA had no effect on fat mass, hypertrophy or power output, which gives further proof that it’s not really the best T-booster.
Benefits Of D-aspartic Acid
If it isn’t good for testosterone, what is it good for?
D-AA seems to be helpful with fertility. Studies have found that it improves seminal motility and concentration, as well as raises fertility rates, but the study was done on men with unhealthy sperm. So, there’s no proof that it would work on healthy men.
However, if you are a part of the former, a 100% increase does sounds pretty good.
It is also a possible cognitive enhancer, but the effects have so far only been studies in rats.
D-AA is also involved with function of the pituitary and the pineal gland, which may, repeat, may have some effect on the release of various hormones and the regulation of the sleep cycle, but the research can offer no conclusive, or even speculative answers at this time.
Side Effects & Safety Of D-aspartic Acid
There were no adverse effects in any of the studies referenced above, which means that normal levels of D-AA (around 3 grams daily) are safe up to 90 day from the current research.
How To Take D-aspartic Acid
[pullquote align=”normal”]“Different studies have used different supplementation protocols. One study used 3,000mg for 12 days, taken daily, followed by a week with no supplementation. A different study did not cycle D-AA, and used 2,000mg of continual daily supplementation with no harm.” [/pullquote]
Higher doses are not necessarily better in this case, as there is a cut-off point where the dose doesn’t offer any extra benefits, but may cause additional damage.
Stick to 3 grams per day at the most and you’ll get all the benefits while avoiding any side effects.
There’s a simple conclusion to be drawn from the facts available to us.
If you’re having problems with low testosterone or fertility, D-aspartic acid will probably work for you.
If you’re 30, 40 plus, and your T is on the decline, give it a try and see if it works for you.
But if you aren’t, and your T levels are within normal limits, you’d be better off spending your money on something else.
Do you have any questions about the use of D-AA? Ask me in the comment below and I’ll answer every one!
If you want to increase your testosterone levels naturally, here’s what you need to do:
First, read my beginner’s guide to increasing your testosterone naturally, which includes some supplements that have been proven to raise your testosterone levels.
Then, check out my list of best exercises for raising your T levels, which will help you design your workout in the most optimal way for raising your testosterone.
With those two things, you’ll be well on your way to seeing the benefits of improved test levels.