To cut to the chase, D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) is an amino acid found naturally in the human body. The main source of its production is in the testes, however it is also found in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. It is one of the 20 amino acids which are the building blocks of the proteins that fuel our bodies and more specifically our muscles. One of the main roles of DAA is the regulation of the release of testosterone in humans. There are two forms of Aspartic acid, the L form and the D form. The L forms of amino acids are primarily for muscle building, which are the forms found in your typical protein and amino acid supplements. Humans evolved mainly without the use of D amino acids which are considered right handed amino acids, although they are used in some precursor events in our body like that of testosterone production which is spoken of below.
Does It Work?
This is the question that everyone wants answered. There’s dozens of testosterone boosters from chemicals with a vast array of numbers to make them look very complex to simple vitamins like zinc and magnesium taken at night to improve testosterone production. However, how effective is DAA?
DAA has been case studied. In human trials that lasted 12 days all subjects who were given the minimum dosage of 3 grams (3000 mg) saw an increase of testosterone production anywhere from 33-42% range. After stopping the DAA, 3 days later, their testosterone production was still at an average of 29% higher. Tests were also done on rats, whom had a better outcome; their testosterone increase spanned 50% to as high as 100% higher 12 days later, doubling their testosterone in that time. DAA clearly has a significant effect on human and animal testosterone levels.
Too Good To Be True?
What’s the typical motto? If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is….well, sort of.
DAA does increase testosterone which will, with out question, support an increase in lean mass and performance. However, there was a study on Boars and Female Lizards. (Yes, I am relating these animals to humans) Just to be clearer, Boars are males. In this study, the results were of similar stature in the boar (male), however the results also showed an increase in Estrogen for the female lizards. That’s right, for all you men…Estrogen. Which means only one thing, Gynecomastia. That’s a word a man never wants to hear. For the layman, Man Boobs.
As with all testosterone boosters, not just steroids, cycling on and off is a key to get desirable results, without undesirable effects. DAA meets a high effect of increased testosterone production after 2 weeks, retaining a large percentage days after. This makes it perfect to cycle on and off DAA for a safe average of 2 to 3 weeks at a time with minimal if not zero side effects. It does not disrupt natural production where there would be a rebound effect. Meaning DAA does not supply testosterone so that when you come off of it, your natural production dips below normal and in an effort to spike natural increase there is also a spike in estrogen, that only happens with poorly administered steroids. Your natural production stays higher and slowly diminishes back down to your normal level.
Cycling on and off DAA anywhere in the 2-3 weeks range on and off is a safe way to diminish if not complete avoid any estrogen rebound from the product. There are other alternatives if you do decide to take DAA for longer to see what kind of positive effects can be elicited from the product. Estrogen blockers (anti-aromatase) are available over the counter. Your first question should be, well if it’s an estrogen blocker that works, why is it over the counter? Well, because of the strong effect they have on the hormones in the human body the prescription grade are illegal without a prescription. The over the counter, like testosterone boosters, even though they elicit effects to estrogen production, the effect is not drastic enough to deem them unsafe. This is good, because DAA increases testosterone, not to an illegal level, but it does increase it to a performance enhancing level (mainly due to an increase in energy, not necessarily muscle strength because the testosterone increase is not a high enough level to illicit such instant results), which can have a slight estrogen rebound to it if taken long enough. Taking an OTC anti-aromatase (estrogen blocker), non-pharmaceutical grade will help keep the small rebound effect from DAA down. DAA will most likely not cause any estrogen rebound that would cause gyno, however even a weak OTC estrogen blocker may be beneficial.
So Do I Take It Or Not?
In my opinion, yes; DAA is proven to be beneficial in helping anyone achieve their fitness goals. males and females. As with any supplement, risks come with rewards, however if taken intelligently and moderately, this product could be a natural lifter’s savior. Even though it has been around for some time, it is not included in many work out supplements. Some have trace amounts, however the recommended amount to work of 3 grams is rarely found in supplements. I can see, with some further research, DAA being put into many pre-workout supplements to help create more of an effect from a company’s product.
*Supplements are not FDA approved. Before you take any supplements consult with your physician.