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What is Aspartic Acid?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated Feb 06, 2024
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Aspartic acid is a type of amino acid that can be found in various foods, in certain artificial sweeteners, and inside of the human body. Unlike other types of acid, aspartic acid is considered a non-essential acid, which means that the body does not need to derive this type of acid from any other source, since it naturally occurs within the body.

Even though the human body produces this type of acid naturally, some people may have a non-essential acid deficiency. These people must either consume foods that contain aspartic acid, or obtain a medical prescription for aspartates. Asparates are supplements that can be used to increase the amount of non-essential acids within the body. Frequently, athletes are prescribed asparates, since these supplements can act as a barrier against any athletic injury while also increasing athletic ability.

Foods that contain aspartic acid include molasses, sugar cane, certain types of meat, some sprouted seed varieties, and some dairy products. Various health professionals believe that people who have insufficient levels of protein also have lower levels of aspartic acid, since meat is a top source of this type of acid. Thus, people who have low protein levels may also suffer from extreme fatigue and bouts of depression due to a lack of non-essential acid, though these symptoms are not solely reserved for people who do not eat meat.

While often disregarded by those outside of the medical community, aspartic acid is extremely important to the human body. Not only does this type of acid help to keep the brain alert, it also removes harmful toxins, such as ammonia, from the liver. In addition, this non-essential acid helps keep a person's metabolism functioning properly and efficiently. In short, people who have diminished levels of aspartic acid often suffer many mental and physical health problems.

Even though certain asparates may be available through health food stores, it is not recommended that these supplements be taken without the assurance of a medical doctor. People who do not need an extra dose of non-essential acid may be harmed by an asparate. Thus, it is best to speak with one's doctor prior to attempting to increase non-essential acid levels.

Since people who have low non-essential acid levels often feel fatigued and depressed, it is important that anyone experiencing these symptoms speak with a medical doctor. While there are other causes for fatigue and depression, many people feel more energetic and less depressed by following an asparate routine.

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Discussion Comments
By ddljohn — On Aug 11, 2011

I sort of have a deficiency in aspartic acid. My doctor said that it's on the border.

I didn't want to take any synthetic substitutes though so I'm trying to improve my aspartic acid levels through my diet.

I'm trying to eat more fish, meat, more seeds like sunflower seeds, eggs and tomatoes. My doctor said that all of these are particularly high in aspartic acid.

I have been feeling better, especially my mood is better than usual. I think not having enough aspartic acid was having a depressive affect on me but I didn't realize. Thankfully it's nothing that a healthy and nutritious diet can't fix.

By turquoise — On Aug 10, 2011

@fify-- Yes, many body builders and athletic performers do use aspartic acid. Even if they don't use it directly, many protein shakes they they drink also have aspartic acid in it.

I'm pretty sure that the benefits of aspartic acid for building muscle has been proven. There are various studies done on it and body builders will tell you how much they've benefited.

I actually don't see a problem with bodybuilders taking aspartic acid. Afterall, it is naturally found in the body so it's not like you're introducing a foreign substance. The only thing to watch out for is for anyone under 21 to not use it for body building purposes and I think most people who are into this type of activity know about it.

I also don't think that people are using this on whim. The body builders I know are very disciplined, care about their health and go for check-ups often.

By fify — On Aug 09, 2011

I know that many body builders take aspartic acid as a supplement to improve their performance. I read their comments about it on body building forums all the time and it doesn't sound like they are doing this under doctor control.

It's more of, "how much aspartic acid should I take, should I take this with it as well?" and so forth. Now that I've read this article I think that some body builders might be putting their health at risk.

I also heard that using too much aspartic acid increases not only testosterone levels in the body which is what body builders want, but estrogen levels as well. At that point, there can be physical changes and side effects that are not desired.

I think this is pretty scary because they're playing around with the hormone levels in their body so that they can perform better physically and build more muscle. But I don't think that any of them, or most of them are experiencing any deficiency in aspartic acid at all.

It sounds like misuse and overuse of aspartic acid to me.

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