There are many products out there that claim to boost testosterone and anabolic hormones such as growth hormone (GH) using completely natural formulations. The D-Aspartic Acid supplement is one of the most promising supplements in this area. This article will tell you what it is, how it acts on the body, what it’s proposed to do and summarize the evidence as to how effective it is, or at least has the potential to be. Firstly let’s take a look at some of the possible scenarios under which you may want to boost testosterone levels naturally. Obviously increasing testosterone and GH naturally may have great implications for aiding recovery, losing body fat and in turn creating an environment to build quality lean muscle. Another reason might be after a cycle of pro-hormones, these will reduce the levels of natural testosterone in the body, and so after finishing your course a natural test booster such as D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) is recommended to help bring your natural testosterone levels up to normal to help you maintain your muscle gains. Other reasons may relate to a physiological conditions that may reduce testosterone, such as during dieting ,where lack of nutrients for maintain testosterone may be at a premium, a natural test booster could help in preserving muscle tissue and aiding recovery. As we age our testosterone levels naturally decline, natural testosterone boosters may be a way to support them.
So what is DAA?
Well it is an amino acid that can be synthesised in the body from other sources, so in normal physiological doses it can be maintained without needing to be consumed directly. However what we are interested in is what happens if levels of DAA are increased beyond typical physiological levels through supplementation, we will get on to that in a minute, but first let’s deal with what role it plays in the body. DAA is found in many tissues in the hormonal systems of many animals, it appears to have a role in brain development and function and interacts with modulators of hormonal function situated in the brain such as the pituitary and pineal gland as well as being concentrated in the testes. DAA is involved in the release of hormones, such as luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and growth hormone. LH from the pituitary gland interacts with ‘Leydig’ cells, these cells are found in tissues of the testicles and when stimulated by LH, releases androgens such as testosterone. DAA can also directly be taken up into the testes through the Leydig and other cells which after being taken up into cells can stimulate testosterone production directly. FSH is another hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and works closely with LH to regulate growth and reproductive processes in the body and GH is responsible for many functions including muscle recovery and growth and fat mobilisation.
What are the expected results?
At this point we can start to see that if we could increase levels of DAA in the body though external supplementation, we have the potential to elevate these hormones and this could have potential performance, recovery, muscle growth and even the potential to boost fertility. However before we get too excited, these processes are complex and regulation of levels of these hormones, is the bodies number one priority, therefore the simple addition of DAA may not cause massive increases in hormones as the body does not under normal circumstance want this to happen. This is the reason for the use of external sources of testosterone and growth hormone by those looking for performance or physique enhancement; it in essence cuts out the middle man. The body can shut down production of its natural sources but if these are elevated by external sources beyond physiological conditions these will still act on the body at higher levels than natural hormonal levels. But beware increases in hormonal levels way beyond the normal range can have some pretty nasty effects on the body, but that’s for another time.
Will that cause nasty side effects?
Well in short it is highly unlikely, this is because of self-regulation, the levels of hormones although increased would still be within physiological levels, just at the upper end of the spectrum, not in the super-physiological levels described above. It is helpful to think of testosterone boosters as attempting to optimise your natural testosterone levels, but not increasing them above normal physiological ranges. So I guess that poses the question does this optimisation have any physiological effect? Well studies in humans are scarce, but supplementation with DAA has shown to elevate testosterone levels for a number of weeks by significant margins in some populations. However in athletic populations it had no effect on testosterone levels, this might not be surprising considering the optimisation principle described earlier as if we consider the population of athletes, it might be that there testosterone, through adequate nutrition and training has already levels of testosterone at the upper end of the spectrum. However, these results may make it suitable for the periods after pro-hormone cycles or during hard periods of dieting when testosterone support is required from a natural source. Dosages of DAA that have shown increases on testosterone are between 2-3g per day for periods of 12-30 days making it suitable for some of the uses described above.
What is the conclusion?
DAA does increase many hormones such as testosterone GH, LH and FSH, however this has not been investigated in enough depth to draw meaningful conclusions on the impact on strength, performance and lean muscle gain in normal populations. It goes without saying that, as with many supplements, more research needs to be undertaken in targeted populations in which we can determine the appropriate conditions under which, if any, DAA supplementation is beneficial. [Tweet ""DAA does increase many hormones such as testosterone GH, LH and FSH""] In conclusion it appears DAA may have some uses in those with low hormonal levels for short term increases after periods of pro-hormones or during hard dieting. However long term increases in hormones are inhibited by endocrine (hormonal) system feedback mechanisms, which reduce these levels to normal within a few weeks so it is unlikely to yield any long term benefits, especially in normal healthy populations. Thanks for reading, Peace, weights and protein shakes, Paul Rimmer (BSc, MSc). [wpsr_socialbts]