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ASPARTATE (Amino acid)

 

Aspartate or aspartic acid is one of two acidic amino acids and, along with glutamic acid, plays important roles as general acids in enzyme active centres, as well as in maintaining the solubility and ionic character of proteins. Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that the body can usually make sufficient amounts of it. Aspartic acid is essential to the process of chelating (binding to) minerals to make them easier to assimilate, digest and utilise, as in calcium, potassium and magnesium. Found in its highest quantities in the brain, aspartic acid increases neurological activity. It is found in higher amounts in people with epilepsy and in lower amounts in those suffering from depression.
 

The carboxylate anion and salts of aspartic acid are known as aspartate which is essentially a neurotransmitter and a stimulant, as well as a precursor to another neurotransmitter and stimulant (N-methyl-D-aspartate). It works in a central brain region to cause a release of hormones such as luteinising hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and growth hormone secondary to acting on receptors directly. Aspartate may also build up in the testicles, where it alleviates a rate-limiting step of testosterone synthesis and thereby increases testosterone levels.

 

Aspartate is said to increase energy, fat loss, libido, metabolism, muscle growth and strength and testosterone levels and reduce fatigue and depression. It is also thought to enhance sleep quality and mood. It is often combined with various minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc as it can help  to increase absorption of these minerals  As a supplement it is often used to enhance athletic performance. Some forms are used to reduce brain damage caused by cirrhosis of the liver (hepatic encephalopathy) and given intravenously by a healthcare professional. However it can cause some serious side effects in some individuals.

 

Aspartic acid from aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in many 'sugar-free' products,  has the same detrimental effects on the body as glutamic acid, when it is isolated from its naturally protein-bound state, causing it to become a neurotoxin instead of a non-essential amino acid. There are over 92 side effects associated with aspartame consumption because it can dissolve into solution, travel throughout the body and deposit in any tissue. Aspartame brings on clinical diabetes and can cause convulsions. Aspartame makes the consumer gain weight because it causes powerful sugar cravings which is ironic when it is consumed by people wishing to avoid sugar.

 

Possible side effects of aspartate supplements

  • Acne

  • Depression

  • Diarrhoea

  • Headaches

  • Memory loss

  • Mood swings

 

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Highest sources of aspartate in alphabetical order

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