Aspartic acid, whose brute or molecular formula is C4H7NO4 is a non-essential amino acid, whose side chain is polar and is a chiral molecule also indicated by the abbreviations D or Asp. There are two forms of aspartate, L-aspartic acid and D-aspartic acid; the latter has fewer metabolic functions.
Aspartic acid was discovered by the French pharmacist Auguste-Arthur Plisson in 1827, who isolated it after reacting asparagine, obtained from asparagus juice, with lead hydroxide.
Like all other amino acids, aspartic acid has an amino group and a carboxylic acid. Under physiological conditions the α-amino group is protonated while the α-carboxylic group is deprotonate and has a negatively charged acid side chain at physiological pH, which can react with other amino acids, enzymes and proteins.
Aspartic acid is obtained from the corresponding salts which are aspartates, while the amide of the aspartic acid is asparagine, another of the 20 amino acids.
L-aspartic acid is present in different proportions in most proteins and in different concentrations in various natural products.
Aspartic acid, in the plant world, is contained, e.g. in soy flour, asparagus, lupins, dried parsley, peanuts, dried basil, pumpkin seeds, almonds, lentils, avocados, etc.
Although aspartic acid is contained in plant and animal food it is, however, a non-essential amino acid because our body produces it even if it is not consumed. This does not mean that the presence in the diet is not important anyway.
Aspartate in the brain acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter and stimulates the NMDA receptors, although not as strongly as glutamate and is also involved in the urea cycle, it is included among the glucogenic amino acids as it is transformed into oxaloacetate by transamination.
Aspartic acid also plays an important role as a detoxifier of blood, also promoting the functioning of other organs:
– protects the liver from diseases, helping to expel the ammonia produced in the metabolism through the urinary tract;
– collaborates in the proper cellular functioning of the organism, participating in the production and expulsion of hormones;
– by binding to potassium and magnesium during metabolism, it rejuvenates cellular activity;
– assists in the formation of glutamic acid, stimulating brain connections;
– together with magnesium, calcium and potassium helps to maintain the cardiovascular system;
– stimulates the function of DNA and RNA as carriers of genetic information;
– is essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system;
– intervenes in the processing of glucose during the process of gluconeogenesis to produce energy to the body;
– multiplies absorption, circulation and use of minerals through the intestinal mucosa, blood and cells;
– increases testosterone levels by promoting muscle growth and development.
The integration of the processes presided by aspartic acid therefore contributes to provide significant benefits to the organism of living beings and in particular of the human body.
Aspartic acid therefore:
– accelerates the metabolism, which produces a greater consumption of calories, even if the body remains in a state of rest;
– increases tolerance and physical performance in sports activities, promoting fat oxidation and reducing fatigue or depression;
– in women it stimulates ovulation and the menstrual cycle, in men it increases the level of liveness producing a greater stimulation;
It is, in general, a very important element to increase the levels of memory, learning and balance of the body.
Warning: The information reported is not medical advice and may not be accurate. The contents are for illustrative purposes only and do not replace medical advice.