• Description: the carboxylic acid analog of asparagine, a part of organic molecules containing an amino group.
• Health benefits: helps protect the liver from some drug toxicity and the body from radiation, helps improve the function of the immune system.
• Sources & dosage: sprouting seeds, oat flakes, luncheon meats, sausage meat, wild game, avocado, asparagus.
• Deficiency symptoms: decrease in aspartic acid production reduces ammonia disposal and leads to increased serum ammonia levels.
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Aspartic acid is one of the 20 amino acids commonly found in animal proteins. Aspartic acid is the carboxylic acid analog of asparagine. Aspartic acid is alanine with one of the β hydrogens replaced by a carboxylic acid group. Aspartic acid is a part of organic molecules containing an amino group, which can combine in linear arrays to form proteins in living organisms. Its acidic side chain adds a negative charge and hence a greater degree of water-solubility to proteins in neutral solution and has been shown to be near the active sites of some enzymes. Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid having an acidic carboxyl group on its side chain which can serve as both an acceptor and a donor of ammonia. It is converted to l-asparagine by binding with ammonia. It forms carbamyl-l-Aspartic acid which roles purine as well as pyrimidine biosynthesis.
Aspartic acid functions, uses, and health benefits
Aspartic acid might serve as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. This neurotransmitter may provide resistance to fatigue and thus lead to possessing more endurance. It is also a metabolite in the urea cycle, and participates in gluconeogenesis. Aspartic acid is one of the key components in all living things. Only the l-stereoisomer participates in the biosynthesis of proteins. Proteins are synthesized by formation of peptide bonds during ribosomal translation of messenger RNA. Aspartic acid is one of two acidic amino acids. Aspartic acid and glutamic acid play important roles as general acids in enzyme active centers, as well as in maintaining the solubility and ionic character of proteins. Aspartic acid can help protect the liver from some drug toxicity and the body from radiation. Aspartic acid also can help form the ribonucleotides that assist production of DNA and RNA and aids energy production from carbohydrate metabolism. Aspartic acid may also help improve the function of the immune system, and may play a role in protecting against toxins, and neural and brain disorders. Aspartic acid reportedly helps treat chronic fatigue. Aspartic Acid can be easily converted to glucose when demand for glucose exceeds supply.
Dietary sources of aspartic acid
Aspartic acid is found in high levels throughout the human body, especially in the brain, sprouting seeds, oat flakes, luncheon meats, sausage meat, wild game, avocado, asparagus.
Aspartic acid deficiency
A decrease in aspartic acid production reduces ammonia disposal and leads to increased serum ammonia levels. Deficiency symptoms of aspartic acid may include fatigue and depression.
Toxicity, side effects, interactions, and contraindications
Aspartic acid is considered generally safe, however, a small number of people may experience an allergic reaction to supplementation with aspartic acid. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use aspartic acid supplements. Always avoid taking individual amino acids in high dosage for prolonged periods.