Aspartic acid is an acidic amino acid that is used by humans as a building block for protein synthesis. An aspartate is any salt of aspartic acid. Aspartic acid is made in adequate quantities by the body (non-essential).
Aspartates are taken by mouth to increase the absorption of mineral supplements, reduce fatigue, and enhance athletic performance. Mineral aspartates have also resulted in blood pressure-lowering effects and enhanced wound healing. Human studies using aspartic acid alone are needed in order to determine whether its effectiveness is due to the aspartate or the mineral or amino acid to which it is bonded.
It is hypothesized that the effects of aspartic acid may be due to its ability to reduce ammonia levels in the body.
Other clinical areas of interest include immune system stimulation, cholesterol-lowering effects, memory enhancement, and hepatic protection.
L-aspartic acid is currently listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.
Dr. Laborit was the first to suggest an ergogenic potential for magnesium and potassium aspartates in 1957. Human trials involving Spartase® (magnesium and potassium aspartate mixture) were initiated in the early 1960s in the areas of athletic performance and chronic fatigue.
According to secondary sources, Spartase® was a listed as a drug for fatigue in the United States in 1961 and was eventually banned in 1970 due to changes in FDA requirements. Magnesium-potassium aspartate supplements appeared on the market in the United States in 1994.
Arginine aspartate, asp, aspartate chelated minerals, aspartate mineral chelates, aspartates (potassium and magnesium-L-aspartates), aspartic acid, copper aspartate, iron aspartate, L-aspartate, L-aspartic acid, magnesium aspartate, manganese aspartate, mineral aspartates, potassium aspartate, Spartase®, zinc aspartate.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Athletic performance enhancement
Early evidence suggests that aspartate salts may enhance aerobic performance in humans. However, whether this is due to aspartic acid, arginine (also an amino acid), or the mineral, is not clear. Limited human research suggests that arginine aspartate may slightly reduce plasma ammonia after exercise; however, research results are mixed. More human studies are needed before conclusions can be made.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Evidence from human research suggests that the potassium and magnesium salts of aspartate may help reduce fatigue. However, the effects of aspartic acid alone are unclear. Early evidence suggests that aspartates may be low in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Additional human study is needed in this area.