This post was updated in February 2017 to ensure accuracy and relevancy.
What is a DAA supplement made of? Does it really work and is there a body of clinical research to back it up? Read on and find the answers. Click here to read more about the science behind D-Aspartic Acid.
What is DAA?
DAA stands for d-aspartic acid. Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid, a building block of proteins and in consequence tissues, discovered by the French pharmacist Plisson in 1827. The L-form of the aspartic acid is just another amino acid, but some specific tissues of the body (hypothalamus, pituitary gland and testes, all responsible for hormone production) are able to convert it to the racemate isomer, the d-form, making the d-aspartic acid. Unlike the l-aspartic acid, being just a body’s building material, d-aspartic acid is used for signaling.
DAA causes a number of effects on the body, increasing the release of gonadotrophin and luteinizing hormone, increasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate and nitric oxide production. But what makes DAA a testosterone booster is its ability to increase production of the body’s own testosterone.
Update: The results of initial Italian studies lead by D’Aniello suggested that d-aspartic acid can significantly raise testosterone levels and has no side effects. The subsequent studies turned out less optimistic. DAA increased testosterone levels in men who had low testosterone, but in young athletes there was no surge of testosterone. Moreover, the body of research is still very limited with mixed results. Current (as of February 2017) research results suggest that DAA is a legitimate ingredient of testosterone boosting stacks for men with lowered testosterone levels.
Side effects of taking hormones
The number one side effect of taking hormones is inhibition of natural hormones. If you take hormones, your endocrine system will try to keep hormonal balance, called homeostasis. To maintain it, the body tries to avoid having too much or too little of any hormone, and reacts on sudden spike in the blood levels of the hormone. If you take testosterone, your brain sends a signal to your testicles to slow down or even stop producing testosterone if there is already too much of it circulating in your bloodstream. The testosterone levels would drop to go back into balance, which is not exactly what you want to achieve.
DAA Supplements come without this side effect. By making the body increase the production of its own testosterone, DAA supplementation causes no negative response from the endocrine system and no inhibition.
Update: it looks like that too much of d-aspartic acid (prolonged supplementation of 6g a day) can indeed cause a body reaction bringing the testosterone levels down.
Up till now there is no evidence of any side effects of the proper usage of the DAA Supplements. Please follow the advice of the manufacturer concerning dosage. As with every supplement or microelement you won’t be doing yourself a favor if you overdose the DAA Supplement (see above).
Has DAA Supplement been tested on humans?
Most testosterone boosters are not backed up by a clinical research. You can see it when you look at the enclosed slip or the information on the packaging. If it reads like “this supplement may increase testosterone levels” – hmm, it MAY work, but there is no scientific research to confirm the sales pitch of the manufacturer. (Read about other natural test boosters here.)
DAA Supplements stand out by having scientific evidence of their effectiveness. A study conducted in Italy on 23 men aged 27 to 37 has proved that DAA Supplementation increases the blood levels of both the luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone. A control group was applied a placebo (salt solution) to make sure no other factors influenced the results. In 12 days the treatment resulted in an elevation of the blood testosterone levels of the probands by whole 42%, the LH levels rose by 33%. The level of testosterone remained elevated 3 days after treatment suspension. It is worth mentioning that the volunteers taking part at the research were healthy males with normal hormone levels, not patients suffering from imbalanced testosterone levels. Similar study has been conducted on rats, to check the DAA levels in the tissues. The rat experiment results supported the conclusions of the “human” experiment.
DAA Supplement Dosage
The DAA Supplement dosage in the above mentioned Italian study was 3 gram applied in the morning. There are some new dosage recommendations from the DAA Supplement manufacturers, based on the consumer experiences. Primaforce recommends a loading phase of 5 days, with a double ration – 3 grams of the DAA Supplement taken twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. As with all testosterone boosters it makes sense to cycle the DAA to avoid building up a tolerance. Allmax, another manufacturer of the DAA suggests a cycle 2 weeks on and 1 week off the DAA Supplement.
What is the best DAA Supplement?
If you go through bodybuilding forums searching for the best DAA supplement you will probably notice a wide range of opinions and personal experiences. Much of the disagreement can be contributed to the fact that everyone has a slightly different body, responding to the same DAA supplement in a slightly different way. If something works perfectly for your fellow bodybuilder you train with, it doesn’t guarantee you the same results.
Update: As of February 2017 there are more supplements available than you could try yourself. They fall in two categories – pure DAA and DAA stacks.
The most basic DAA supplement available is pure d-aspartic acid. It is sold either as powder (usually cheaper) or packed into capsules to make dosage easier. The advantages of pure d-aspartic acid are price and unlimited applicability. DAA powder is the cheapest testosterone booster, especially if you buy it in bulk. DAA powder is also a basic staple for making your own testosterone boosting stacks. If you prefer to mix your supplement stack by yourself, a big bag of pure DAA powder is the way to go.
For the lazy of us there are pre-made testosterone boosting stacks. The ingredients have been already picked and blended for you. You get either a powder to be consumed with some liquid, juice being an obvious choice, if the supplement stack has a distinctive taste, or capsules for convenient dosage. The d-aspartic stacks deserve more attention than pure DAA powder because they come in all varieties.
DAA Supplements available on the market
Below there is a short list of the products available on the market.
DAA powder / capsules are manufactured by (e.g.):
- AI Sports Nutrition,
- Bulk Supplements,
- Biotech Nutritions.
The DAA Stacks (e.g.):