January 2, 2004 by  
Filed under Amino acids

Aspartic acid

Amino acid

Known as a glutamate amino acid, aspartic acid is made from another amino acid, glutamic acid, by enzymes using vitamin B6. It plays an important part in the urea cycle (the conversion of toxic ammonia from protein breakdown into urea which can be excreted by the kidneys), and in DNA metabolism. Aspartic acid is a major excitatory neurotransmitter). Animal studies have found that both potassium and magnesium aspartate may be able to stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of the thymus gland, bone marrow and spleen tissue, as well as help the red blood cell-producing organs to regenerate after exposure to radiation.

With glutamine, aspartic acid forms asparagine, and with citrulline it forms arginosuccinate. It is involved in oxidative phosphorylation and energy production.

Availability: Not easily available in its pure form. Best taken as mineral aspartates, (e.g. magnesium aspartate).

Linda Lazarides is Course Director of the School of Modern Naturopathy and author of eight books on health, nutrition and naturopathy.

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