Aspartic acid is one of the two acidic amino acids. The other acidic amino acid is the glutamic acid.
In 1806, asparagine was isolated under a crystalline form from asparagus juice. Louis Nicolas Vauque (a French chemist) and his assistant, Pierre Jean Robiquet discovered this. In 1809, Pierre Jean Robiquet now a chemist, identified a substance very similar to asparagine from licorice root. And in 1828, aspartic acid was discovered by Plisson which was derived from asparagine.
Functions & Uses In Our Body
Aspartic acid (together with glutamic acid) play an important role as general acids in enzyme active centers. They also maintain the solubility and ionic characters of proteins in our body. (Proteins in our body are critical to maintaining the body's pH balance.)
Aspartic acid also plays a very huge role in metabolism.
Foods With Aspartic Acids
A. Meat, Poultry & Fish
- Dried and salted Atlantic cod - 6g of aspartic acid per 100g serving
- Cooked yellowfin tuna - 3g
- Cooked blue crab meat - 2g
- Chicken giblets - 3g
- Braised top round beef - 3g
- Beef chuck pot roast - 3g
- Bacon - 3g
- Cooked lamb shoulder - 3g
- Cooked veal leg - 3g
- Cooked light-meat turkey - 2g
B. Seeds & Legumes
- Partially defatted sunflower seed flour - 5g of aspartic acid per 100g serving
- Partially defatted cottonseed meal - 5g
- Soy protein isolate - 10g
- Defatted peanut flour - 6g
- Freeze-dried tofu - 5g
- Defatted soy flour - 5g
- Soy-based meat extender - 4g
- Dried egg whites - 8g of aspartic acid per 100g serving
- Dried egg yolks - 3g of aspartic acid per 100g serving
- Grated parmesan cheese - 2g
- Semi soft goat cheese - 1g
- Dried apricot - 1g of aspartic acid per 100g serving
- Dried seaweed/spirulina - 5g
- Freeze-dried sweet green/red peppers - 2g
- Dried ancho peppers - 1g
- Tomato powder - 1g
- Freeze dried chives - 1g
- Sun-dried tomatoes - 1g
Two Forms of Aspartic Acid
There are two forms of aspartic acid. One is 'L-aspartic acid'. The other is 'D-aspartic acid'. 'L-aspartic acid' is the more predominant one. It is the protein-based structures in human beings. Muscle tissue, skin, hair, fingernails and enzymes are all made from amino acids.
'D-aspartic acid' accumulates in the pituitary gland, pineal gland and testes and is involved in hormone production. This aspartic acid stimulates the release of sex hormones form the pituitary gland and testosterone from the testes.
As A Supplement
D-aspartic acid is a popular supplement among bodybuilders and serious athletes as they help build muscles. It is also popular among elderly men as it boosts low-circulating levels of testosterone.
The carboxylate anion, salt or ester of aspartic acid (Asp or D) is known as aspartate.
Functions of Aspartate
- In diagnosing periodontal diseases through aspartate transaminase. This enzyme is found in the liver and heart.
- In diagnosing heart attacks and issues regarding the heart. Aspartate aminotransferase (which are in our skeletal system and heart tissues) test is used.
- It is one of the components used gluconeogenesis (production of glucose) in our body.
- It serves as a neurotransmitter in our brain.
- Luncheon meats
- Sausage meat
- Sprouting seeds
- Oat flakes
- Sugar beets
- Young sugar cane
What Is Aspartame?
Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. It is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose/table sugar. Because it is able to produce sweetness and is extremely low in calories (unlike sugar), many people use this to sweeten their drinks and food. The F&B industry greatly uses aspartame.
Aspartame is made up of three chemicals. They are aspartic acid (40%), phenylalanine (50%) and methanol (10%). Aspartame is the technical name for NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful and Equal-Measure. Aspartame was discovered by accident in 1965 by a chemist by the name of James Schlatter when he was testing an anti-ulcer drug.
The Use of Aspartame
In 1981, aspartame was approved for use in dry goods. In 1983, it was approved for use in carbonated beverages.
In the European Union, aspartame is coded as E951 as a food additive.
How Aspartame Can Make You Sick
As aspartate acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, it is believed that an influx or excessive aspartate could 'over excite' or over-stimulate the neurons to death.
Apparently, long-term exposure of 'over-exciting' the neurons could cause long term damage and illness such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, dementia, epilepsy, brain seizures and Alzheimer's disease.
Ingesting aspartame could produce the same side-effects as ingesting glutamic acid. The most common side-effect after ingesting aspartame is headaches/migraines. Other symptoms include nausea, abdominal pains, fatigue, anxiety attacks, depression and asthma/chest tightness.
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Aspartame In Products
Today aspartame is found in more than 6000 products and is used by over 200 million people in the whole world.
Some of the products that aspartame is used in:
- Carbonated soft drinks
- Powdered soft drinks
- Chewing gum
- Dessert mixes
- Puddings and fillings
- Frozen desserts
- Tabletop sweeteners
- Sugar-free cough drops
- Breath mints
- Fruit spreads
- Frozen ice
- Jams and jellies
- Juice blends
- Juice drinks
- Maple syrups
- Meal replacements
- No-sugar added pies
- Nutritional bars
- Vegetable drinks
- Sugar-free cookies
- Sugar-free chocolate syrup
- Sugar-free ketchup
- Ice-cream toppings
- Hard candies
*The small print at the bottom says that this information was compiled by Coca-Cola company!