D-Aspartic Acid (or D-Asp) has made its way into the formulas of some of the most effective and reliable testosterone boosters on the market. And this has largely come with zero side effects. But that hasn’t stopped some of our readers from writing in asking about hair loss, specifically.
So while no clinical trials have reported this occurring, we’ll take a deep dive into where the questions have arisen and why. Let’s dive in.
What You Need to Know
D-Asp Clinical Research
As you may be already aware, D-Asp has been extensively studied for its testosterone boosting benefits. And in nearly every study we’ve reviewed at the Great Green Wall, D-Asp has been safe and effective.
In fact, the only study we’ve ever come across to list any side effects were only reported in three people. Among them, they had some of the following:
In addition to that, I’ve scoured the case-study material and haven’t found anyone reporting other side effects after using a D-Asp supplement. (Case studies are when medical professionals like doctors report to journals about actual patients.) The fact that no case studies or trials have reported hair loss should go a long way toward reassuring anyone thinking of trying a supplement with D-Asp.
Where’s the Worry Coming From?
If there’s no evidence of hair loss, then why are so many people bringing it up? It’s largely due to the connection between testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and hair loss.
When our bodies produce testosterone, a certain amount of it (around 10% depending on genetic factors) is converted to DHT. DHT is then responsible for such “male” features as a deepening voice, growing body hair, and other sexually dimorphic changes.
In later years, DHT becomes somewhat toxic to our systems. In men, it can lead to hair loss and enlargement of the prostate.
Link to D-Aspartic Acid
Now for the tenuous link to D-Asp that some people have made. There have been a couple (and I mean exactly 2) studies showing that D-Asp in laboratory animals increased DHT. It’s thought that this is because D-Asp expresses through the 5α-reductase enzyme, which converts Testosterone into DHT.
1. The first study showed that D-Asp only increased 5α-reductase in post reproductive animals. But these were frogs. Human males don’t have post-reproductive phases.
2. The second study showed a sharp increase in Testosterone production, but only a gradual increase in DHT. This suggests DHT response may not be consistent across animals and species.
Why it Might not Matter
The truth is that how our bodies respond to DHT is largely genetic. That is to say, men currently experiencing hair loss due to DHT are responding to their bodies' innate DHT sensitivity. In men who are not genetically disposed to male pattern baldness, increasing the DHT will likely have little effect on whether they lose hair.
But even in the event that an increase in DHT does lead to more hair loss, it’s due to hair follicle shrinkage and can be reversed or arrested with several over-the-counter treatments, including shampoos.
Sometimes in the supplement world people take leaps from one piece of shaky evidence to the next. We’ve debunked a number of ingredients at the Great Green Wall because the evidence is simply too thin (no pun intended).
In this case it’s somewhat the opposite. There is some link between D-Asp and DHT, and there is a link between DHT and hair loss–but there’s no evidence yet that the D-Asp/DHT relationship is strong enough to move the needle on your own personal hair loss.
If you have concerns, however, you should most definitely speak with your doctor about what hair restoration options are available to you. It never hurts to be on the safe side.