What is it?
Asparagine is defined as a non-essential amino acid; specifically, it is a beta-amido derivative of aspartic acid. In the Sutherlandia plant, it exists as a reversible combination of aspartic acid and ammonia. In animals, it plays an important role in the biosynthesis of glycoproteins and exists in all cell types. It is sometimes called ASN, 2-amino-butane and amino acid N. Its molecular formula is:
In the human body, it is manufactured in the liver, assuming that a correct diet is being followed. If not, problems occur.
What are its benefits?
It is required by the central nervous system, to maintain a degree of balance - so that individuals are neither overly excited or too relaxed. Low levels of asparagine are often the result of poor metabolism or an inadequate diet. This can lead to an inability to correctly synthesize and create urea, causing a buildup of toxic metabolites in the body. The results of this can include irritability, poor sleep, depression and, in extreme cases, psychosis. Proper levels of asparagine stimulate the kidneys and liver to properly perform their functions, acting as one of the most effective diuretics.
It permits sugars to bond to proteins, forming new molecules required for immune response and regulation and is a vital component in the metabolism of toxic ammonia in the body.
Normally, a well balanced diet eliminates the need for supplemental asparagine. However, if illness makes this impossible, supplemental asparagine can play a vital role in assisting with normal body metabolism and waste elimination functions.
Are there any side effects?
There are currently no known examples of any adverse side effects with the use of supplemental asparagine. There are currently no studies about the effects of asparagine taken at severe overdose amounts over the long term.