Aspartic Acid is an amino acid that is also known as "asparaginic acid" and as "aspartate".
The molecular formula of aspartic acid is C4H7NO4
Amino acids generally are explained further in the column on the rightin further detail below. Briefly, there are two types of amino acid:
- Those that can be synthesized by the body itself (non-essential amino acids), and
- those that, although necessary for the healthy growth or maintenance of the body, cannot be produced by the body itself.
This second type of amino acids are called essential amino acids, and are also referred to as indispensible amino acids in some textbooks.
Aspartic Acid is a "non-essential" or "dispensible" amino acid because, although its presence in an appropriate quantity is important for good health, the human body can produce this chemical from an excess of certain other amino acids in the body. Therefore it is not essential as a part of the diet.
Aspartic Acid plays an important role in the processes by which the body converts sugars into forms more easily assimilated forms. It is found in young sugar cane and sugar-beet molasses.
For further information about amino acids in general, see Amino Acids.