Other names: Pyridoxine, Pridoxine HCL
Used for: Improved mood, memory, sleep; neurotransmitter health, metabolism, improved oxygen circulation
Known side effects: numbness, muscle weakness, bone pain (with extremely high doses i.e. 200mg-5g)
Dosing: 1-2 mg daily (FDA), experts advocate as high as 100 mg
L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine or Alpha GPC is considered the most potent choline supplement. It’s known for its high bioavailability and its ability to moderate the adverse effects of other nootropic supplements.
The cholinergic nootropic is taken to improve memory, mood, learning, reasoning, lean muscle building, reduce recovery time, and boost physical and mental energy. Alpha GPC in supplement form is usually derived from soy or sunflower lecithin.
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PRICE: $38 – 58
An advanced Noopept based stack capable of the claims it makes. Everything impressed us about Nitrovit…
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An effective nootropic system, but varies highly in price depending on how big a stack you require.
How Does Alpha GPC Work?
Alpha GPC Elevates Acetylcholine Levels: Acetylcholine is perhaps the most important neurotransmitter in the brain. It’s responsible for memory, mood, and various other functions in the body. The nootropic Alpha GPC supplies choline – a precursor to acetylcholine – which is essential for the production of the neurotransmitter. Alpha GPC is considered the best source of choline.
Alpha GPC Boosts Mental and Physical Energy: The nootropic supplement increases the release of human growth hormone. The presence of this substance boosts energy level in the body. Bodybuilders and athletes use higher levels of human growth hormone to train harder and build lean muscles. This hormone also speeds up muscle repair and recovery after intense training.
Alpha GPC Improves Mood: Acetylcholine isn’t the only neurotransmitter that benefits from the use of Alpha GPC. The nootropic supplement is also known to increase dopamine and serotonin. These brain chemicals are responsible for motivation, mood, and energy.
Alpha GPC Optimizes Brain Function: The nootropic has a direct role in the development of brain cells and cell membranes. It’s also involved in the effective repair of the damaged cell membranes. The neuroprotection properties of Alpha GPC helps boost cognitive functions and delays the onset of age-related cognitive decline.
Alpha GPC Increases Phosphatidylcholine: The compound Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is responsible for several functions in the body; it maintains neurochemical balance, promotes nerve signaling, and is needed for strong cell structure. The shortage of this substance leads to dementia and other neurological disorders. Alpha GPC increases phosphatidylcholine to ensure its optimal functioning in the body.
Alpha GPC Moderates the Adverse Reactions of Other Nootropic Supplements: Alpha GPC is not only safe, non-toxic, and well-tolerated, but it also moderates the side effects of other supplements in a stack. Too much choline in the system can lead to symptoms such as headache; the nootropic helps by managing choline levels in the body.
The Dangers of Choline Deficiency
Our body is incapable of producing choline in sufficient quantity; it expects us to feed it with choline-rich foods such as dairy, meats, and wheat germ. Most of our day to day activities become impossible without the presence of choline in the brain. The shortage of this essential nutrient can disrupt our normal life and affect physical performance, motivation, memory, learning, and focus.
The body needs choline to synthesize acetylcholine, make cell membranes, produce human growth hormone, and more. Without this nutrient, all these functions and cognitive and physical capabilities that depend on these functions will be severely affected.
Secondly, the shortage of choline prompts the brain to use phosphatidylcholine of the cell membrane to make choline. Inadequate choline forces cannibalization of cell membranes by the body.
The Benefits of Using Alpha GPC
Alpha GPC Improves Memory, Facilitates Learning, and Boosts Cognition
It’s impossible to give a short introduction to acetylcholine, mainly because it’s involved in too many brain functions. The first benefit of the neurotransmitter’s presence seems to be the memory and the ability to recall the stored information.
Acetylcholine also happens to be the primary beneficiary of Alpha GPC use. The choline in the nootropic acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitter. Taking Alpha GPC is known to improve memory, learning, mental clarity, focus, attention, and overall cognitive health of the user.
An interesting study was carried out with 32 young and healthy participants. Some were given the nootropic Alpha GPC, while others only received a placebo for ten days. The researchers then induced amnesia by injecting the volunteers with scopolamine. Later, the scientists tested the memory and attention of both groups of volunteers. The nootropic group performed better (i.e.) Alpha GPC was better at resisting induced amnesia (1).
Memory loss happens to be one of the main symptoms of age-related cognitive disorders such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Even stroke patients experience symptoms such as forgetfulness and confusion. The memory benefit of Alpha GPC has been explored and established after studying its reaction in hundreds of patients (2).
In a study, the use of the nootropic enhanced attention and memory of the subjects. The participants were given an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor donepezil along with Alpha GPC. The researchers concluded that combining the two drugs yields better results than using donepezil as a standalone drug.
In an animal study, the researchers witnessed a reduction in age-related structural changes to the brain and increase in brain energy after giving the nootropic Alpha GPC. They saw improvement in memory and learning ability in rats (3) (4).
Alpha GPC Delays and Treats Age-related Cognitive Disorders
Although there is a belief that with age we mature as a person, science says that after 40, our brain begins to change for the worse and slowly but surely the process of cognitive decline begins.
The negative effects of aging are brought about by factors including a shortage of neurotransmitters, brain shrinkage, damage to cell membranes, reduction in neurogenesis, etc.
The nootropic Alpha GPC can delay and fight the ill effects of aging. One of the nootropic’s most essential functions is to aid the development of cell membranes in the brain, which are responsible for several capabilities including personality, motor function, intelligence, etc.
According to a study that was reported in Clinical Therapeutics, the choline source Alpha GPC or placebo was given to patients suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s for six months. The supplement was given thrice per day, each time the dose was 400 mg in capsule form. The patients who received the Alpha GPC showed improvement in symptoms of dementia (5).
Several studies involving humans and animals have concluded that the nootropic Alpha GPC has neuroprotective properties that have anti-aging effects on the brain (6) (7).
Alpha GPC Treats Dopamine Deficiencies
The ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for several functions including sleep, memory, attention, and learning. Dopamine deficiency – inadequate levels of the neurotransmitter – can give rise to severe problems such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), anxiety, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. According to a study, the Alpha GPC supplement can boost the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine (8).
Alpha GPC Increases Energy and Improves Muscle Growth
The benefits of taking Alpha GPC supplement are not restricted to cognition alone. Several studies have shown that the nootropic can increase energy, improve lean muscle building, and reduce recovery time by boosting the release of human growth hormone. In a study, consuming 600 mg of the supplement, an hour or two before training, increased the power of the user by almost 15% (9).
According to another study, just a single dose of the nootropic supplement given to below 25 participants increased hepatic fat oxidation and human growth hormone (10).
Alpha GPC Vs. the Rest
A call for the best choline source brings forth many contenders including the most popular Alpha GPC, Choline Bitartrate, Choline Citrate, and CDP-Choline (Citicoline). When it comes to choosing an acetylcholine precursor, the choice of experienced Nootropics users seems to be clear and understandable. The users prefer Alpha GPC for its high bioavailability.
In any cholinergic nootropic, we’re most concerned about the amount of choline present. If the choline factor alone is considered, Citicoline takes the second position in the most potent cholinergic nootropic list. Only 18% of its weight is made of choline.
The third best option – Choline Bitartrate – has 40% of the acetylcholine precursor. If you take 1 g of choline bitartrate, your body gains possession of 400 mg of choline. This nootropic offers more choline than citicoline, yet choline bitartrate stands behind citicoline in popularity and efficiency. The reason; choline bitartrate isn’t good at overcoming obstacles; it has trouble crossing the blood-brain barrier and delivering choline where it’s needed the most.
There is more than one reason why people pick Alpha GPC. The nootropic Alpha GPC, like choline bitartrate, contains 40% of its weight in choline. The exciting news is that Alpha GPC is highly bioavailable (i.e.) it effortlessly passes the blood-brain barrier.
When the brain senses a lack of choline for its use, it processes Phosphatidylcholine to produce Alpha GPC, which is later converted into choline and then to acetylcholine. By taking Alpha GPC supplement, you prevent the brain from striping Phosphatidylcholine from cell membrane for manufacturing choline.
Alpha GPC Dosage
The crucial information that 40% of Alpha GPC is made of choline is to be kept in mind when you decide the daily dosage. The experienced users, who have tried and tested, taken the nootropic independently or with other supplements, have come up with their own set of recommendation.
For enhancing cognitive capabilities, the recommended daily dosage is 400 – 1200 mg. The same 1200 mg per day is the upper limit for using Alpha GPC to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive disorders.
The nootropic Alpha GPC can boost physical energy and improve stamina and endurance. If you want to take advantage of the nootropic’s physiological benefits, then take 400 mg of the supplement in the morning and 400 mg half-an-hour before the workout.
Like B vitamins, Alpha GPC is water soluble, and it can be taken with or without food. Splitting dosage, when consumed in high quantity, is suggested. If your daily dose is 1200 mg, divide them into 400 mg doses and take three times a day.
Possible Side Effects of Alpha GPC
Our body produces Alpha GPC in small quantities. Hence, you do not have to worry about its safety. If you follow the suggested dosage, the nootropic is non-toxic, safe, and well-tolerated.
The likelihood of an adverse reaction is minimal, but the user can experience diarrhea, nausea, nervousness, headache, abdominal pain, and fatigue. These symptoms indicate an abnormal increase in choline in the system.
Taking the Alpha GPC supplement in the evening can boost physical energy and disrupt the normal sleep cycle.
Alpha GPC in supplement form is made from sunflower or soy lecithin. Users allergic to soy or prefer soy-free products need to state their preference while buying Alpha GPC supplement.
Taking Alpha GPC supplement helps maintain normal physiological and psychological functions, it boosts physical energy and cognitive capabilities, prevents undesirable reactions in the body, and reduces the risks of age-related cognitive degeneration.
- “Effect of L-Alpha-Glyceryl-Phosphorylcholine on Amnesia Caused by Scopolamine.” NCBI, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2071257.
- “Choline Alphoscerate in Cognitive Decline and in Acute Cerebrovascular Disease: an Analysis of Published Clinical Data.” NCBI, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11589921.
- “Choline Alphoscerate (Alpha-Glyceryl-Phosphoryl-Choline) an Old Choline- Containing Phospholipid with a Still Interesting Profile as Cognition Enhancing Agent.” NCBI, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24156263.
- “Prolonged Treatment with α-Glycerylphosphorylethanolamine Facilitates the Acquisition of an Active Avoidance Behavior and Selectively Increases Neuronal Signal Transduction in Rats.” Springer Link, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03339809 .
- “Cognitive Improvement in Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Dementia after Treatment with the Acetylcholine Precursor Choline Alfoscerate: a Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” NCBI, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12637119.
- “Neuroprotective Effect of Treatment with Galantamine and Choline Alphoscerate on Brain Microanatomy in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.” NCBI, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19304299.
- “Age-Related Declines in Exploratory Behavior and Markers of Hippocampal Plasticity Are Attenuated by Prenatal Choline Supplementation in Rats.” NCBI, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18786518.
- “Changes in the Interaction between CNS Cholinergic and Dopaminergic Neurons Induced by L-Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine, a Cholinomimetic Drug.” NCBI, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3709792?dopt=Abstract.
- “Acute Supplementation with Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine Augments Growth Hormone Response to, and Peak Force Production during, Resistance Exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-5-S1-P15 .
- “Glycerophosphocholine Enhances Growth Hormone Secretion and Fat Oxidation in Young Adults.” NCBI, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22673596.
“Alpha GPC.” NootropicsExpert, https://nootropicsexpert.com/alpha-gpc/ .
“Alpha GPC.” Braintropic, www.braintropic.com/nootropics/alpha-gpc/.
“Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine Supplement Ingredients, Dosages and Side Effects.” Nootriment, https://nootriment.com/alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine/ .
“ALPHA-GPC.” WebMD, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1087/alpha-gpc.