Alpha-GPC (L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, choline alfoscerate) is a nootropic -- a compound that enhances memory and other cognitive functions, known in the business as a "smart drug." In technical terms, alpha-GPC is an acetylcholine precursor, which is being studied to determine its effectiveness as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, dementia and stroke.
In addition to its nootropic benefits, there are several otheradvantages associated with increasing consumption of cholinergic compounds, such as improved liver function, heart health, and even enhanced exercise performance when take pre-workout.
It's likely that the technical terms associated with alpha-GPC are foreign to you. So let's review some relevant terminology.
|Choline||Choline is anessential nutrient that is generally lumped in with B-vitamins. It is a precursor for acetylcholine.|
|Acetylcholine||Acetylcholine is a crucial neurotransmitter in the area of the brain responsible for memory andmuscle control.|
|Cholinergiccompounds||Cholinergiccompounds increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain.|
There are three mechanisms in place that lead to the increase of brain acetylcholine levels by cholinergic compounds:
- An acetylcholine precursor, they raise choline levels in the brain and give the body a greater substrate from which to produce acetylcholine.
- Produces the enzyme that forms acetylcholine (choline acetyltransferase).
- Inhibits the enzyme that breaks downacetylcholine (acetylcholinesterase).
The supplement functions via the first of these mechanisms and elevates plasma choline levels faster and more effectively than other forms of the compound, such as citicholine.
BenefitsYou should startseeing noticeable results shortly after beginning consumption. It can increase your ability to focus andmemorize information, which is useful for studying, due to its ability to increase acetylcholineand acetylcholine's effects on brain function.
Taking a nootropic supplement in the morning can aidin focus throughout the workday. Alpha-GPC also increases the potency of muscle contractions due to itseffects on the peripheral nervous system.
Begin supplementingat the recommended dose of 300mg once daily, and then move up to thetwice-daily recommendation, as stated on the label.
Be mindful of other forms of choline in your daily supplementregimen (choline, citicholine, and soy lecithin, specifically). Limit yourdoses of alpha-GPC if you're consuming high doses of other cholinergiccompounds.
You'll want to research a reliable product. A great example would be NOW Foods, a solid, no-frills and affordable source for many single-ingredient dietary supplements.
Natural food sources
You can consume cholineand alpha-GPC via natural food sources. Soy, dairy, eggs, liver, and green vegetables, specifically, typically containsignificant quantities of choline.
Aswith any supplement, you should consult with your doctor before beginning a new dietary supplement plan.
If your dose is too high, cholinergic compounds cancause headaches due to their vasodilatory effects on blood vessels in the brain. Imagine the vascularity you get after a high volume workout when you're taking a strongpump product. Now imagine that chemical reaction in your brain. Doesn't sound fun, doesit?
For this reason, you should make sureto follow label instructions. Beyond headaches, alpha-GPC is generally well-tolerated in humans,however every individual is different and if you experience any side effects, you should cease consumptionimmediately. If side effects persisttalk to your doctor.
Where to buy
Be mindful of other forms of choline in your supplement regimen and limit doses of alpha-GPC if you're consuming other cholinergic compounds.
Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine isa relatively obscure nootropic, and you will have trouble finding it adequately dosed, and at reasonable prices, if you're looking in brick-and-mortar stores. On this page you can compare prices from a variety of manufacturers and distributers. We'll point out the cheapest alpha-GPC supplements on the market.
- Gatti G., et. al.; International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Therapy, and Toxicology; " A comparative study of free plasma choline levels following intramuscular administration of L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine and citicoline in normal volunteers;" September 1992
- Klinkenberg I., et. al.; Behavioural Brain Research; "Acetylcholine and attention;" August 2012
- Tim Ziegenfuss, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; "Acute supplementation with alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine augments growth hormone response to, and peak force production during, resistance exercise;" 2008
- Wei EP, Kontos HA; Hypertension, Journal of the American Heart Association; "H2O2 and endothelium-dependent cerebral arteriolar dilation. Implications for the identity of endothelium-derived relaxing factor generated by acetylcholine;" 1990