Also known as L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alfoscerate, is a natural compound of choline that is present within the brain. It is regarded as having a potential to treat age-related memory loss, such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and stroke, and has neuroprotective properties that may be used as an anxiolytic. This nootropic is able to deliver choline to the brain bypassing the blood-brain barrier easily. It is available as a non-prescription supplement in most countries and is thought to be generally safe for consumption.
Alpha GPC is categorized under Cholinergics.
It is also known as Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, L-alpha-glycerophosphocholin, glycerophosphocholine, L-alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine, Choline Alphoscerate.
Also KnownAlpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, L-alpha-glycerophosphocholin, glycerophosphocholine, L-alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine, Choline Alphoscerate
DescriptionAlso known as L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alfoscerate, is a natural compound of choline that is present within the brain. It is regarded as having a potential to treat age-related memory loss, such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and stroke, and has neuroprotective properties that may be used as an anxiolytic. This nootropic is able to deliver choline to the brain bypassing the blood-brain barrier easily. It is available as a non-prescription supplement in most countries and is thought to be generally safe for consumption.
A quality Choline source that is excellent when used alone or when used in conjunction with other nootropics. Aside from the cognitive boost it provides. Being an extract of soy lecithin, it works quickly and effectively and can cross the blood-brain barrier easily, approximately an hour after ingestion. There, it serves to deliver its effects not just cognitively but also provides an improvement in mood.
AlphaGPC as a choline precursor to Phosphatidycholine and Acetylcholine, which means it is metabolized in the body to produce the above mention compounds.
It is commonly found in many foods such as red meat, organ tissues, Oat bran, cheese (with Cream cheese containing the highest amount at 9.26mg/100g), eggs, bananas (5.60mg/100g) and even beer. Supplemental A-GPC is produced in the lab from eggs or Soy lecithin as the quantity in food is well below what you would want for measurable effects.
It's chemical structure is essentially a regular choline molecule bounded by glycerol via a phosphate group. In terms of supplemental dose, about 46% less is needed when compared with a similar source such as CDP-Choline. Even when compared to Choline bitartrate (known as “the raw choline source”) it remains as the most effective choline source based on potency on a weight basis when looking at serum values.
It is usually ingested orally and increases “plasma choline” with 1,000mg in otherwise healthy men from about 8.1μmol/L to about 12.1μmol/L which presents a 49% increase seen in 60 minutes.
Generally alpha-gpc when ingested orally in a single dose appears to influence the brain for up to 24 hours but spikes 1 to 3 hours in.
Some studies have found that the increase of choline concentrations have occurred in the frontal cortex, and not in the cerebellum and striatum. It is however reliable for preserving concentrations during stressors. It is also good at protective against cholinergic toxins, more so than Aniracetam and a CoQ10 analogue.
Benefiting from Alpha GPC
Attention – When stacked or taken with a cup of Joe or Caffeine directly and Phosphatidylserine it increases reaction times and attention levels in those under stress. See more about this study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21156078
Improved Memory via Long Term Potentiation – Long-term potentiation is the molecular event that contributes to learning via synaptic plasticity. It can be said LTP is “established” between neurons when you are learning something new for example. Consuming 600mg/kg of Alpha-GPC in rats was similar to consuming 100mg/kg of Oxiracetam or 30mg/kg of Aniracetam in activating PKC (responsible for signal transduction). It was seen more beneficial for rats with a cognitive deficit when given intraperitoneal injections of 100-200mg/kg.
Mind-Muscle Connection When lifters are given a dose of 600mg prior to bench throws, they demonstrated a 14% power output if taken 45 minutes prior to the power test.
Growth Hormone Increase - With 1,000mg of Alpha GPC there was a spike in growth hormone within 60 minutes from 1.4ng/mL up to 2.7ng/mL, representing a 221% increase which returned to baseline after 2 hours. When exercising after supplementation, GH is increased further when measured within 15 minutes after exercising for an hour, keep in mind your levels return back to normal within 2 hours.
Mechanism of Action
1. Enhanced cognitive function
Being a Cholinergic, this supplement acts not just by stimulating the release of Acetylcholine but also serves to increase the levels of this neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine, or AcH, is directly responsible for cognitive functioning and would give the user an increased learning capacity, improved ability to focus as well as an improved formation and memory recall.
2. APC and Dopamine
Researchers have also found that Alpha GPC acts on the Dopaminergic system. It serves to increase Dopamine levels in the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex of the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual's mood and with increased levels of it, there is a noticeable effect on one's mood.
3. The Pituitary Glands & HGH
Aside from the cognitive and mood enhancement capabilities, it also has an effect on our work outs. This is because studies have shown that Alpha GPC works with the Pituitary Gland by stimulating the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) or Somatropin. This is then responsible for our body's cell growth, reproduction, and repair. Because of this mechanism of action, body builders and athletes have sought it as a valuable addition to their regimen as it positively affects the body's recovery while increasing strength and lean muscle mass. The other reason athletes take PC is because of the faster reaction time while on it.
4. AlphaGPC as a neuro-protectant
It also has neuro-protective properties. It serves to maintain the health of our neurons and neuronal communication within the brain. Also, it helps form new brain cells while preventing damage. With this mechanism of action our brain feels young, healthy, and functioning at its peak performance.
How do I maximize the effects?
1. Proper dosage and frequency
As for any drug or supplement you are taking, it very important to know the proper dosage, frequency and administration for you to attain the effects that you want. Generally experts recommended a daily dose of anywhere from 300 mg to 600 mg. However, some individuals may go above and up to 1200mg/day. It would be best to start off with the lowest possible effective dose and then gradually increasing the dose over time.
As for its frequency, A-GPC may be taken once daily or can be administered in multiple doses each day. If you plan to take it once a day, it would be best to take it in the morning since it acts as a stimulant. On the other hand, some individuals opt to divide their daily dose and take in multiple administrations for a more constant and sustained effect. This is also because Alpha GPC has a half-life of 4-6 hours.
Knowing the right amount you need and when to take it will play a big role in achieving the results you desire. Moreover, you might also want to consider consulting your doctor or healthcare provider first before starting with any new medication since a person's condition and health status may play a role.
2. Alpha GPC administration
So the question lies, how do we take this supplement? What is it's mode of administration? Alpha-Gpc is available in two forms- it can be administered by mouth or intravenously. Choosing your mode of administration varies on your personal preference, however, taking it orally is more widely practiced than having it intravenously. Also, Alpha GPC is water soluble, so you do not need to take it with a meal for it to be absorbed efficiently by your body.
3. Stacking Alpha GPC with Racetams and Choline
Stacking is done for the purpose of maximizing a drug's potential and to yield more positive effects, to synergize each other, or to eliminate or minimize the side effects that the drugs may provide.
Working alone, Alpha GPC is already known to be very potent and has its own nootropic benefits. However when stacked with other supplements, specifically that of the Racetams like (piracetam, aniracetam, oxiracetam), Alpha GPC gives the stack a new level of cognitive enhancement. Racetams like: Pramiracetam, stimulate the brain and the Cholinergic system. As a result, in order for it to act efficiently, it needs a steady supply of Acetylcholine. And this quality supply of Choline may be provided by administering Alpha GPC. In this way, the Alpha GPC-Pramiracetam stack works in both ways by enhancing cognitive function and by synergizing the effects of one another. Moreover, when there is an insufficient source of Choline, headaches may occur and is one of the most common side effects of taking Racetams. With Alpha GPC at hand, you can prevent and/or minimize the occurrence of headaches (depending on if your are choline dominant or not).
Aside from the Racetams, Alpha GPC may also be stacked with other potent nootropics such as Noopept. Your personal stack depends on your own preference and your needs. However, we should take note that combining supplements needs a thorough understanding of each of the drugs you wanted to use. If you are not sure of your stack, you might want to consult your healthcare provider or browse existing stacks and read the stacklogs to get a better understanding.
- The effects of CDP-choline is noticed much more quickly than that of alpha-GPC.
- Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine when supplemented acutely may augment growth hormone response to and during resistance training exercises.
- Make sure if you are on Alzhemier’s medication, you consult your physician before supplementing Alpha-GPC as there could be an interaction. It is in fact a prescription medicine in Europe for Alzheimer’s disease. Scopolamine blocks acetylcholine so for obvious reasons do not take it.
- It can be a good alternative to those that have taken acetyl-carnitine or DMAE as it is mildly more “stimulating” than them.
- If you notice a headache, heartburn or dizziness cut back on your dose, you maybe sensitive or choline dominant.
- Aside from memory it has been taken for by patients who have or had dementia, mini-strokes, stroke.
- Increase in serotonin and dopamine in the brain which are both responsible for memory, mood, being social.
- Most supplements are 50% alpha-gpc as at 100% it absorbs moisture from air, so you will find most supplements stacked with things like silicon dioxide which eliminates the problems of it being hygroscopic.
Where can I buy Alpha GPC powder online?
Supplements can now be easily purchased online, sources where you may want to consider that we consider safe and that provide a COA are: Amazon.com and PowderCity.com. It is available over the counter (OTC). Although regarded to be more expensive compared to the other Choline supplements, it is in fact "stronger" and is almost twice as powerful as the others such as Citicoline or CDP Choline. The typical dose of Alpha GPC is less than those of the other Choline sources as mentioned above.
Keep in mind you may also purchase choline in powder form from the above PowderCity source to bring your costs down, you will need to use a scoop or you need to cap the pills yourself. If you want to buy alpha gpc in Canada, Australia, South Africa, India or the UK, your best source would be here, it is also the best source if you are looking to buy it in bulk. The best place to buy alpha gpc choline in the States would continue to be Amazon (as stated above), it comes in a 300mg tabs generally, consider Jarrow's brand over Now Foods. We are still looking for a high quality liquid source of a-gpc to recommend.
Reviewer: Kathleen R. RN, PT Wiki Last Updated: 2016-12-07
This supplement appears to be safe for healthy adults. However, occasional reports include fatigue, headaches, dizzyness, nausea, nervousness, diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress. In some individuals low blood pressure may result.