Alpha GPC: A great study pill

22/02/2015 Tags: all

Please note: This article is for informational purposes only. We do not encourage intake of Alpha GPC or any nootropic agents. Any undesirable effects from intake of this nootropic substance are sole responsibility of the user.

Adolph Strecker discovered choline in 1864. It was then synthesized in a laboratory in 1866. Choline is an essential nutrient important for maintaining cognitive and physical health. In 1998, it was identified by the US Institute of Medicine as an essential nutrient needed by humans. Our bodies are able to secrete some amount of this nutrient through consuming choline-enriched foods including, mil, soy, eggs and liver. However, the amounts we can glean from these dietary resources are inadequate; hence, most individuals have insufficient levels of choline on their bodies. Since choline is critical for normal body growth and development, there were numerous attempts for choline supplements. Alpha GPC was one of the best choline supplement synthesized. Today, alpha GPC is a prescribed treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in UK while it is currently available as a cognitive supplement in the US.

What is Alpha GPC?

Alpha GPC is a water soluble phospholipid compound that is able to easily cross the blood brain barrier (BBB). Through crossing the BBB, it can exert its effect on one’s memory and cognitive processes. Alpha GPC is a choline structure with a glycerol molecule attached on its phosphate group.

Other names: (2S)-2, 3-Dihydroxypropyl 2-(trimethylammonio) ethyl phosphate, L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, choline alphoscerate

Uses: memory enhancer, cognitive enhancer, nootropic agent, choline supplement

How does alpha GPC works?

Alpha GPC is available orally and parenterally (intravenous). Both routes help in increasing glycerophosphocoline levels in the brain indicating easy passage across the BBB. Supplementation of alpha GPC and any other choline supplements will help in increasing the absorption of inositol phosphate in the neurons. Through an increased rate of phospholipid synthesis and potassium release, the hippocampus release calcium leading to increased production of inositol. These series of events leads to improved phospholipid metabolism and synthesis which helps in facilitating numerous cognitive processes.

This particular choline supplement plays an important role in transmitting signals from various chemicals in the brain. It also helps in enhancing the release of dopamine in the frontal cortex and cerebellum while improving the release of dopac – a dopamine metabolite and dopamine release through potassium activation. Aside from increasing dopamine release, it also helps in upregulating the amounts of serotonin to both cerebellum and frontal cortex. More importantly, alpha GPC helps in improving the concentration of acetylcholine. Some studies however revealed that alpha GPC is more reliable in maintaining adequate levels of acetylcholine and increase acetylcholine transporter release in the brain when the body is under stress. More importantly, it exerts some neuroprotective effects through increasing the cholinergic activities of the brain. Alpha GPC also aides in increasing GABA release through working on alpha-1adrenergic receptors.

What are the benefits of alpha GPC supplementation?

There are numerous benefits associated with continuous alpha GPC supplementation. These benefits include the following:

Improvement in memory and attention

Alpha GPC helps in improving different cognitive processes particularly attention, focus and memory. One study involving 32 healthy individuals revealed that alpha GPC supplementation has the potential to antagonize the attention and memory problems induced by scopolamine. Subjective reports of users revealed that daily supplementation of alpha GPC helps with increased memory recall and fluidity amongst others.

Fat oxidation improvement

Several studies have shown that alpha GPC may also be effective in increasing growth hormone release and help substitute the needed choline levels in the body to help in maintaining liver health.  Alpha GPC may help in protective the liver through increasing the liver’s ability to enhance fat metabolism. One study have shown that even a single dose of alpha GPC can help in improving growth hormone secretion as well a fat oxidation. This only shows that this particular supplement may help in protecting the liver from hepatic related disorders.

Cognitive disorder treatment

Numerous studies have shown that alpha GP is a potent precursor of acetylcholine. As such, it might help in alleviating impaired motor function, ability to learn and memories on individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and those who suffered from cerebral ischemic attack. Analysis of studies related to AD revealed that choline alfoscerate can help in safely treating mild to moderate dementia Alzheimer’s type. Similarly, it has the ability to help post cerebral ischemic attack patients to recover through protecting the neuronal cell walls.

Study pill

Aside from treating several cognitive disorders, alpha GPC may also help in enhancing reaction time, focus, alertness whilst decrease fatigue. Numerous studies have shown that it may be effective in improving brain processes and performance even in times of increased stress. Hence, alpha GPC may be an effective pill for students.

Alpha GPC is relatively safe to use and has low toxicity. However, you should still watch out for some side effects including headaches, nausea, heartburn and insomnia. Please take some precautionary measures when using this choline supplement as a cognitive enhancer.