What is Alpha-GPC?
Alpha-GPC (Glyceryl-Phosphoryl-Choline) is natural water-soluble choline source, with choline being an important nutrient for the brain’s health. Alpha GPC is found in organ tissues of red meat as well as in small quantities, in dairy products. For industrial purposes, it is synthesized from eggs or soy lecithin by chemical or enzymatic processing, so it can be considered as a semi-synthetic supplement. Alpha-GPC is generally recognized as Safe (GRAS) by FDA, USA.
How does Alpha-GPC work?
Being a strong choline source, Alpha GPC is believed to help in improving cognitive performance in healthy individuals as well as patients with mental disorders like stroke, dementia, ischemia, Alzheimer’s disorder etc. We know that most of people do not get enough choline through routine diet because their daily diet is not tailored for choline only. Further, if one intend to use choline-rich food, it might not be feasible. For example, using half dozen of eggs a day may provide you with enough choline, but at the same time you might get too much of cholesterol. One may get enough choline by adding more beef or fish on weekly diet menu, but this might not be economically feasible.
The solution to above problem is use of choline supplements. Alpha GPC is one of such supplements with highest amount of choline per gram. Though the Alpha GPC supplements may be costly as compared to other choline sources, but even 100 milligram of Alpha GPC provide much more choline than same dose of other choline sources. As soon as one administers some Alpha GPC supplement, it is quickly absorbed through gut. The supplement is also capable of crossing blood-brain barrier and provides the brain with ample choline as well as acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter) upon further break-down. Moreover, the compound provides glycerophosphate which is a constituent of neural cell membranes. Consequently, the compound possesses neuro-protective capabilities.
Effects of Alpha-GPC
We can deduce that by providing prime neural compounds to the brain, the supplement is capable of improving the memory, learning, focus and mental energy. It is suggested by a recent human study that memory storage capacity as well as stability is improved with increased level of GPC in hippocampus (the brain’s center for short and long-term memory). It is also shown in two other studies that users of alpha GPC have increased growth hormone level, so the supplement is also famous among athletes. There is ongoing research to establish the efficacy of the supplement for mental disorders, as well as for healthy individuals.
Side-Effects of Alpha-GPC
There are very little or no side effects associated with use of Alpha GPC at nominal dosages. However, taking higher doses can result in headache, nausea, stomach issues, increased salivation & sweating, or fish-like odor (due to breakdown of choline) etc.
Recommended Dosage / Usage Instructions
The dosages depend on a number of factors including age, dietary habits, medical conditions as well as one’s need for choline.
Pregnant and lactating women, as well as those who are using other medicines in parallel should consult a physician before administering Alpha-GPC. Also when attempting to stack Alpha-GPC with other nootropic supplements, a physician’s consultancy is recommended.