α-GPC has been shown to promote long-term brain health as well as attention and memory.
L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (α-GPC) is a natural choline compound made up of choline and glycerophosphate.α-GPC rapidly delivers choline across the blood-brain barrier and is a precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is associated with memory and learning.
α-GPC is readily absorbed through oral intake to form free choline. It is able to increase both dopamine and serotonin concentrations in the frontal cortex and cerebellum.
It has also been researched for its potential to remediate poor cognition as a result of stroke or neurodegeneration.
α-GPC is approved as a dietary supplement component under provisions of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. It is classified as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) according to FDA standards.
α-GPC naturally occurs in the brain in limited amounts. However, choline can be obtained from several different sources, both plant and animal including soy, eggs, and red meat.
When the brain is low on free choline for acetylcholine, the brain breaks down cell membranes to cannibalize choline.
Popular supplements for choline include α-GPC, choline bitartrate and CDP-choline.
α-GPC is the most bioavailable form of choline.
One needs to take more than twice as much CDP-choline than α-GPC to get the same amount of choline.
Choline is a chemical precursor to produce acetylcholine.
This is clinically important because there is a large body of research suggesting that learning, memory, intelligence, and mood are mediated at least in part by acetylcholine metabolism in the brain.
This is commonly referred to as the "cholinergic effect".
A 2011 study in 26 individuals showed that daily ingestion of a nootropic blend containing α-GPC was effective in improving memory (recall, recognition, and short-term memory) at both 2 week and 10-week trial intervals.
A 2010 study on 19 healthy college students showed that a nootropic blend consisting of α-GPC and other compounds (choline bitartrate, phosphatidylserine, vitamins B3, B6, and B12, folic acid, L-tyrosine, anhydrous caffeine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and naringin), resulted in increased reaction time and alertness, as measured by both a self-report questionnaire and reaction time measured by a Makoto testing device.
There are no reported major side effects of α-GPC. Minor side effects can include heartburn and headache at doses several times the recommended amount (exceeding 2 grams per day).
α-GPC is approved as a dietary supplement component under provisions of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. It is classified as generally regarded as safe (GRAS) according to FDA standards.