Alpha-GPC is a naturally occurring choline intermediate that results from the conversion of cell membranes into choline.
The question is, can Alpha-GPC help against brain fog?
The dietary supplement is a high bioavailability choline form that crosses the blood-brain barrier and raises choline levels in the brain. Choline increases the synthesis of cell membranes and neurotransmitters (= signal substances) in the brain.
Alpha-GPC probably has the largest amount of choline from all supplement forms – about 40% by weight, and seems to be almost completely absorbed.
Researchers point out the following effects:
- Promotes the synthesis of cell membranes and increases membrane fluidity.
- Decreases the age-related decrease of acetylcholine receptors.
- Supports acetylcholine synthesis.
- Protects against cognitive deficits and brain fog caused by anticholinergics.
- It seems to increase the memory.
- Increases the promotion of growth hormones.
- Increases the maximum muscle power during an exercise.
- Improves mental function in elderly dementia patients.
- Almost free of side effects (2.4% of patients) in therapeutic doses.
- Other names: choline foscerate, L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, (R) -2,3-dihydroxypropyl-2- (trimethylammonio) ethyl phosphate (chemical name)
- Alpha-GPC naturally arises in the conversion of phosphatidylcholine.
- In supplement form, it is 40% choline, and it can pass almost completely through the blood-brain barrier.
- Increases the ability to learn and protects from mental decline and brain fog (Alzheimer’s, dementia).
- It seems to increase muscle strength, and increase the secretion of growth hormone.
- Dosage: 300 – 400mg 1-3x a day.
- Fits in almost every nootropic stack. It is mainly used in combination with Racetamen.
- It has no serious side effects.
Alpha-GPC accounts for approximately 40% of its weight in choline. In concrete terms, 1000mg Alpha-GPC contains about 400mg of pure choline.
The usual dosage ranges from 300 – 1300mg per day.
Most manufacturers recommend an intake of 300 – 600mg. Which is probably based on a study in which an increase in physical performance (at 600mg) was observed. In addition, two additional research studies (600mg) revealed an increased release of growth hormone.
In studies investigating Alpha GPC’s effect on brain disease, patients were treated with 1200mg daily (divided into 3x 400mg). It is not clear whether even lower doses are effective, but the above amount seems to be consistently related to mental performance gains.
The intake of 300 – 400mg 1-3x daily seems to be a good starting point.
Choline fascinate is water-soluble and can also be drunk.
The average half-life is about 4 – 6 hours, reaching its maximum concentration in the blood after about 1 – 2 hours.
To determine the daily dose should be taken into account that it is also included in food.
In the stack
Due to the high acetylcholine turnover, it works well with the Racetams like:
- A combination with acetyl-l-carnitine seems to be effective because ALCAR donates an additional acetyl group to acetylcholine synthesis.
Alpha-GPC is easily incorporated into other stacks because it has virtually no side effects, and its mode of action does not overlap with that of other nootropics.
While there are no human studies that show that GPC (when taken orally) goes straight to the brain, GPC has been shown to be better at lessening cognitive function than lecithin.
However, we know that Alpha GPC is able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier in rodents. In addition, its metabolites (α-glycerophosphate, choline, and phosphorylcholine) are subject to the whole molecule in their ability to cross the BBB.
From this, it can be concluded that alpha-GPC is completely absorbed and passes the blood-brain barrier.
Benefits of Alpha-GPC
Memory & learning ability
In a healthy rodent study, GPC demonstrated an improvement in learning ability in an active avoidance test.
Also, Alpha GPC has been shown to improve mental calrity and therefore cure brain fog.
In a further series of experiments with rodents, the animals had a reduced memory loss, which was previously caused by the anticholinergic scopolamine. This is probably due to GPC’s ability to increase acetylcholine synthesis.
People also saw a decrease in cognitive deficits (scopolamine induced). Interestingly, no protective function was observed before benzodiazepine-induced memory loss and brain fog.
Therefore, it seems natural that GPC enhances mental capacities through acetylcholine synthesis and cholinergic mechanisms.
Mental decay (dementia & Alzheimer’s disease)
A meta-analysis of 10 clinical trials (1570 patients in total) concluded that alpha-GPC significantly improved the condition of patients suffering from mental decay and brain fog.
Stronger by Alpha GPC?
In a small pilot study (7 men) an average power increase of 14% was measured after taking 600mg of GPC. In the same work, increased growth hormone output was observed.
In another study with 8 male participants, increased growth hormone concentrations and increased fat burning were seen.
Cell membrane synthesis & maintenance
Alpha-GPC increases the choline content in the brain. Since choline is a building material of the cell walls, it is not surprising that GPC maintains cell membrane maintenance by increasing choline intake.
In some studies, an increase in the choline receptor density (muscarinic acetylcholine receptor) is pointed out.
One source points to Alpha GPC’s ability to increase the membrane fluidity of cells.
Alpha GPC is produced when the cell membranes are separated from their choline content. It’s not hard to believe that GPC supplements support acetylcholine synthesis by providing the brain with the raw materials.
Promotion of acetylcholine synthesis
There are a total of 4 studies dealing with alpha-GPC and the anticholinergic drug scopolamine:
In two animal studies, a protective function was found (memory loss caused by scopolamine). GPC also had a protective effect in two human studies.
In the above series of experiments, Alpha GPCs protective effect is attributed to increased acetylcholine production.
Safety & Side Effects
GPC seems to be a very safe nootropic which causes few to no side effects (in reasonable doses).
In one trial, side effects occurred in 2.4% of participants, mostly nausea, heartburn, and nightmares; the dose applied was 1200mg per day.
An LD50 (dose at which 50% of the experimental animals died) of 10000 mg/kg (in rodents) was determined.
Conclusion: Alpha GPC against Brain Fog
Alright, we made it. Let me sum up all the benefits of Alpha GPC for you again:
- increases the choline content in the brain
- improves short-term memory and has a positive effect on learning
- increases muscle strength
- increases the secretion of growth hormones
- improves the circulation of the genitals and thus the libido
- fights brain fog
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Alpha GPC is one of the most well reserached and efficient nootropics. My recommendation, give it a try. It has little to no side effects, and from my experience, it helps a lot, especially against brain fog.