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benefits of alpha gpc choline and omega 3 benefits

Benefits of Alpha GPC & DHA: Brain function at its best

Published Oct 13, 2023 | Updated Feb 8, 2024

There’s been a lot of talk about how diet is important for physical and mental well-being. A nutrient-packed diet carries special importance as it helps boost brain function and development. Two highly talked-about nutrients, choline and DHA, have been the focus of research on cognitive development which shapes a person's lifelong ability to think, learn, and remember. Choline and DHA are essential nutrients that play unique and complementary roles in brain development and function. This article will delve into the fascinating connection between choline and DHA, and their benefits for human cognition.

Choline: what is it good for?

Choline is an essential nutrient that is vital for the proper functioning of the brain[1]. Choline helps the brain function by transforming into acetylcholine, an essential brain messenger which plays a role in memory and learning. There are different forms of choline[2]. Choline gained from food and other forms such as choline bitartrate and choline citrate has a harder time getting from the blood to the brain. A very potent form of choline called Alpha GPC can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, directly supporting acetylcholine production[3,4]. The benefits of Alpha GPC are that it boosts acetylcholine production, which can then get released, contributing to improved memory retention, learning and focus[5,6]. Alpha GPC has also helps the ageing brain[2]. A review from 2023 examined 8 high-quality studies conducted from 1993 to 2022 in Europe that evaluated the effects of Alpha GPC treatment on people with mild cognitive impairment[7]. The review showed Alpha GPC can boost your mood and improve language, orientation, and memory. 

DHA benefits for a healthy brain

DHA, on the other hand, is a crucial component of omega 3 “good for brain” fats, predominantly found in the brain. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the fluidity and function of brain cell membranes, allowing them to do their job while also letting the right nutrients in. According to the EFSA health claim, DHA contributes to normal brain development in infants and children[8]. The developing brain accumulates large amounts of DHA, particularly during the first two years of life, but also throughout childhood [8,9]. EFSA claims DHA is also required for the maintenance of normal brain function in adults[10,11]. The current literature reports show that DHA supplementation can improve cognitive function in adults[12,13]. DHA has been shown to promote the development of the nervous system by impacting the brain's structure and communication system[11]. Another DHA and omega 3 benefit is that it also supports healthy levels of brain messengers[13]. 

Good cognitive development: when choline and DHA work together

Choline and DHA have a synergistic relationship that enhances cognitive development[14,15,16,17,18]. Choline's role in helping bind organic compounds such as omega 3 is critical for transporting DHA into brain cells, where it is incorporated into the house of a cell known as a membrane[16,18]. This synergy between choline and DHA ensures that the brain's structural and functional needs are met during the crucial stages of development. This underscores the idea that the combination of choline and DHA offers greater cognitive benefits than either nutrient alone. This theory has been hypothesized based on animal and human studies[16,17,18]. The two nutrients are supposed to have a synergistic effect throughout human life, however, only studies on the effect on early life brain development have been conducted for now. 

Choline and DHA in early years

An extensive literature review highlights the importance of choline and DHA in the first 1000 days of life for optimal child neurodevelopment and related health factors[19]. It suggests improvements in child development related to the perinatal supply of choline, DHA, and a combination of the 2 nutrients. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition[20], maternal choline supplementation during pregnancy enhances the cognitive development of infants and young children, especially when combined with DHA. Brain function, especially attention and memory, was improved in infants and children and the effect was greater when combined with DHA supplementation[20].

Eat more of choline and DHA

To harness the cognitive benefits of choline and DHA, it's crucial to include dietary sources of these nutrients in your diet. Choline can be found in various foods, including eggs, meat and dairy products. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help ensure an adequate choline intake. Alternatively, you can opt for a high-quality choline supplement. brain feed developed the world’s 1st 99% 500mg capsules providing the purest and highest-quality Alpha GPC supplement in a single dose.  

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DHA is primarily obtained from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. However, individuals who consume less fish regularly, especially pregnant women and infants, may benefit from DHA supplementation. brain feed's double concentrate DHA provides 500mg of DHA in a single plant-based capsule.

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Choline and DHA serve as building blocks of the brain, and their synergistic relationship enhances cognitive development. Ensuring adequate intake of these nutrients is essential for long-term cognitive health.




[1] Wallace, T. C., Blusztajn, J. K., Caudill, M. A., Klatt, K. C., Natker, E., Zeisel, S. H., & Zelman, K. M. (2018). Choline: The Underconsumed and Underappreciated Essential Nutrient. Nutrition Today, 53(6), 240–253. 

[2] Kansakar, U., Trimarco, V., Mone, P., Varzideh, F., Lombardi, A., & Santulli, G. (2023). Choline supplements: An update. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 14, 1148166. 

[3] De Jesus Moreno Moreno, M. (2003). Cognitive improvement in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia after treatment with the acetylcholine precursor choline alfoscerate: A multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Clinical Therapeutics, 25(1), 178–193.

[4] Perri, R. D., Coppola, G., Ambrosio, L. A., Grasso, A., Puca, F. M., & Rizzo, M. (1991). A Multicentre Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Tolerability of α-Glycerylphosphorylcholine versus Cytosine Diphosphocholine in Patients with Vascular Dementia. Journal of International Medical Research, 19(4), 330–341.

[5] Schettini, G., Ventra, C., Florio, T., Grimaldi, M., Meucci, O., Scorziello, A., Postiglione, A., & Marino, A. (1992). Molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of l-α-glycerylphosphorylcholine, a new cognition-enhancing drug, on behavioral and biochemical parameters in young and aged rats. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 43(1), 139–151. 

[6] Lopez, C. M., Govoni, S., Battaini, F., Bergamaschi, S., Longoni, A., Giaroni, C., & Trabucchi, M. (1991). Effect of a new cognition enhancer, alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, on scopolamine-induced amnesia and brain acetylcholine. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 39(4), 835–840. 

[7] Sagaro, G. G., Traini, E., & Amenta, F. (2023). Activity of Choline Alphoscerate on Adult-Onset Cognitive Dysfunctions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 92(1), 59–70.

[8] European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (2009). DHA and support of the cognitive development of the unborn child and breastfed infant ‐ Scientific substantiation of a health claim related to DHA and support of the cognitive development of the unborn child and breastfed infant pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 7(4).

[9] Cohen Kadosh, K., Muhardi, L., Parikh, P., Basso, M., Jan Mohamed, H. J., Prawitasari, T., Samuel, F., Ma, G., & Geurts, J. M. W. (2021). Nutritional Support of Neurodevelopment and Cognitive Function in Infants and Young Children—An Update and Novel Insights. Nutrients, 13(1), 199.

[10] European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (2011). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and brain, eye and nerve development (ID 501, 513, 540), maintenance of normal brain function (ID 497, 501, 510, 513, 519, 521, 534, 540, 688, 1323, 1360, 4294), maintenance of normal vision (ID 508, 510, 513, 519, 529, 540, 688, 2905, 4294), maintenance of normal cardiac function (ID 510, 688, 1360), “maternal health; pregnancy and nursing” (ID 514), “to fulfil increased omega-3 fatty acids need during pregnancy” (ID 539), “skin and digestive tract epithelial cells maintenance” (ID 525), enhancement of mood (ID 536), “membranes cell structure” (ID 4295), “anti-inflammatory action” (ID 4688) and maintenance of normal blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations (ID 4719) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 9(4): 2078.

[11] Horrocks, L. A., & Yeo, Y. K. (1999). Health benefits of docosahexaenoix acid (DHA). Pharmacological Research, 40(3), 211–225.

[12] Lauritzen, L., Brambilla, P., Mazzocchi, A., Harsløf, L., Ciappolino, V., & Agostoni, C. (2016). DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function. Nutrients, 8(1), 6.

[13] Blaylock, R. L. (2008). DHA Supports Brain Development and Protects Neurological Function. Life Extension.

[14] Ramanujan, K. (2022). Choline makes key nutrient available for baby development. Cornell Chronicle.,the%20tissues%2C%20including%20the%20placenta

[15] Bortz, J. (2021). Is There a Relationship Between Choline and DHA? xeragenx.

[16] McFadden, J. W. (2018). The Synergy of Choline and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Optimized Transition Cow Nutrition: A Hypothesis. 2018 Cornell Nutrition Conference for Feed Manufacturers, 62–79.

[17] Ly, R., MacIntyre, B. C., Philips, S. M., McGlory, C., Mutch, D. M., & Britz-McKibbin, P. (2023). Lipidomic Studies Reveal Specific Circulating Phosphatidylcholines as Surrogate Biomarkers of Omega-3 Index. Journal of Lipid Research, 100445. 

[18] Li, J., Jian, Y., Liu, R., Zhao, X., Mao, J., Wei, W., Jiang, C., Zhang, L., Wang, Y., & Zhou, P. (2023). Choline and Fish Oil Can Improve Memory of Mice through Increasing Brain DHA Level. Foods, 12(9), 1799.

[19] Bragg, M. G., Prado, E. L., & Stewart, C. P. (2022). Choline and docosahexaenoic acid during the first 1000 days and children’s health and development in low- and middle-income countries. Nutrition Reviews, 80(4), 656–676.

[20] Cohen Kadosh, K., Muhardi, L., Parikh, P., Basso, M., Jan Mohamed, H. J., Prawitasari, T., Samuel, F., Ma, G., & Geurts, J. M. W. (2021). Nutritional Support of Neurodevelopment and Cognitive Function in Infants and Young Children—An Update and Novel Insights. Nutrients, 13(1), 199.

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