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Best choline supplement alpha gpc benefits cdp choline vs alpha gpc source of choline choline side effects choline inositol choline bitartrate

Best choline supplement for brain health? Alpha GPC reviewed

Published Aug 4, 2022 | Updated Feb 8, 2024
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Choline is an important nutrient that was granted the status of an essential nutrient in 1998 by the US Institute of Medicine. The importance of choline was recognized due to its function in the liver, brain and body cells starting from pregnancy and infancy up until old age. In the brain, choline is used to produce the chemical involved in memory, learning and attention, called acetylcholine. The US prescribed recommended intake for adults as 550 mg/day for males and 425 mg/day for non-pregnant females. The European guidelines recommended a choline intake of 400 mg/day for adults in 2016. Wondering which is the best choline supplement to take and what is the best form of choline? You’ve come to the right place.

Which food is highest in choline?

In short, mostly protein. Though your body can produce small amounts, choline must be taken from the diet to meet the body’s needs to ensure optimum functioning. Foods high in choline include[1]:

Food sources

mg choline per 100 g

Beef liver

426

Fried egg

273

Smoked salmon

224

Dried shiitake mushrooms

202

Soy flour

191

Skim milk powder

169

Dried celery flakes

122

Raw soybeans

116

Sundried tomatoes

105

Cooking can reduce choline content in some foods[2]. For example, 30% choline is lost when chicken is roasted[3]. In foods, choline is found in many forms and different forms are absorbed at different rates[4].

Is Alpha GPC the best form of choline?

Choline can also be consumed as a supplement. Those who have low choline intake in their diet can benefit from supplementation. Wondering is Alpha GPC better than choline? Alpha GPC is the best source of choline currently available. This is due to its high choline content (41% of choline by weight) and ability to freely pass into the brain. brain feed has created the world’s 1st 500mg Alpha GPC capsule containing 99% Alpha GPC* (the purest form of Alpha GPC).


Tax included

Size

821 in stock

What does Alpha GPC choline do? 

Levels of the memory chemical acetylcholine boost when you ingest Alpha GPC. Acetylcholine is then released when you’re performing cognitive tasks, such as memory retention and learning. Alpha GPC naturally occurs in the brain, however, supplementation may keep the levels of acetylcholine more in check. Studies show that boosting choline levels can help restore the bioavailability of acetylcholine[5,6], while supplementation with Alpha GPC indicated an increase in brain function directly related to the healthy supply of acetylcholine[7]. 

Here’s a quick review of how that happens:

Which choline is best for brain health?

Alpha GPC is the answer. If you are looking to increase your acetylcholine levels, Alpha GPC can contribute to higher choline available for its production. It has been shown to facilitate a quick increase in acetylcholine levels 1-3 hours after intake[8].

Since choline has many important functions in the body, its use to produce acetylcholine depends on the concentration of choline in the blood. Alpha-GPC increases choline levels faster than other types of choline. It was found that upon absorption, Alpha GPC was incorporated into brain cells within 24 hours[9].

Is Alpha GPC or CDP-Choline better?

To sum up, the evidence says yes. So how do Citicoline vs Alpha GPC compare? Another choline that can freely enter the brain is CDP. It's also known as Citicoline. It is only 18% choline by weight which means you will need double the dose to provide the same level of benefits as Alpha GPC. A study comparing CDP choline vs Alpha GPC found that Alpha GPC reaches more regions in the brain for acetylcholine production[10] and leads to higher efficiency on cognitive tests[11]. 

Choline bitartrate is another synthetic choline supplement. It provides the same amount of choline by weight as Alpha GPC but it cannot enter the brain due to its structure. Due to this, it can be used for body benefits other than acetylcholine production. 


Choline

Production

Freely enters the brain

Choline by weight (%)

Recommended dose (mg)

Cost

Main functional benefit

Alpha GPC 99%

Fermentation

40

500 – 1200

[9]

Premium

Acetylcholine in the brain

Alpha GPC 50%

Fermentation

20

1000-2400

Premium

Acetylcholine in the brain

Citicoline (CDP)

Synthetic

18.5

500 - 2000 [10]

Premium

Phosphatidylcholine precursor

Choline bitartrate

Synthetic

X

41

2000mg *Tolerable limit. Limited evidence on brain functions [11]

Inexpensive

Liver function

Is it OK to take Alpha GPC every day?

To sum up, it is when taking a recommended dose. As an essential nutrient, choline is not shown to have side effects under 3500 mg/day[12]. Alpha GPC is well tolerated within the recommended levels. At higher than recommended doses, a small number of people may experience side effects such as headaches or dizziness.

How to choose the right supplement?

It is important to read the fine print carefully when choosing supplements. The following are three important points to remember to make an informed decision:

  • Form of choline - depending on the benefit you are seeking, whether it be for your body or brain, investigate the form mentioned on the label 
  • Dosage- check the dose provided and whether the recommended dose is provided by 1, 2 or 3 capsules. This will help you choose the supplement that provides the best value for your money
  • Source- depending on personal beliefs/preferences, you can check if the supplement is suitable for vegetarians/vegans or if it contains animal products (eg. gelatine)

Apart from a diet high in choline, supplementation can help meet recommended levels to ensure adequate choline is available to meet the body’s needs. Alpha GPC benefits stem from its rapid absorption, ease of entry into the brain and high choline content. It can provide benefits for your body and increase acetylcholine levels in the brain.

 

References

[1] Nutrient Search Tool (n.d.). Foods highest in Choline. [online] Nutrition Data. 

[2] Arias, N. et al. (2020). The Relationship between Choline Bioavailability from Diet, Intestinal Microbiota Composition, and Its Modulation of Human Diseases. Nutrients, [online] 12(8).

[3] Showell, B.A. et al. (2007). Determination of Cooking Yields and Nutrient Retention Factors of Choline in Meat Products. The FASEB Journal, 21(5).

[4] Wallace, T.C. et al. (2019). Choline: The Neurocognitive Essential Nutrient of Interest to Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 17(6), pp.733–752.

[5] Trabucchi, M., Govoni, S., & Battaini, F. (1986). Changes in the interaction between CNS cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons induced by L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, a cholinomimetic drug. Il Farmaco; edizione scientifica, 41(4), 325–334.

[6] Vega, J. A., Cavallotti, C., del Valle, M. E., Mancini, M., & Amenta, F. (1993). Nerve growth factor receptor immunoreactivity in the cerebellar cortex of aged rats: effect of choline alfoscerate treatment. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 69(1-2), 119–127.

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

[8] Frank, K. et al. (2022). Alpha-GPC Research Analysis. examine.com. [online]

[9] Parnetti, L. et al. (2007). Cholinergic precursors in the treatment of cognitive impairment of vascular origin: Ineffective approaches or need for re-evaluation? Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 257(1-2), pp.264–269.

[10] Frank, K. et al. (2022). CDP-choline Research Analysis. examine.com. [online] 

[11] Di Perri, R. et al. (1991). A multicentre trial to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine versus cytosine diphosphocholine in patients with vascular dementia. J Int Med Res, 19(4):330-341.

[12] Harvard TH Chan (2020). Choline. [online] The Nutrition Source.

2 comments

  • Interested

    Raymond Rudd
  • Wanted to know more about GPD Choline. Thank you so much for putting the complexity of this information into such an easily readable, understandable form. Excellent. Thanks again.

    Athena Masters

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