if you have researched nootropics for brain health the chances are you are familiar Alpha GlycerylPhosphorylCholine. Alpha GPC is a potent form of the nutrient choline which naturally occurs in the brain, and it is the building block to acetylcholine; a chemical that is released when conducting cognitive tasks. Whatsmore, research shows choline is positively associated with executive function.
what is executive function?
executive function is a set of mental skills that include flexible thinking, self-control, and working memory. These skills help you process information, remember, make decisions, react to situations, and manage time . Brain imaging research linked executive function to activity in parts of the brain involving sensory information, coordination, and decision making . When working optimally this helps maintain cognition and social behaviour.
evidence suggests that humans are able to modulate executive functioning via dietary intake and choline is proving to be a particular isolated nutrient of interest among researchers . Choline supplementation during pregnancy may support fetal cognitive development  whilst a 2014 study found that choline improved executive function in healthy adults . Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that out of 2195 adults, those with higher choline concentrations showcased better executive function .
what is choline?
It is the precursor to acetylcholine  which is released when conducting cognitive tasks such as memory retention and learning . Small amounts of choline are made in the liver but it is insufficient for maintaining healthy regulatory function and The US National Institute for Health defines choline as an essential nutrient. Despite its importance in neuronal communication, The US National Institute for Health estimates that 90% of the American population are choline-deficient. Inadequate levels of choline can have an adverse impact on cognitive performance and it has been associated with poorer memory in older men . The highest bioavailable form of choline that has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier is Alpha GPC.
Alpha GPC - evidence for memory and learning
Alpha GPC has been shown to increase relative spikes of acetylcholine 1-3 hours post-ingestion . A study of 2044 patients with mild cognitive impairment received a daily dose of Alpha GPC. This led to 71% of patients reporting no cognitive decline or forgetfulness .
increased concentration of acetylcholine has been shown to improve attention during sustained attention performance tasks in animal studies. In another study, published by Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Alpha GPC administered for 20 days had improved learning, memory capacity amongst rats with deficits in learning and memory capacity .
is Alpha-GPC the best form of choline?
it's important to note that only some forms of choline are absorbed in the brain . Food-derived choline and other forms of choline such as choline bitartrate require complex mechanisms of action in order to enter the brain. Alpha GPC and Citicoline (CDP) can freely cross the blood-brain barrier but Alpha GPC is preferential as it is 40% choline by weight  compared to CDP which is 18.5% choline . If you are considering supplementing with Alpha GPC that it may be useful to keep in mind that not all forms of choline are equal, some forms of Alpha-GPC only offer 50%.
brain feed Alpha GPC
if you're looking for a vegan-friendly choline supplement, brain feed offers the world's first 99% 500 mg Alpha GPC capsule . It is recommended that you take one per day, ideally in the morning, at lunch, or just before your start work.