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Alpha GPC, also known as L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, is a natural choline-derived dietary compound and acetylcholine precursor. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given it the GRAS, or Generally Considered as Safe, status. Therefore, in most countries it is sold without a prescription.
Choline is a very important micronutrient important for health as it is involved in functional and structural roles in cells. Choline is naturally found in the body and can be consumed through a balanced diet (i.e., dairy products, eggs, chicken breast, spinach, etc.). Choline is also a building block of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Thus, Alpha GPC is used to increase the levels of acetylcholine. Alpha GPC does that by quickly crossing the blood-brain barrier and carrying the choline nutrient straight to neural tissues.
Increasing the cholinergic neurotransmission is the essential mechanism of action of Alpha GPC. Rats, subjected to 150mg/kg daily administration of Alpha GPC, have substantially increased the levels acetylcholine in the frontal cortex. The product has increased vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) expression as well as choline transporter (CHT) in every brain area that was examined by researchers. The responsibility of these cholinergic transporters is sustaining ACh synthesis and release from neurons.
Several clinical studies demonstrated the benefits of Alpha GPC in patients with cognitive dysfunctions. Therefore, Alpha GPC may reduce a decrease in cholinergic activity that occurs due to aging.
People suffering from Alzheimer’s show impaired presynaptic cholinergic function. Cholinesterase treatment was shown to reduce memory deterioration as the patients’ choline metabolism was increased. 180 days intervention of 1200 mg daily oral Alpha GPC intake improved a cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. Patients in a placebo group experienced a decrease in their cognition, as indicated by ADAS-Cog scores, over the same period of time. Another study lasting for 90 days showed the memory, verbal and behavioural benefits for vascular dementia following 1000 mg of intramuscularly Alpha GPC administration.
Following 150mg/kg oral ingestion in rats have been shown to increase the concentrations of dopamine and serotonin hormones in the cerebellum and frontal cortex. It is important to note that the same effects were not observed following the same dose of Citicoline (CDP Choline). Alpha GPC also improves expression of the dopamine transporter.
Protein Kinase C (PKC) is an enzyme considered responsible for the process of memory formation in the brain. It has been shown to be activated by Alpha GPC as the product increases the activity of PKC for about 1 hour post-ingestion.
Alpha GPC has also been shown to improve the performance in rats tested following scopolamine-induced amnesia. Improvements in active and passive avoidance behavioural tasks were observable in young and aged rats.Active and passive avoidance behavioural tests are used to determine memory and cognition.
Alpha GPC has shown to work neuroprotectively in patients who had suffered a cerebral stroke or ischemic attack. A research investigated 2484 patients, who were intramuscularly administered 1000 mg of Alpha GPC daily for a month, followed by 5 months of 1200 mg daily oral doses. The results showed improvements in the Mini Mental State Evaluation (MMSE), Clinicians’ Global Rating Scale (CGRS) and Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) tests by 12-15%, 19-21% and 20%, respectively.
Alpha GPC has the potential to promote weight loss, as it enhances hepatic fat oxidation in healthy humans. 120 minutes after ingestion of 1000 mg, researchers found that serum levels of acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate were increased. These are ketone bodies that are used as biomarkers of fat metabolism. The results come as no surprise, as previous studies on choline, resulted in a fast body mass reduction, while maintaining static strength and biochemical levels.
The recommended dosage is between 300 - 600 mg taken 2 times per day. As you become more used to taking Alpha GPC and its effects, the daily dosage can be increased to 800 – 1000 mg per day. Alpha GPC is water soluble and appears to be effective over the course of 24 hours; however a peak concentration is normally observed 1-3 hours post ingestion. You should not take Alpha GPC late at night as some users report stimulatory effects.
Alpha GPC seems to enhance acetylcholine levels by increasing the number of neurotransmitter precursors. Alpha GPC is absorbed into the blood stream, transported to the brain where it crosses the blood-brain barrier. Alpha GPC may also activate protein kinase C in the hippocampus. Alpha GPC increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the cerebellum and frontal cortex.
The molecular structure of Alpha GPC can be defined as a phosphatidylcholine lecithin molecule with two of the fatty acids missing. It features a choline molecule bound by a phosphate group to a glycerol molecule. As a result it is considered a phospholipid and has as much as 40% of pure choline. Therefore a usual daily dosage of 1200 mg of Alpha GPC provides the user with 480 mg of choline.
Comparisons between Alpha GPC and another natural source of choline called Citicoline, also known as CDP Choline, show that Citicoline is only half as effective as Alpha GPC, providing just 21% of choline. Clinical research concludes Alpha GPC ingestion results in a greater serum increase of choline, which increase its effectiveness, than the one of CDP Choline.
Alpha GPC has very few side effects if the recommended dosage is not exceeded. As mentioned before, the product is on the Food and Drug Administration’s GRAS list.
Typical side effects from overdosing include headaches and restlessness. You can prevent these side effects by lowering the daily dosage.
Serving size: 1 scoop (400 mg)
Servings per tub: 250
Amount per serving: Alpha GPC 400 mg
This product is free from: Artificial Flavours, Colours & Preservatives, Lactose, Yeast & Gluten
Suitable for: Vegetarians and Vegans
✝ These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) The above products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should consult a physician before taking a new product or a nootropic. This product should not be taken by pregnant or nursing mothers, people suffering from cardiovascular disease or those under 18 years of age.
Any studies cited here are not conclusive and are limited to their closed environment nature; they might not determine ones experience with a nootropic, due to a large number of unaccounted variables falling outside the scope of such studies.
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