Alpha GPC is more than a memory promoter because it acts on internal pathways that are involved in so much more than just memory. It’s the preferred source of choline, a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and is in widespread use for its rapidity and reliability of beneficial effects.
Acetylcholine (ACh) is a neurotransmitter that is found throughout our brain and body and is responsible for many of the chemical messages we send and receive.
True, alpha GPC (glycerophosphocholine) has been sufficiently studied for its memory enhancing capability and this is usually enough for most people to consider its use. Aside from improving recall, alpha gpc is a neuroprotective agent, waging war on calamities that weaken our brain.
Additionally, alpha gpc has been shown to increase power output during physical performance with athletes reporting longer durations of peak energy and stamina. This is likely due to the positive effects from the release of growth hormone and speed of communication at the neuromuscular junction; where neurons tell your muscles to fire via the neurotransmitter ACh.
Alpha GPC is a preferred choline source because of its bioavailability; it crosses the blood brain barrier making neural uptake fast and easy. This basically allows a-GPC to take quick action in the brain as it is also readily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Anecdotally, those suffering from varying levels of depression and anxiety have reported experiencing a better mood and reductions in general anxiety. There is also research to back these comments which I’ll cover in more detail below.
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ALPHA GPC BENEFITS
- Improve Memory
- Neuroprotecive (Brain Protection)
- Increase Stamina
- Better Mood
- Provide Real Energy
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Alpha GPC Improves Your Memory
How does alpha GPC improve our memory?
For starters we need to revisit acetylcholine and why it is so important for brain and body function. Acetylcholine (ACh) is found throughout the body and not limited to just our neurons . Alpha GPC is a cholinergic agonist of ACh meaning it supports ACh homeostasis.
This is important because it’s a neurotransmitter that is responsible for chemical messages at the neuromuscular junction to initiate movement in the body and It’s also responsible for key neuron to neuron communication in the brain. Specifically ACh in the brain acts as a neurotransmitter (sending chemical messages) and as a neuromodulator, regulating our attention, arousal, memory and motivation.
The biosynthesis (bodily making) of ACh becomes disrupted and leads to deficiency in people suffering from memory loss disease like Alzheimer’s (AD). Alpha GPC comes back into the picture because oral doses have been shown to help brain and blood choline levels within 2 hours, which assist in the formation of ACh .
ACh is the first chemical transmitter to become affected in AD patients. This is why so much of the research and focus on preventative measures for AD involve increasing nutrients in your diet that can increase levels of ACh. Europeans use alpha GPC medicinally already, but here in the US it is labeled as a supplement by the FDA.
Alpha GPC has demonstrated benefit for AD patients through memory, orientation, mood, language and attention. A randomized control trial (RCT) with the highest efficacy of any type of study found that among 261 participants, 132 in the supplement group (those who received a choline source) had statistically significant improvement on the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog), a measure used to test various parameters associated with mental decline from dementia pertaining to Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, improvement was shown at 90 and 180 days across ADAS-Cog, MMSE, GDS, ADAS-Total, CGI and ADAS-Behav and GIS scales respectively . All of which are cognitive assessment tools to measure current mental aptitude and are designed to detect decline.
So what does this all mean for us?
Well, since elevated levels of ACh are associated with improved memory and general cognitive function, and since alpha gpc is the best choline source to promote these elevated levels of ACh throughout our brain and body, then it is reasonable to assume we would reap the benefits prior to waiting for any decline in brain function. What we are talking about here is advancing the health of everyone and not just the sick.
Another great point is that these heightened blood levels of choline act as a slow release mechanism, providing lasting effects in a controlled manner. Rather than effecting levels and then suddenly dropping off, available choline stores for development of ACh and is readily available for our brain and body over time.
In addition to improving memory, alpha gpc enhances cognitive function via benefits in learning ability, recall, focus and concentration.
Neuroprotective (Brain Protection) Benefits Of Alpha GPC
As a neuroprotectant, alpha GPC protects the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM), a cholinergic zone that shows atrophy in early stage AD from chemically induced toxin damage . It also helps to protect the cholinergic projections to the forebrain cortex and hippocampus.
Most people are familiar with the hippocampus being responsible for long term memory, but not that it’s actually part of our more primitive brain (the limbic system) and helps to regulate emotion and contributes to spatial awareness. All elements that decline with aging and even more so for those with AD.
Choline helps to conserve nerve growth factor (NGF) receptors in animal testing . Oral GPC protected against decline in the hippocampus, an area highly dependent on NGF and very active in producing new neurons from stem cells. This is suggestive of the Nootropic action of NGF .
The big take away here is that by protecting NGF through greater cholinergic tone (more choline), neurogenesis (new nerve growth) is taking place in the hippocampus. And since you haven’t skipped any of the sections so far, you know now that the hippocampus is responsible for memory, regulating emotion and spatial awareness.
Why is alpha gpc more than just a memory enhancing Nootropic?
Alpha GPC is a phospholipid which is a major component of cell membranes located in your cortex. Remember the primitive limbic system is our monkey brain telling us we are hungry or sleepy. Our cortex is a higher processing center that makes the big decisions and is also the “who I am” part of the brain. When you think of who you are, it is the cortex that defines you.
An improvement in cellular composition via increased phospholipids in the cerebral cortex results in higher brainpower, advanced intellect and cognition. This helps with our attention span, learning capacity and overall mental energy. Additionally, phosphatidylserine promotes healthy lipid content for cell membranes.
Increase Stamina With Alpha GPC Supplementation
Stamina and mood is thought to be correlated to the excess levels of available ACh throughout the brain and body, at least partially. Elevated ACh therefore improves mental clarity and alertness.
The other reason for reported improvement in stamina could be explained by the increases in natural human growth hormone (HGH) that alpha GPC stimulates. These elevated levels of HGH are associated with higher levels of energy, longevity and anti-aging effects.
You typically only hear about HGH when it comes to PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and sports scandals, but really it is a natural compound produced within your body. Those with naturally higher levels of HGH tend to recover faster, and display energy and feelings of well being. It does also help with muscle mass and performance, so you can see why it is banned from many sports competitions.
Improve Your Mood By Supplementing With Alpha GPC
Alpha GPC stimulates the production of HGH.
Patients with HGH deficiency have shown signs of psychological benefits in regards to their perception of energy level and mood when administered HGH for 6 months.
Patients reported their psychological well being via quality of life assessments administered at baseline, 1 and 6 months. These patients experienced less perceived illness than the placebo group after 6 months .
Increase Real Energy With Alpha GPC Supplements
Now let’s look at specific energy and performance capabilities of alpha GPC.
As already discussed, elevated choline stimulates HGH receptors to produce more HGH, and increases levels of ACh. ACh serves at the neuromuscular junction telling muscles to fire and also in our brain by helping to transmit chemical signals that assist neuronal communication.
So with assisted focus, mental clarity and power output, it makes sense that so many would report physical performance benefits. After all, athletic prowess and physical capability isn’t just about power output, but includes mental aptitude as well.
If you can outthink an opponent prior to initiating an action; speed, power and agility haven’t even come into the picture yet. Performance in the form of real energy, mental processing and physicality are why many choose to supplement with alpha gpc.
STACKING WITH ALPHA GPC
Common stacks with alpha GPC include racetams in several forms like piracetam. The effects of racetams are thought to advance when combined with an alpha GPC stack.
Combining alpha GPC with other cognitive enhancing nutrients like EGCG in green tea, L-theanine, Bacopa, Ginkgo, Cats Claw, Phosphaditylserine and Spirulina can round out your cognitive performance and daily nutrient stack in a safe and effective manner. This way you get all of the benefits of assisted cognition plus antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
ALPHA GPC PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATION
Dose ranges tend to be 300-1200mg daily for supplemental use and have been shown to be safe up to 1200mg. It’s best to start with a smaller dose and then escalate over the course of one-two weeks. As you become more familiar you can decide how best to break up higher doses throughout your day. Doses of 100mg is considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA.
For instance taking a 100-300mg, 2-3x daily is best distributed evenly throughout the day. It also helps that naturally, blood choline levels are sustained so you really shouldn’t notice large spikes and dropoffs in energy, mood and performance once you’ve established a regular regimen.
Claims for effective doses at 60mg have also been made. This might be a little low, but again test and be sure for yourself. All things being equal, everyone is different and it is worthwhile to do your own testing to determine what works best for you. Keep in mind that there are several nootropic nutrients that can accomplish similar results when it comes to enhancing memory, mood, stamina, energy, decreasing anxiety and stress.
Dr. Anthony Gustin and myself have decided on our nootropic blends through extensive research, personal testing and patient administration and have found minimal effective doses for all the nutrients we use in Momental MIND and Momental MEND. We stand by our formulas to deliver quality and efficacy.
SIDE EFFECTS OF ALPHA GPC
Side effects are very rare. Alpha GPC is very well known and very safe. Doses that exceed 1200mg per day have a higher chance of eliciting negative effects. If you’re taking doses much higher than this, why? Please stop.
The usual malaise (ill feeling) ensues if a reaction takes place. Headache, fatigue, nausea, heartburn, skin rash (histamine response to allergens), indigestion, GI distress and diarrhea. So you’ll know if you’ve taken too much. If you experience any of these symptoms try reducing your daily dose. This usually solves the problem quickly.
Expecting mothers, pregnant or nursing women should consult with their physician prior to initiating any supplementation, not just for alpha GPC! Evidence for these groups is currently limited, so be cautious.
Be advised Alpha GPC may interfere with the drug scopolamine which is taken to help nausea and vomiting from motion sickness and from administration of anesthetics.
RECAP OF ALPHA GPC
Alpha GPC improves overall cognitive function by increasing processing speed, responsiveness and memory by elevating the availability of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is prevalent in our body and brain. Keep in mind that this is a simplified view for our purpose.
Mood and mental stamina benefits are likely explained by the elevated choline levels in our blood which are readily usable because they can cross the blood-brain barrier and are stored via a slow release mechanism. So it's like having additional acetylcholine on hand, ready and waiting.
This slow release mechanism allows you to build up levels of alpha GPC and subsequently ACh for a more consistent use over time.
HGH is stimulated by alpha GPC and contributes to a better mood, energy and mental clarity. The physical performance benefits of HGH are also well documented.
Your brain uses choline as a precursor to ACh in which it helps to speed up communication pathways and helps memory by playing a vital role in the hippocampus.
Remember the hippocampus is in that primitive part of our brain, the limbic system and also helps to regulate emotion and spatial awareness.
Where can I buy Nootropics with Alpha GPC.?
You can buy alpha gpc in the supplement aisle of your favorite local health food store, otherwise you can purchase from online retailers like Amazon.
Looking for more than just another nootropic stack? Try MIND, a daily blend of nootropics containing; alpha gpc, grass-fed beef collagen protein, organic greens, and healthy fats that are perfect for on-the-go, lean lifestyles.
If stress and anxiety are a problem for you, consider MEND for its all natural, non drowsy formula. It's also an amazing sleep aid, trust us, you need to try it. These combination of nutrients make up a group of the best nootropics that actually work.