A Cholinergic is a term to refer to any compound that can increase levels of acetylcholine or choline in the brain. This is usually reserved for compounds that give the body choline (Choline, Alpha-GPC) or inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine, causing an indirect increase (Huperzine-A).

This page features 4 unique references to scientific papers.


Cholinergics are compounds that, after consumption, increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain.

Increased acetylcholine can lead to improvements in muscle power and contraction, as well as possibly increased reflexes and capacity to learn.

Cholinergics can be subdivided into compounds which produce Choline in the brain which is the substrate for acetylcholine (in which increasing substrate increases synthesis of acetylcholine) or compounds which act on the enzyme of acetylcholine creation (Choline acetyltransferase) and increasing its actions, or by acting on the enzyme of degradation (acetylcholineesterase) and preventing it from degrading choline. Both of which are mechanisms of increasing choline in the brain independent of substrate concentration.

Many cholinergics have individual benefits outside of the classification of cholinergic as well, such as the ability for DMAE to remove lipofuscin build-up in neural tissue and the ability for Choline to reverse or aid fatty liver disease.

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Things To Know

Also Known As

Acetylcholine increasing agent, Cholinergics

Do Not Confuse With

Choline (Choline is the most basic 'cholinergic', but it is only one example in the category)

Examples (List)

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Scientific Support & Reference Citations

Scientific support for each compound can be found vicariously through their respective pages.


  1. Writing Group for the NINDS Exploratory Trials in Parkinson Disease (NET-PD) Investigators, et al Effect of creatine monohydrate on clinical progression in patients with Parkinson disease: a randomized clinical trial . JAMA. (2015)
  2. Taylor MJ1, et al Folate for depressive disorders . Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2003)
  3. Godfrey PS1, et al Enhancement of recovery from psychiatric illness by methylfolate . Lancet. (1990)
  4. Kushwaha S1, Chawla P1, Kochhar A1 Effect of supplementation of drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor) leaves powder on antioxidant profile and oxidative status among postmenopausal women . J Food Sci Technol. (2014)

(Common misspellings for Cholinergic include choline, cholinergc, colinergic, cholinergics)

(Editors who contributed to this page include , )