Summary of Alpha-GPC
Primary Information, Benefits, Effects, and Important Facts
Alpha-GPC (Alpha-glycerophosphocholine or sometimes just glycerophosphocholine) is a choline-containing supplement that, although found in a variety of food products that are also rich in choline, appears to be pharmacologically active at higher doses.
Alpha-GPC is mostly marketed due to it conferring dietary choline to the body following oral ingestion, and being the most efficient choline prodrug at doing so (able to influence both systemic and brain concentrations of choline). Due to the provision of the other half of the alpha-GPC molecule (glycerophosphate), alpha-GPC also appears to support the structure of cellular membranes, which is not a common mechanism attributed to choline prodrugs (only CDP-choline is associated with lipid membranes in this sense).
Oral supplementation of alpha-GPC is of interest for nootropic purposes, as it appears to have cognitive-enhancing properties (no human evidence exists to support this in otherwise-healthy youth, but it does have support in rodents) and attenuate the rate of cognitive decline in the elderly. In regards to reducing the rate of cognitive decline, alpha-GPC at high doses (1,200 mg) does appear to be somewhat effective in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and works nicely with the standard therapy (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors).
Athletes are at times interested in alpha-GPC due to its ability to enhance growth hormone production (of which only acute spikes have been reported so far, so it may fall to the same problems that arginine has on growth hormone) and to enhance power output, which has a lone pilot study in support of 600 mg alpha-GPC prior to exercise. Although ergogenic properties of alpha-GPC cannot be ruled out and look promising, it requires more evidence.
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How to TakeMedical Disclaimer
Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details
Alpha-GPC is approximately 40% choline by weight, and as such 1,000 mg alpha-GPC confers about 400 mg of dietary choline.
A standard dosage of alpha-GPC is 300-600 mg, according to the most common label doses. This dose is in accordance with the study using alpha-GPC to enhance power output (600 mg) and the two studies noting an increase in growth hormone secretion, and is likely a good dose to take for athletes.
For the usage of alpha-GPC in attenuating symptoms of cognitive decline, almost all studies use a dosage of 1,200 mg daily, divided into three doses of 400 mg. It is unsure how lower doses would benefit cognition, but the 1,200 mg appears to be consistently associated with benefit.
Rat studies suggest that the effects of alpha-GPC oral ingestion peak at 300-600 mg/kg, which is an estimated human dose of 48-96 mg/kg (and for a 150lb human, 3,272-6,545 mg daily).
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Human Effect Matrix
The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects alpha-gpc has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
|Grade||Level of Evidence [show legend]|
|Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials|
|Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled|
|Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies|
|Uncontrolled or observational studies only|
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
|Notable||- See study|
|Notable||- See study|
|Notable||- See study|
|Minor||- See study|
|Minor||Very High See 2 studies|
|Minor||Moderate See 2 studies|
Studies Excluded from Consideration
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Frequently Asked Questions and Articles on Alpha-GPC
Things to Note
Also Known As
Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, L-alpha-glycerophosphocholin, glycerophosphocholine, L-alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine, Choline Alphoscerate
Goes Well With
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (for any choline-related property, such as attenuating symptoms of Alzheimer's)
Although traditionally known as being nonstimulatory, some persons do report cognitive stimulation with supplemental alpha-GPC.
It may be prudent to take alpha-GPC alongside dietary fatty acids for absorption (due to it being a phospholipid), although this does not appear to be an absolute requirement.
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