What is Alpha GPC?
Memory enhancing nootropic, Alpha-GPC, is a natural choline compound derived from soy phospholipids including lecithin. Alpha-GPC is a precursor to acetylcholine as well as phosphatidylcholine.
As one of our major neurotransmitters, acetylcholine is an important chemical messenger responsible for relaying the signals that serve as language between our nerve cells. Alpha-GPC also plays a role in the catabolic recycling of phospholipids.
Alpha GPC and Brain Communication
Neurons can relay information to other neurons using tiny pulses of electricity that must change into chemical neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, in order to cross the gap from one synapse to another. By increasing the brain’s available supply of acetylcholine, alpha gpc seems to have the ability to improve learning and memory by enhancing inter-cellular communication.
Boost Acetylcholine Levels with Alpha-GPC
Alpha gpc quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier much more effectively than most other choline supplements making it a great way to supply your brain with the choline it needs to form acetylcholine quickly.
Alpha GPC Dosage
Alpha-GPC dosage is usually taken orally, either by capsule or in a powder form that you can measure yourself with a milligram scale, and is easily absorbed by the intestinal mucosa.
How much alpha-GPC to take can vary widely, however, the typical range is between 200mg-1500 mg/day. An RDI has not yet been established. Alpha-GPC is sometimes broken up into doses, such as 3 daily doses of 300-400 mg each. Some people like to start with just a single 300 mg dose to access how they are effected over the course of a month or two as it builds up in their system.
The Quality of Your Memories
In the brain’s cortex, a single neuron might have connections to well over 100,000 synapses. Some messages are excitatory while others are inhibitory. The more we think and expose ourselves to enriched environments, the more connections we make. The more we recall those memories, the stronger the memory links become, and the more synapses that will form between neurons…and the more neurotransmitters like acetylcholine will be required to carry out these communications. Different parts of a memory are held in many separate areas of the brain, and strong connections are needed for total memory recall, otherwise we become forgetful and our memories may fade or become selective.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Stroke
As a dietary supplement, Alpha GPC, also known as L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine, can enhance cognitive processes, because it supplies the chemical messengers necessary for nerve cells to relay information. Alpha-gpc may also be a useful treatment in conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease and stroke where nerve damage has occurred.
Alpha-GPC Growth Hormone (hGH)
Studies suggest alpha-GPC increases growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) which may make it beneficial in a variety of applications ranging from stress reduction to anti-aging treatments and even some of the cognitive declines associated with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other disease states.
Further Study Required to Explain Abeta Plaques
However, per usual, further study is needed, and some in vitro studies with vivo and postmortem brains have actually indicated some negative effects of increasing GPC concentrations in the brain as it might play some role in the deposition of Abeta plaques in the phospholipid head-group region of membranes in the brain’s of people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Other substances that break down phospholipids other than alpha-GPC were not found to have the same effects, so it will be interesting to follow the research in upcoming years.
Acetylcholine and Heart Rate
Acetylcholine neurotransmitters also communicate with our muscles, facilitating the coordination of movement. Acetylcholine, for example, is released by the vagus nerves of the parasympathetic nervous system which acts to slow down the heart rate, balancing the effects of norepinephrine which speeds up the rate of cardiac output.
Some Alpha GPC reviews have indicated an improvement in muscle functioning and balance. Alpha gpc is also marketed as a growth hormone, especially among body builders, as a supplement to take to enhance muscle growth and repair. But these growth hormone effects perhaps have the most pronounced benefits in the elderly.
Alpha GPC Side Effects and Toxicity
Negative side effects from alpha-GPC are quite rare, but may include headache, insomnia, nausea, heartburt, and vomiting. If side effects occur, you should decrease or discontinue taking alpha gpc.
Alpha-GPC powder: what does it taste like?
Alpha gpc powder is noticeably sweet. Some people wonder what alpha gpc is supposed to taste like and are surprised to find that the powder form is quite sweet and may even wonder if they have been duped into buying a placebo. Alpha gpc powders are sweet because they contain maltose to prevent moisture absorption, which would otherwise turn the alpha gpc into a sloppy mess because it naturally draws moisture from the air.
What other supplements do people take with alpha-GPC?
Many people like to take piracetam along with alpha-GPC to enhance the nootropic effects of each. Some people may also take phosphatidyl serine, and other mental enhancement products such as neurozyme.
A tiny amount of alpha gpc is found naturally in cow’s milk, as well as cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. Supplements are usually derived from soy phospholipids including lecithin and structurally are made up of choline, phosphate, and glycerol.
Alpha GPC Reviews and Potential Uses
Alpha-GPC is commonly used as a choline supplement to enhance the nootropic benefits of piracetam. It is more expensive than other choline supplements, but it’s ability to cross the blood brain barrier makes it a popular choice among those who can afford it. It seems alpha-gpc has many health claims and individual results will undoubtedly vary, which is to be expected considering no two brains are exactly the same. One long term insomnia sufferer said taking just one 300 mg capsule each day helped her sleep better. While other reviewers have complained of the opposite-that taking alpha-GPC too late in the day can make sleep difficult as they are unable to suspend their conscious awareness. Other claims include the diminishment of grey hair (anti-aging benefits), better balance and coordination, and improved recollection of names and faces. Alpha-GPC may also enhance speaking abilities, improve memory and enhance concentration and focus.