Choline is a vital part of any cognitive maintenance and enhancement routine. Not only is choline a vital precursor to the learnning and memory neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it’s one of the most important brain nutrients. As if this wasn’t enough to make you check your choline intake, something like 90% of the population is already deficient in choline. Choline deficiency can be detrimental to optimal mental performance and even mood. Choline, though not considered a b-vitamin is closely chemically related to the b-complex of vitamins which serve an ancillary role in neuronal transmission and formation. The best Choline sources are typically CDP choline, Alpha GPC Choline, and Centrophenoxine.
Choline can be derived through the diet or in supplemental form. Dietary choline is often found in fish, eggs, soy and to a great degree in lecithin (which is found in soy, eggs and dairy). One of the highest quality choline sources is Alpha GPC (l-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine). Long name for what is basically just a very highly refined form of lecithin. In addition to being a precursor to acetylcholine it has a number of added benefits. Part of the magic of Alpha GPC is it’s bio-availability. It is readily absorbed through the blood-brain barrier.
Unlike choline bitartrate or choline citrate (more expensive but lower quality choline sources). Since choline is water soluble, the body can’t build up stores of it in fat so it must be continually ingested as it’s used by the brain. Choline on it’s own doesn’t have any stand-alone nootropic properties. Alpha GPC on the other hand has shown a parity with piracetam used without a choline source.
Certain studies suggest that boost in mood, increased endurance and strength output may be an added boon. As a result, it may be a suitable adjunct to a workout or strength training regimen. Acetylcholine, in addition to being a central compound involved in the brain’s memory consolidation, storage and recall processes (and as a result learning tasks in general) is involved in muscle contraction.
Fine motor movements, and the contraction of muscles is dependent on cascading of acetylcholine (the electro-chemical reaction set into play by acetylcholine). GPC may also stimulate human growth hormone release. Alpha GPC’s pituitary action should allow for development of muscle mass to be built more quickly. As if all this wasn’t enough, it can even be a detoxifying supplement as well as lowering cholesterol levels in the liver. As a liver cleanser, GPC could be especially helpful for those who are suffering from Diabetes or who have had some liver damage due to alcohol abuse.
Benefits and Research on Choline
Alpha GPC, like the structurally related b-vitamins, is necessary for nerve formation and healthy nervous system function. The brain itself is composed of fatty material, phosphatidyl-choline and phosphatidyl serine, so the fatty, phospho-lipid GPC, the b-complex and our gray matter itself are very closely related physically. Speaking of lipidinous, be careful with GPC as a supplement. Pure GPC is highly hygroscopic, which means it picks up moisture from the air. If it isn’t combined with an excipient substance then it turns to an oily mess in room temperature at exposure to normal humidity conditions. Due to this, often you will find GPC sold in a 50% formulation. Pure GPC can even slowly degrade capsules once it turns to an oil.
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Choline itself is an essential nutrient and possesses no side effects or interactions. The most common negative effects reported would be some gastric distress possible with too high doses but in excess amounts choline may also have a negative effect on mood despite being somewhat anti-depressant in recommended doses. Always exercise healthy supplementation procedures. Minimum effective dosing and following guidelines for suggested use are recommended for this and all other cognitive enhancers.
Even if you’re just planning on switching to a high choline diet, make sure to check with your primary care practitioner. Any alteration of your diet, exercise regimen or supplementation routine should be run by your doctor especially if you’re currently under a physician’s care or taking any over the counter or prescription supplements for any preexisting condition.
*Disclaimer: Statements found within have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult a physician if you are unsure about taking a new supplement. Do not take this supplement if you are under 18, if you are pregnant, nursing, or have any cardiovascular issues. Scientific studies cited are not conclusive and have limitations, due to of their closed environment nature. Referenced studies will not necessarily determine your experience with a supplement, since there are many unaccounted variables, which fall outside the scope of the studies. All refunds must be brought to our attention within 7 days of delivery in order to be considered for reimbursement