Alpha-GPC (L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine) is a naturally occurring nutrient that is a powerhouse among cholinergic compounds, and is among the best nootropics for memory. When supplemented, it’s been shown raise levels of acetylcholine in the brain1www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/37097922www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0091305791900409.
When compared to citicoline, another strong cholinergic, Alpha-GPC has an even higher rate of bioavailability. Alpha-GPC has been shown to rapidly deliver a large amount of choline across the blood brain barrier, with a much smaller dose. This indicates an even greater potential for acetylcholine synthesis than citicoline3europepmc.org/abstract/med/1428296, which is impressive.
Alpha-GPC has been shown to improve learning and memory in amnesiac rats8https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/00913057919004099https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1574535. In humans, Alpha-GPC supplementation demonstrated “significant enhancements in a wide variety of memory and executive control functions, including working memory (e.g., n-back task), verbal memory and learning (e.g., recall a list of words), and maze pathway learning.”10https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4536529/.
Alpha-GPC is generally touted as being the most efficient at delivering choline to the brain, and is not typically referenced for its other nootropic benefits. However, it does appear to increase levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and gaba66www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2324443267www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8726961. It has also been shown to increase power output by 14% during exercise6http://www.jissn.com/content/5/S1/P15, and even acutely raise levels of human growth hormone6http://www.jissn.com/content/5/S1/P157https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22673596.
Overall, Alpha-GPC is a great alternative to citicoline as it’s cheaper and requires a smaller dose, however it is comparatively understudied and its general nootropic qualities do not appear to be as great as citicoline. However, like citicoline, it provides benefits to learning, memory, and attention, and will reliably raise acetylcholine levels better than any other cholinergic compound.
Where to Purchase Alpha-GPC
Alpha-GPC may be purchased at Nootropics Depot.
I recommend Nootropics Depot because they have been around for a long time and have maintained a solid reputation. They have excellent quality control metrics: they do in-house testing as well as independent 3rd-party testing, and they have certificates of analysis available for all of their products.
In a 1000mg dose, about 400mg is bioavailable. Recommended starting doses are about 150mg up to twice daily. It is best to start small and take larger doses if needed.
The side effects may include GI distress, anxiety, headaches, dizziness and nausea, but these are relatively uncommon.