Alpha-GPC is a water-soluble, all-natural compound that is found both within the human body and a number of foods and plants, such as milk, organ meats, wheat germ, and soy. University studies have demonstrated that supplementation with A-GPC can give athletes a powerful boost in their isometric strength, and in Europe, high doses of prescription-strength Alpha-GPC is often used to treat patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
What Is Alpha-GPC?
Alpha-GPC, also known as alpha-glycerophosphocholine, A-GPC, or glycerophosphocholine is a natural compound known as a nootropic - a.k.a. a 'smart drug'.
Nootropics are synthetic drugs and naturally-occurring compounds that have been shown to improve cognitive functioning by enhancing the amount of Choline in the brain. Choline is converted into a neurotransmitter known as acetycholine, which is critical for cognitive functions related to memory.
As people age, Choline stores are depleted - this results in a natural deterioration of cognitive skills. Alpha-GPC supplements may help to replace diminishing levels of Choline in the brain, helping to both prevent the onset of age-related cognitive decline and treat conditions that are linked to low Choline levels.
Alpha-GPC also stimulates the natural production of human growth hormone, and some users report feeling more mentally alert while taking Alpha-GPC products.
Recommended Dosages and Side Effects
There are currently no standardized recommended dosages available from the FDA or any other government agency, therefore, people who are interested in taking Alpha-GPC should consult with their doctor and follow the dosage directions provided by the supplement manufacturer.
Generally speaking, most Alpha-GPC producers recommend that healthy adults take 250mg to 600 mg per day, however, some users report taking 1000mg or more daily, especially when combining Alpha-GPC in a 'nootropic stack' - a combination of compounds designed to enhance the positive effects of each specific ingredient.
In Europe, Alpha-GPC is sold as a prescription medication in both oral tablets and injectibles, with doses of 1200 mg daily used to treat Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and dementia.
It's important to note that because Alpha-GPC impacts neurotransmitters, it's effects may be heightened, diminished, or otherwise altered when taken in combination with other medications that have a similar effect on the brain and nervous system.
There are reports that the anti-nausea prescription drug Scopolamine (Transderm Scop) can act against the primary action of Alpha-GPC; this is due to the fact that Scopolamine works by blocking the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, thereby counter-acting the Acetylcholine-boosting properties of A-GPC. As a result, taking Alpha-GPC while using Scopolamine may diminish the desired effects of both substances.
At this time, there is no research available to demonstrate whether or not Alpha-GPC is safe for use during pregnancy.
Products That Contain Alpha-GPC
A number of Alpha-GPC products are available in a variety of forms, including vegetarian-friendly capsules, softgels, and powders, including:
Double Wood Supplements Alpha-GPC - 300 mg capsules (made in the USA)
Life Extension Cognitex (with 600 mg Alpha-GPC per 3 capsule dose) - Softgels (also contains Gastrodin, Phosphatidylserine, Grape seed extract, and Vinpocetine
Powder City 50% Alpha-GPC Powder - 300 mg Alpha-GPC per serving (contains Silicon Dioxide)
Now Foods Alpha GCP - 300 mg veg capsules (also contains Soy, silica, stearic acid)
VitaMonk Alpha GCP - 325 mg capsules (also contains rice flour, vegetable cellulose, talc, silicon dioxide)