What is GPC Choline Supplement
Choline is a water-soluble essential nutrient. While the body does produce small amounts of choline, it depends on getting a majority of its needs through foods or dietary supplements.
Choline is often grouped with the B vitamins because of its similar properties and functions, but it is not a vitamin. It is water-soluble, which means it dissolves in water and can be transported throughout the body for use, but is not stored in the body.
Choline was added as an essential nutrient in 1998 and is needed for a healthy nervous system and for brain development.
Benefits and Effects of Choline
Choline plays a necessary role in creating DNA and cell membrane signaling (how cells communicate to start an action) by helping the body to absorb fats. It also helps form tissue within the nervous system and helps maintain the membranes of brain cells.
Choline is necessary to cells to maintain structural integrity and are a precursor to acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain functions.
Choline helps transport fats from liver cells to be used throughout the body. A choline deficiency can cause muscle, a fatty liver and liver damage.
Choline helps maintain your brain and keep you mentally sharp as you age. It helps prevent dementia, memory loss and other age-related signs of cognitive decline. Choline helps maintain levels of acetylcholine in the brain, thus preserving the brain’s plasticity.
It also improves mental energy, focus and concentration.
There has not been a recommended daily allowance (RDA) set for choline. Adequate Intake (AI), as established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine, for adults is 550mg per day for men and breast feeding women; women, 425mg per day; pregnant women, 450mg per day.
The average American diet supplies 200-600mg of choline daily. The daily upper limit of choline is 3,500mg per day as too much choline can be harmful.
Most people in the United States actually are in a below acceptable intake level for choline.
Food Sources for Choline
The best sources of choline involve a meat-based diet. Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs are the best sources of choline. A three ounce serving of beef liver provides the greatest source of choline at 356mg per serving and a hard boiled egg provides 147mg.
However, cruciferous vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains provide non animal-based sources of choline.
A half-cup of roasted soybeans provides 107mg of choline per serving and one cup of Quinoa provides 43mg per serving.
List of foods and mg of choline per serving:
- Beef liver, pan fried, 3 ounces 356mg
- Egg, hard boiled, 1 large egg 147mg
- Beef top round, separable lean only, braised, 3 ounces 117mg
- Soybeans, roasted, ½ cup 107mg
- Chicken breast, roasted, 3 ounces 72mg
- Beef, ground, 93% lean meat, broiled, 3 ounces 72mg
- Fish, cod, Atlantic, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces 71mg
- Mushrooms, shiitake, cooked, ½ cup pieces 58mg
- Potatoes, red, baked, flesh and skin, 1 large potato 57mg
- Wheat germ, toasted, 1 ounce 51mg
- Beans, kidney, canned, ½ cup 45mg
- Quinoa, cooked, 1 cup 43mg
- Milk, 1% fat, 1 cup 43mg
- Yogurt, vanilla, nonfat, 1 cup 38mg
- Brussels sprouts, boiled, ½ cup 32mg
- Broccoli, chopped, boiled, drained, ½ cup 31mg
- Cottage cheese, nonfat, 1 cup 26mg
- Fish, tuna, white, canned in water, drained in solids, 3 ounces 25 mg
- Peanuts, dry roasted, ¼ cup 24mg
- Cauliflower, 1” pieces, boiled, drained, ½ cup 24mg
- Peas, green, boiled, ½ cup 24mg
- Sunflower seeds, oil roasted, ¼ cup 19mg
- Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked, 1 cup 19mg
- Bread, pita, whole wheat, 1 large (6½ inch diameter) 17mg
- Cabbage, boiled, ½ cup 15mg
- Tangerine (mandarin orange), sections, ½ cup 10mg
- Beans, snap, raw, ½ cup 8mg
- Kiwifruit, raw, ½ cup sliced 7mg
- Carrots, raw, chopped, ½ cup 6mg
- Apples, raw, with skin, quartered or chopped, ½ cup 2mg
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, 2015.
While the body is able to produce small amounts of choline in the liver, it depends on getting a majority of its needs through foods. However, not all the choline in foods are even absorbed into the body, so a choline deficiency can happen.
Bodybuilders like to take choline supplements to help delay fatigue when working their muscles. It is even recommended that pregnant and nursing mothers take a choline supplement for better brain development for their child. But choline supplements are also popular among those people looking to increase their brain’s performance.
When taking a choline supplement, it’s best to use supplements created from natural food sources. Two of the most popular choline supplements are CDP Choline and Alpha GPC.
CDP Choline, also known as citicoline or cytidine diphosphate choline, is naturally occurring in the cells of humans and animal organs and tissue.
CDP choline is considered a nootropic because of its ability to enhance memory and protect the brain against memory loss. It also helps provide clarity of thought and increase focus and mental energy.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of CDP Choline, when used as a nootropic, is its ability to enhance and amplify the effects of other nootropics, especially racetams. In fact, stacking choline with racetams not only increases the effect but also helps prevent headaches, a common side effect of racetams.
CDP choline is well tolerated. A typical dose of CDP is 250mg to 1000mg as either a single dose or two doses approximately 12 hours apart.
Alpha GPC, also known as L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alfoscerate, is a chemical that is naturally found in the brain. Occurring naturally in the body, it is only found in small amounts. The supplement form is usually made of an extract from soy lecithin.
Alpha GPC provides essentially the same benefits as CDP and is best taken before bedtime.
It is recommended starting with a single dose of 300-600mg of GPC and building up gradually as desired. A maximum cumulative daily dose of up to 1,200mg is considered safe.
Both the CDP choline and Alpha GPC are excellent choices for a choline supplement and both are readily absorbed into the body.
Choline is well-tolerated at normal levels but higher doses may have side effects such as sweating, a fishy body odor, gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and vomiting.
CDP choline and Alpha GPC supplements have excellent health benefits on their own as they are able to increase energy, improve mood and support a healthy liver and brain.
However, the real power of choline comes in its ability to improve the effects of other nootropics, especially racetams.
Overview of Choline Supplement
Choline is an essential nutrient and is necessary for your body to produce acetylcholine in your brain, so it’s a very good idea to have a choline supplement every day. Plus, choline is like a super charger for any other nootropics that you take.