Smart Drugs,

#144: Getting to Know Alpha-GPC

September 02, 2016

While many foods are naturally high in choline, there are also tons of choline supplements out there: citicoline (also known as CDP choline), phosphatidylcholine, and alpha-GPC (L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine).

In Episode 144, Jesse and Scott Hagerman (President of Chemi Nutra) focus on alpha-GPC.

Acetylcholine is the Endgame

Choline is an essential precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is a multi-tasker in the brain and body, playing important roles in activating muscles, attention, responsiveness to sensory stimuli, motivation, learning, memory, and REM sleep.

It’s a natural compound and is biosynthesized by the body from foods like eggs and liver are particularly high in choline.  Choline is then turned into acetylcholine.

In the body, acetylcholine engages muscle fiber and controls muscle movement and power output.

In the brain, acetylcholine keeps you motivated, helps you focus, boosts memory, and aids with learning.

Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC by VitaMonk

Alpha GPC capsules contain a dose of 325mg compared to only 300 mg per capsule of our competitors, making it the highest dose of choline available on the market.

An Efficient Source of Choline…

Each form of choline has its strong points, and alpha-GPC has a few unique benefits.

Alpha-GPC is a very efficient source of choline.  It raises the body’s levels of acetylcholine faster and keeps them elevated for longer.

There are two reasons:

  1. From a molecular structure standpoint, it has a high amount of choline by weight.  Each molecule of alpha-GPC is 40% choline, while citicoline, for example, is only about 20%.
  2. Alpha-GPC is a highly “polar” molecule.  This allows it to pass through the blood-brain barrier more easily, making it very bioavailable.

The Weight of Evidence

Although alpha-GPC is prescription-only in some countries, it’s not a synthetic drug.  It’s a natural compound, typically sold in a highly purified capsule form.

Alpha-GPC’s effects extend to both the body and brain.  It promotes synthesis of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), especially when combined with exercise involving the major muscle groups.  Some studies show it to boost physical performance even more than caffeine.

On the cognitive side, it improves memory, focus, and attention.  As Hagerman says, “There’s so much evidence [on the cognitive benefits of alpha-GPC], there’s no reason for us to invest a dime in further studies.”

Taking Alpha-GPC


  • Minimal:  25mg / day
  • Recommended:  200mg / day
  • Clinical use to treat Alzheimer’s:  1000 – 1200mg / day


In longitudinal studies, even the larger doses of 1000mg are safe.  Less than 1% of people experience adverse effects, the most common of which are upset stomach and headache.

It doesn’t negatively affect sleep quality, so there is no need avoid taking it at night.  (Some people do report particularly vivid dreams after taking alpha-GPC.)

How to Take It

Alpha-GPC is odorless, tasteless, stable, and easy to take.  Hagerman suggests mixing it with Kool-Aid for a finished product…

Okay, just kidding about that last one.  But you could if you wanted to.  😉

Read Full Transcript
Show Notes
  • 00:00:22

    What is Alpha-GPC?

  • 00:01:37

    This Week in Neuroscience: ‘Ground Zero’ Brain Region for Alzheimer’s Highlighted

  • 00:04:46

    The audience interaction section

  • 00:08:00

    Intro to Scott Hagerman

  • 00:09:36

    How Scott began working with Alpha-GPC

  • 00:12:10

    Corporate versus academic research

  • 00:14:55

    Why Alpha-GPC?

  • 00:16:44

    Alpha-GPC as a prescription drug for age-related diseases

  • 00:17:22

    Alpha-GPC’s mechanism of action

  • 00:19:37

    How quickly does Alpha-GPC work and how long does it last in the body?

  • 00:21:41

    The highest safe dosages

  • 00:23:13

    Is there an optimal time of day to take Alpha-GPC?

  • 00:23:56

    What Scott would like to see next in Alpha-GPC research

  • 00:26:55

    Cognition studies

  • 00:29:13

    Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: Brief rapamycin therapy in middle-aged mice extends lives

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