Alpha-GPC for Cognition + Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

Alpha GPC

Alpha-GPC for Cognition + Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects
Alpha GPC is the common name for L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine, a cholinergic nootropic that occurs naturally but can also be taken as a supplement.

Alpha GPC is best known for quickly and reliably delivering choline to the brain for the creation of the cognition-boosting neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

It has powerful benefits for both brain and body and may enhance the full range of cognitive functions, promote cellular health, and help maintain essential neurochemical balance in the brain.

Alpha GPC is naturally present in the body in small amounts, and it is also commercially manufactured as a supplement using purified soy lecithin.

Though there are a few dietary sources of alpha GPC (most notably, dairy products, organ meats, and wheat germ), studies show that it only becomes pharmacologically active at high concentrations that are only attainable via supplementation.

Alpha GPC is available without a prescription as a dietary supplement in the US and Canada. In some European countries, it is regulated as a prescription drug and used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Benefits and Effects of Alpha GPC

Alpha GPC is well known for its positive physical and mental effects, both when taken alone and in combination with other nootropics. Though many of its benefits are cognition-oriented and related to its cholinergic properties, it has also been shown to promote physical health and muscular strength.

Improved Memory and Enhanced Cognition

Alpha GPC’s ability to increase choline levels makes it an effective cognition enhancer, facilitating production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

This capability makes it of particular value in the treatment of memory loss and cognition deficits related to neurological disorders.

Extensive clinical trials involving thousands of participants have shown it to be an effective treatment for memory loss associated with a variety of age-related disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and stroke.

In Russia and some European countries, it is available as an oral or injectable prescription treatment for Alzheimer’s, sold under the brand names Gliatilin and Delecit and used to enhance memory, improve cognitive function, and help restore and maintain biochemical balance in the brain.

It is also prescribed to treat memory loss and cognition impairment related to stroke, traumatic brain injury, and dementia.

Though most research has focused on age-related memory loss, alpha GPC’s memory benefits don’t seem to be limited to the elderly. In a study involving 32 healthy young volunteers, alpha GPC effectively restored memory following temporary chemically-induced amnesia.

Anecdotal experience reports affirm that alpha GPC is an effective nootropic that provides a powerful cognitive boost, along with increased energy and motivation.


Alpha GPC has been shown to protect and support overall brain health by encouraging the development of new brain cells and enhancing the body’s ability to repair damaged cell membranes.

Research using animal models of vascular dementia show that alpha GPC had a measurable neuroprotective effect.

Other studies indicate it may also have neuroprotective anti-aging capabilities.

Increased Strength and Rapid Post-Workout Recovery

Alpha GPC’s ability to stimulate the production human growth hormone has not been extensively studied, but some believe it may improve capacity to build lean muscle mass and recover more quickly after a workout.

A pilot study indicated that a 600 mg dose of alpha GPC, taken 90 minutes before bench pressing, increased power by 14%.

Another small study involving eight healthy young men under 25 showed that a single dose of alpha GPC increased growth hormone secretion and hepatic fat oxidation, both of which are associated with increased energy and reduced recovery time.

How It Works

Alpha GPC’s mechanisms of action have been extensively studied and are well understood, though the manner in which it affects some neuronal functions remains unclear.

Alpha GPC is structurally classified as a phosphatidylcholine, a lecithin phospholipid with a choline attachment. Choline is essential for the brain’s production of acetylcholine, the “learning neurotransmitter” that is crucial to all aspects of cognition, and this function is at the heart of alpha GPC’s nootropic properties.

A water-soluble supplement, alpha GPC is both fast acting and highly bioavailable when taken orally. It crosses the blood-brain barrier soon after ingestion, and most users notice effects within an hour. Each molecule of alpha GPC is made up of about 40% choline, which it delivers directly to the brain.

Alpha GPC’s ability to cross the blood-brain border makes it a particularly efficient cholinergic, surpassing other cholinergics and even choline itself at increasing circulating levels of choline in the central nervous system.

It has also been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are important in the regulation of mood, energy, and motivation.

Alpha GPC also increases phosphatidylcholine levels throughout the body, which promotes strong cell structure, supports nerve signaling, and helps maintain the brain’s neurochemical balance.

Low levels of phosphatidylcholine are associated with neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and schizophrenia.


The recommended dosage for alpha GPC, studies on its use in alleviating cognitive decline, is 1200 mg daily, divided into three doses of 400 mg.

This is also the dosing recommendation for Glilitin, the Russian prescription form of alpha GPC.

For most adults the range of acceptable dosage is fairly wide; cumulative daily dosage of 300–1200 mg taken in one to three doses has been documented as safe and effective.

Alpha GPC is generally well tolerated when taken at recommended dosages.

As is the case with all supplements, it is wise to start with the lowest possible effective dose and build up gradually as needed.


Alpha GPC is an excellent choline source for use in stacks with other nootropics, particularly the racetams.

Alpha GPC, Noopept, Aniracetam Stack

Here’s an example of an alpha GPC stack that includes the popular nootropic Noopept and a racetam, aniracetam. This stack is designed for overall cognitive enhancement.

Review our article on how to create a nootropic stack for a general primer on basic combinations, ratios, and tips on designing your own nootropic stack.

Side Effects

While alpha GPC is both safe and well tolerated in healthy adults, some side effects have been reported.

Users have occasionally experienced headaches, fatigue, nervousness, nausea, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal distress.

Supplementing with alpha GPC may also result in dizziness and low blood pressure in some individuals; if you are prone to hypotension, you should consult a medical professional before taking alpha GPC.

Though no overdoses have been documented, adverse side effects are more commonly reported among users taking high dosages.

Alpha GPC is known to interact with scopolamine, which is used to treat motion sickness, post-operative nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Those using scopolamine are advised to consult a physician before taking alpha GPC.

Little research has been done on alpha GPC’s effects on pregnant women, so those who are pregnant or nursing are advised to refrain from use.

Where to Buy

You can buy can alpha GPC from, our recommended supplier of nootropic supplements.

Alternatively, you can purchase alpha GPC on Amazon. We recommend the following brand for their high-quality products:

  • Double Wood Supplements Alpha GPC Capsules

Closing Thoughts

Alpha GPC is a safe, well-tolerated, and highly effective nootropic.

It’s been the subject of decades of research and is recognized worldwide as a powerful memory enhancer, prescribed by physicians throughout Europe and Russia for a variety of memory and cognitive disorders.

Studies show that it’s also a neuroprotectant that helps maintain the biochemical balance of the brain. It promotes the production of human growth hormone, which may improve strength, shorten recovery time following exercise, and encourage the building of lean muscle mass.

If you’re interested in a supplement that’s affordable, readily available, and has well-documented benefits for both brain and body, alpha GPC supplementation may be worth a try.

Alpha GPC was last modified: April 8th, 2019 by Research Team

Planning to start a new supplementation regimen? See our medical disclaimer.

This page was last updated on April 8, 2019.


Alpha GPC Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects | Onnit Academy

Alpha-GPC for Cognition + Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

Alpha GPC or Alpha-glycerophosphocholine (aGPC), as the name implies, is a choline-containing phospholipid isolated from soy. A wealth of research on this compound supports a role for enhancing cognitive function, increasing strength and stimulating the release of growth hormone.

Alpha GPC contains a lipid tail that permits the uptake and incorporation into neuronal cell membranes. The membrane-bound choline molecule supplies the necessary and rate limiting compound for acetylcholine neurotransmitter synthesis.

Though found both within the central and peripheral nervous system, cholinergic neurotransmission is the cornerstone for memory formation that takes place in a specialized brain region known as the hippocampus.

The Benefits Of Regular Alpha GPC Intake

Studies in animal models and humans taking place since the 1990’s have shown administration of aGPC improves memory performance [1]. One of the early human studies on aGPC attempted to replicate trials performed previously in animals.

The study gave subjects ten days of aGPC or placebo before inducing temporary amnesia with a potent drug called scopolamine [2]. AGPC supplementation reduced the scopolamine-induced memory impairments as measured by subjects performed on memory and attention tasks.

Since this study, aGPC has become a focus of research age-related memory decline as well as other causes of memory dysfunction [3]. An interesting study that added aGPC to commonly prescribed memory drug most similar in effect to huperzine A (an Alpha BRAIN ingredient) showed the additional benefit wasn’t with the drug alone [4].

Recent studies on aGPC have shown a potential benefit to athletic performance. A Japanese study investigated the effects of a single dose of aGCP on hormone release in healthy young males. Surprisingly a single dose of aGCP resulted in a substantial change in growth hormone release within one hour.

At 60 minutes, growth hormone levels acute increased by 290% from the baseline hormone level and returned to baseline by the second hour [5].

Also observed, was the growth hormone’s actions of increasing fatty acid oxidation, as indicated by rises in free fatty acids and ketone bodies.

The authors proposed that the increase in circulating choline may briefly block the negative feedback mechanism governing GH release.

Short supplementation periods of 6 days have been shown to improve strength in college-aged athletes directly. A study conducted at the University of Louisianna used a crossover design that measured the force generated in deadlift and bench press style movements.

The study found a significant increase of 3% improvement in lower body strength with aGPC supplementation [6]. The study cited the previous research of cholinergic transmission at neural-muscular as a potential mechanism, however, did not have direct evidence for the mechanism leading to improved strength.

The cumulative evidence from animal model and human studies support the role of aGPC as a well tolerated cognitive enhancing compound with ergogenic properties [7]. The soy lecithin isolate contains a phospholipid that permits incorporation into neuronal cell membranes and utilization as a cholinergic neurotransmitter precursor.

Associated with the increase in circulating choline levels was a transient elevation in growth hormone. Even a short period of supplementation with aGPC proved to be beneficial to muscle strength

Alpha GPC is approximately 40% choline by weight, and as such 1,000 mg alpha-GPC confers about 400 mg of dietary choline. A standard dosage of alpha-GPC is 300-600 mg, according to the most common label doses.

This dose is following the study using alpha-GPC to enhance power output (600 mg) and the two studies noting an increase in growth hormone secretion and is ly a good dose to take for athletes.

For the usage of alpha-GPC in attenuating symptoms of cognitive decline, almost all studies use a dosage of 1,200 mg daily, divided into three doses of 400 mg. It is unsure how lower doses would benefit cognition, but the dose which is consistently associated with benefit .appears to be 1,200 mg.

Rat studies suggest that the effects of Alpha-GPC oral ingestion peak at 300-600 mg/kg, which is an estimated human dose of 48-96 mg/kg (and for a 150lb human, 3,272-6,545 mg daily).

For nootropic stack use, we recommend a dose of 300-600 mg to start out and then to increase from there if you decide you would benefit from more.

When taken at recommended dosages Alpha GPC is well tolerated. For most adults the range of acceptable dosage is relatively broad; a cumulative daily dosage of 300-1200 mg, when taken in one or two doses, is safe and efficient.

As is the case with all supplements, it is wise to start with the lowest possible effective dose and build gradually as needed.

Side Effects of Alpha GPC

Although, Alpha GPC is both safe and well tolerated in healthy adults,  side effects have been reported.

Users have occasionally experienced headaches, fatigue, nervousness, nausea, diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress; also, this supplement can result in dizziness and low blood pressure in some individuals.

If you know, you are prone to hypotension you should consult a medical professional before taking Alpha GPC.

Adverse side effects may occur more commonly among users taking high dosages.

Little research has been done on Alpha GPC’s effects on pregnant women, so those who are pregnant or nursing are advised to refrain from use.

Conclusion & Summary on GPC

Alpha GPC is a safe, well-tolerated, and highly effective source of choline. It has been the subject of decades of research and is recognized worldwide as a powerful memory enhancer, prescribed by physicians throughout Europe for a variety of memory disorders.

In addition to being a potent nootropic in its right, Alpha GPC is also a perfect addition to many other supplements, particularly those the racetams which depend on a sufficiency of choline in order to achieve optimal results.

It also stimulates the production of HGH, which can improve strength, and shorten recovery time following exertion, and encourage the building of lean muscle mass, making it an invaluable supplement for athletes or anyone with an active lifestyle.

For anyone who is interested in improving their memory, physical strength and vitality, or achieving the best results possible with nootropic supplements, Alpha GPC is an excellent choice.


1. Klein J, Gonzalez R, Köppen A, Löffelholz K. Free choline and choline metabolites in rat brain and body fluids: sensitive determination and implications for choline supply to the brain. Neurochem Int. 1993;22(3):293-300.

2. Canal N, Franceschi M, Alberoni M, Castiglioni C, De moliner P, Longoni A. Effect of L-alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine on amnesia caused by scopolamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 1991;29(3):103-7.

3. Parnetti L, Amenta F, Gallai V. Choline alphoscerate in cognitive decline and in acute cerebrovascular disease: an analysis of published clinical data. Mech Ageing Dev. 2001;122(16):2041-55.

4. Amenta F, Carotenuto A, Fasanaro AM, Rea R, Traini E. The ASCOMALVA trial: association between the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil and the cholinergic precursor choline alphoscerate in Alzheimer’s disease with cerebrovascular injury: interim results. J Neurol Sci. 2012;322(1-2):96-101.

5. Kawamura T, Okubo T, Sato K, et al. Glycerophosphocholine enhances growth hormone secretion and fat oxidation in young adults. Nutrition. 2012;28(11-12):1122-6.

6. Kawamura T, Okubo T, Sato K, et al. Glycerophosphocholine enhances growth hormone secretion and fat oxidation in young adults. Nutrition. 2012;28(11-12):1122-6.

7. Traini E, Bramanti V, Amenta F. Choline alphoscerate (alpha-glyceryl-phosphoryl-choline) an old choline- containing phospholipid with a still interesting profile as cognition enhancing agent. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2013;10(10):1070-9.


Alpha GPC: Benefits, Dosage, Possible Side Effects | Using Alpha GPC For Bodybuilding –

Alpha-GPC for Cognition + Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

Some Alpha GPC reviews claim that this easily obtainable supplement is a miracle. It can help with bodybuilding muscle gains, increased energy levels, improved cognition, and at higher doses can even be a mild nootropic.

Well, that’s an incredible list of claims for something so basic. So what actually is Alpha GPC, and how does it work in the body to potentially produce these effects?

Although it’s found in natural sources, it’s at higher doses that it does seem to produce a range of Alpha GPC benefits as we have just stated. So let’s take a look at them in detail, and also see if there are any side effects, talk about dosage, and tell you where to buy Alpha GPC.

What Is Alpha GPC?

Alpha GPC (L-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine) is a choline-containing phospholipid, a molecule that acts as a choline pro-drug. It’s also a precursor to both acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine in the body.

It’s naturally occurring, but not produced in the human body. Its’ present in eggs, some red meats, and other organ tissues, but it’s actually quite rare to ingest from natural sources. The highest natural concentration in foods appears to be beef liver, which has a concentration of 78 mg per 100 grams of mass.

So most Alpha GPC out there is actually synthetically made, hence why people buy Alpha GPC supplements. Synthetically, it’s made from egg or soy.

How Does Alpha GPC Work?

Alpha GPC works by rapidly crossing the blood-brain barrier and delivering a significant increase in levels of choline into the brain and body.

So Alpha GPC helps to:

  • Increase levels of choline in the body (blood and brain)
  • Is a precursor to both acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine
  • Can increase dopamine and serotonin levels

At the heart of how Alpha GPC can increase cognitive functions, it increases levels of acetylcholine, which can improve several key aspects of our learning abilities.

Interestingly, it’s successfully been used the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as by people recovering from strokes, and helping to stall the onset of effects of dementia.

Alpha GPC Benefits Explained

The key potential Alpha GPC benefits you can experience over time include

  • Improved brain health
  • Better cognitive performance
  • Improved muscle availability, maintenance, and growth
  • Improved energy levels
  • Better mood and motivation

In addition to all that, there is evidence that Alpha GPC helps to increase the production of HGH (the human growth hormone). When combined with increased exercise levels, which you will achieve through better motivation and mood alongside your muscles being sparked into action more easily, you really can increase muscle gains above natural levels.

Cognitively, Alpha GPC can improve your memory retention and recall, your focus, attention span and speed of thought. That’s exactly why it’s used by so many people as a nootropic, both on its own, and stacking Alpha GPC alongside other nootropics.

In fact, many people stack Alpha GPC because it introduces choline rapidly into the body. Many nootropics use up the body’s natural supply of choline rapidly, which gives headaches and a diminished performance the day after taking them.  Alpha GPC can introduce choline, and have its own smart drug benefits, making it perfect to stack.

Alpha GPC Dosage

To get this fantastic range of potential Alpha GPC benefits, what sort of dosage should you be taking?

Well, this is where things become problematic. There have been no clinical studies that have ever been completed into the cognitive benefits of Alpha GPC in healthy humans.

Studies have been conducted into the treatment of Alzheimer’s using Alpha GPC, which have shown an improvement in the condition, but at a high dose. In the studies I’ve seen, you are talking about the dose of around 1200-1500 mg per day.

Other studies have shown a dose of around 600 mg per day, while the average supplement consists of a dose of around 200-400 mg per capsule.

For me, I’d just start with a single capsule per day, around 300 mg. But anything up to 600 mg per day seems to be completely safe, so you could double up on capsules after a few weeks if you want to.

Alpha GPC Side Effects

So do all these fantastic benefits come at a price of negative side effects? Well, within the normal dosage range the evidence is that there are very few side effects. Long-term, no negative side effects have yet been recorded.

However, at higher doses, some people do report nausea, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, and minor skin rashes. But in the studies on humans, only around 1% of people experienced the side effects, and that was in the Alzheimer’s trials where they were taking doses of up to 1500 mg every day, for months on end.

Alpha GPC has no effects on sleep patterns, this was definitely proven in human trials, as well as in a multitude of animal trials. So you can take it as a supplement and suffer no ill effects from sleep either.

But it’s best used as a supplement taken in the morning, every day, to elevate levels of acetylcholine in your body.

CDP Choline Vs Alpha GPC

One thing to make clear here is that you shouldn’t get confused between the different types of choline, known as cholinergic supplements. Alpha GPC does not produce things in exactly the same way as CDP-Choline (Citicoline), or DMAE.

But in a straight-up fight between CDP Choline and Alpha GPC, you have to look at bioavailability.

CDP Choline contains 18% choline and doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier effectively. Alpha GPC contains a 40% choline and crosses the blood-brain barrier with ease.

However, that’s not the whole story. CDP Choline also contains Cytidine, a precursor to nucleotide uridine. This is a key element of neural connectivity, helping us to think faster. So in terms of nootropic effects, it’s not just about the choline levels.

But if you’re looking to just benefit from the best supplement to cross the blood-brain barrier with as much choline as possible, then Alpha GPC is definitely the better choice.

Using Alpha GPC For Bodybuilding

The key reason why some people are looking to get Alpha GPC bodybuilding benefits is the fact that it produces acetylcholine in greater quantities.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that motor neurons in the central nervous system use to influence muscle use and power output. In the brain, the same chemical can help with motivation, alongside Alpha GPC allowing a slight increase in the production of serotonin and dopamine, the reward chemical.

So you can see exactly why some people use a good quality Alpha GPC supplement for bodybuilding. It appears that physically and mentally, Alpha GPC benefits can really help people looking to improve their physique.

Evidence is not clear on the effects of Alpha GPC on bodybuilding, but one study in a US college was done with a daily dose of 600 mg for six weeks. After just six days, improvements were seen in baseline strength. However, we just don’t know how much of that was just natural strength and stamina gains from the increased exercise levels.

Where To Buy Alpha GPC Supplements

Alpha GPC is actually a problematic supplement to buy. If you want to experience Alpha GPC benefits, then you need high-quality Alpha GPC that is 100% available, so that it can release up to 40% choline through the blood-brain barrier.

However, what many Alpha GPC reviews don’t mention is that it breaks down rapidly when it comes into contact with oxygen.

In fact, Alpha GPC degrades at such a rate when oxygenated that within a few hours it can be completely destroyed. So you have to make sure that you buy properly constructed capsules, and that you store the product in an airtight container after you’ve bought it.

One of the few places I’ve found in the USA that sells guaranteed quality Alpha GPC is Absorb Health. The first thing I want to point out is that the latest certificate of analysis from an independent lab is always published on the product page. That way you know that you are getting pure Alpha GPC.

For just $20.99 (current price, it’s usually $25.99), you will get 60 capsules. Each capsule is 250 mg.

So you’re getting two months supply at 250 mg, or one month supply at 500 mg per day for just 20 bucks. To me, that’s an awesome deal, and within a couple of months, you’ll know you are benefiting from using Alpha GPC.

Absorb Health also sell a range of other supplements and smart drugs which are brilliant on their own, both in terms of quality and value, and to stack alongside Alpha GPC.

If you want to experiment with stacking Alpha GPC, then you can buy something called the “All-star pack“, which for just $99.99 will get you full product capsule containers of:

  • Adrafinil
  • Sulbutiamine
  • Alpha GPC
  • Noopept.

So there you go, Alpha GPC reviews are accurate, it can help with bodybuilding, cognitive benefits, and as long as you know where to buy Alpha GPC that is pure quality and well stored, you can benefit from long-term gains at a very reasonable price.


Alpha-GPC for Cognition + Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

Alpha-GPC for Cognition + Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

Alpha-GPC is a crucial component for the brain and a popular nootropic supplement. It may boost mental and physical performance and supply choline to protect the nerves. Still, clinical research supports only a fraction of promoted supplementation benefits. Read on to learn everything about alpha-GPC.

What is Alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC (L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alphoscerate) is a phospholipid essential for brain health. It provides choline for cell membranes and myelin production, and thus nourishes the nervous system [1, 2].

Choline from alpha-GPC also builds acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that maintains your cognitive and muscle functions [2, 3].

Natural sources contain only trace amounts of alpha-GCP, but your body can make it from choline. Foods rich in choline include [4, 5]:

  • Beef liver
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Whole grains
  • Soybean

In some European countries, alpha-GPC is a prescription drug for Alzheimer’s disease (Gliatilin, Delecit). In the US, it’s sold as a dietary supplement for memory enhancement. Supplement and drug manufacturers usually derive alpha-GPC from egg or soy lecithin [6, 7].


  • Boosts cognition
  • Helps with dementia
  • Enhances athletic performance
  • May support stroke recovery


  • May cause headaches and digestive issues
  • May increase irritability
  • Not safe for children and pregnant women

CDP-Choline vs. Alpha-GPC

Let’s start with the basics. CDP-choline or citicoline is made of choline (with two phosphate groups) and cytidine, while alpha-GPC is made of choline (with one phosphate group) and glycerol. This may sound pretty similar, but it gives rise to some interesting, distinct effects in the body [8].

For one, alpha-GPC raises choline blood levels to a greater extent than CDP-choline. As a result, it has a more powerful impact on age-related cognitive decline and physical performance. Secondly, alpha-GPC may stimulate fat burning and growth hormone production, giving it an edge over CDP-choline among bodybuilders [9, 10, 11, 12, 13].

On the other hand, CDP-choline is essential for the production of phosphatidylcholine. It has a broader range of active metabolites and potential benefits on mental health [14, 15, 16].

1) Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

Older people often suffer from progressive cognitive decline and memory loss (dementia). The causes range from brain damage to poor blood flow to many others.

Comprehensive reviews looked at the effects of alpha-GPC in over 20 clinical trials and 4,000 older people with dementia.

Each one confirmed alpha-GPC’s potential to shield the brain and prevent cognitive decline, independent of the cause. It also improved attention and memory better than choline or lecithin without any significant side effects [21, 3, 1, 22, 10].

Scientists examined its brain-protective and nootropic effects in animal trials. In rats, alpha-GPC enhanced mental performance and reduced cognitive decline caused by [23, 24, 25, 26, 27]:

  • Brain damage
  • Poor blood supply
  • Seizures

Alzheimer’s Disease

In Alzheimer’s disease, bundles of mutated proteins kill neurons and deplete acetylcholine, causing an array of cognitive issues [28].

In a clinical trial of 260 patients, alpha-GPC improved all symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. In another trial of 113 patients, it boosted the effects of standard treatment (donepezil) [29, 30].

Younger people use alpha-GPC for its supposed nootropic (cognition-enhancing) effects. The above effects may justify such uses, but clinical trials haven’t tested pro-cognitive effects of alpha-GPC in young adults.

2) Athletic Performance

Alpha-GPC has gained popularity among weightlifters, athletes, and bodybuilders due to its supposed ergogenic properties.

In two studies on 61 young men, alpha-GPC (250 – 600 mg) improved speed, power, and pull force. Interestingly, it had stronger effects on the lower body [11, 31].

Lower doses of alpha-GCP (200 mg) enhanced vertical jump power by 8.5% in 22 people [32].

In seven male volunteers, pre-workout supplementation with alpha-GPC (600 mg) caused a staggering 44-times spike in growth hormone (short-term). It delivered a 14% higher bench press force but didn’t impact power or recovery [33].

Two more trials confirmed that alpha-GPC may boost growth hormone (GH) production and fat burning. But its effects on GH were temporary and more pronounced in the elderly [13, 34].

Insufficient Evidence:

No valid clinical evidence supports the use of alpha-GPC for any of the conditions in this section. Below is a summary of up-to-date animal studies, cell-based research, or low-quality clinical trials which should spark further investigation. However, you shouldn’t interpret them as supportive of any health benefit.

3) Stroke Recovery

According to a review of three clinical trials with 2,500 stroke survivors, alpha-GPC can help recover mental functions after a stroke. It improved cognition in up to 70% of the cases [10, 35].

However, these studies lacked control groups, so we should wait for stronger clinical evidence before jumping to conclusions.

4) Eyesight

Ocular ischemic syndrome occurs when plaque (atherosclerosis) clogs tiny blood vessels in the eye, causing pain and vision loss [36].

In 51 patients with ocular ischemic syndrome, the addition of alpha-GPC to standard therapy [37]:

  • Helped recover the retina
  • Improved blood flow to the eyes
  • Sharpened vision

We need stronger clinical evidence to confirm the benefits of alpha-GPC for eyesight.

Animal Research (Lacking Evidence)

No clinical evidence supports the use of alpha-GPC for the condition listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal research, which should guide further investigational efforts but should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.

5) Radioprotection

Radiotherapy is a typical part of cancer treatment, but it can cause significant side effects by damaging healthy tissue. In rats with brain tumors, researchers observed the ability of alpha-GPC to reduce brain damage and cognitive impairment caused by radiation [38, 39].

Alpha-GPC also shielded zebrafish embryos against radiation. It blocked chief inflammatory molecules (IL-1B and NF-κB), prevented mutations, and improved survival [40].

Did you know? Zebrafish have many genes in common with humans and are often used in cancer research.

Given the current challenges with radiation therapy, clinical trials should investigate the potential radioprotective effects of alpha-GPC.

Side Effects & Safety

Alpha-GPC was safe in all clinical trials. In a fraction of patients, it caused mild side effects such as [35, 29, 11, 37]:

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Headache

In safety studies on dogs and rats, megadoses (up to 3,000 mg/kg) only slightly reduced the animals’ activity. Researchers concluded that long-term (26 weeks) alpha-GCP consumption of 150 mg/kg (over 10 g daily for adult men) bears no health risks [41].

Due to the lack of safety data, children and pregnant women may want to avoid alpha-GPC.

Alpha-GPC Dosage & Supplements

The below doses may not apply to you personally. If your doctor suggests using alpha-GPC, work with them to find the optimal dosage according to your health condition and other factors.

In clinical studies, alpha-GPC dosage ranged from 250 to 1,200mg/day. Here’s a breakdown of the dosing regimens:

  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: 400 mg, 3X daily for 6 – 12 months [29, 30]
  • Stroke recovery: 1,000 mg daily for 1 month (as injections) [35]
    • 400 mg orally, 3X daily for 5 months afterward
  • Athletic performance: 250 mg daily for 1 week [11]
    • 600 mg daily for 1 – 6 days [33, 31]
  • Eyesight: 400 mg, 2X daily for 2 months [37]

According to anecdotal evidence, the dosage for nootropic effects ranges from 400 to 1,200 mg/day, but no studies have confirmed this. You might want to start on the lower end and track your response.


Alpha-GPC supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use. In general, regulatory bodies aren’t assuring the quality, safety, and efficacy of supplements. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.

Most alpha-GPC products contain pills with 300 mg of the active component. Vegan pills and alpha-GPC powder are also available.

A supplement called Alpha Brain contains a mixture of alpha-GPC and stimulating herbal extracts, amino acids, and vitamins. However, they don’t state the alpha-PGC content on the label (see its reviews below).

User Reviews

The opinions expressed in this section are solely from the users who may or may not have a medical background. SelfDecode does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider user experiences as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on SelfDecode.

The elderly take alpha-GPC supplements to improve memory loss and other cognitive issues. Younger people cherish their supposed effects on focus, mental clarity, and physical endurance.

Most alpha-GPC reviews are positive, though some users report no cognitive improvement. The most common side effect is headaches, followed by nausea and heartburn. Some users describe it as “too stimulating”, especially in higher doses.

“Alpha Brain” has more negative reviews, and many consumers complain about side effects such as severe nausea, trembling, and confusion.

Additional Tips

Some brands produce alpha-GPC from soybean. Read the labels carefully and avoid such products if you have a soy allergy. GMO crops are another potential issue with soy, but many products feature a GMO-free label.

Alpha-GPC is a phospholipid, so it may be better absorbed with fatty foods.

Your product might lose potency over time due to alpha-GPC breakdown. It pulls moisture from the environment, so you should pay extra attention to storage conditions. Some users recommend dividing the pills into smaller air-tight bags.



Alpha-GPC for Cognition + Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects
Vitamins & Supplements

  • Overview
  • Uses
  • Side Effects
  • Interactions
  • Dosing

Overview Alpha-GPC is a chemical released when a fatty acid found in soy and other plants breaks down. It is used as medicine.

In Europe alpha-GPC is a prescription medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It is available in two forms; one is taken by mouth, and the other is given as a shot.

In the United States alpha-GPC is only available as a dietary supplement, mostly in products promoted to improve memory.

Other uses for alpha-GPC include treatment of various kinds of dementia, stroke, and “mini-stroke” (transient ischemic attack, TIA). Alpha-GPC is also used for improving memory, thinking skills, and learning.

Alpha-GPC seems to increase a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine. This brain chemical is important for memory and learning functions. Uses

  • Alzheimer's disease. Developing research suggests that taking 1200 mg of alpha-GPC per day significantly improves thinking skills in Alzheimer's patients after 3 to 6 months of treatment.
  • Dementia. Giving 1000 mg of alpha-GPC per day as a shot might improve symptoms of vascular (multi-infarct) dementia including behavior, mood, and thinking skills. Researchers who did this study used a prescription-only form of alpha-GPC (Delecit) that is not available in the US.
  • Stroke and “mini-stroke” (transient ischemic attack, TIA). Stroke and TIA patients who receive alpha-GPC within 10 days after the stroke or TIA seem to have a better recovery. Early research suggests that people who get 1200 mg of alpha-GPC per day as a shot for 28 days, followed by 400 mg of alpha-GPC three times daily (1200 mg/day) by mouth for 6 months, recover more thinking skills and are better able to function.
  • Improving memory.
  • Thinking skills.
  • Learning.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of alpha-GPC for these uses. Side Effects Alpha-GPC seems to be safe when used appropriately. It can cause side effects in some people including heartburn, headache, insomnia, dizziness, skin rash, and confusion. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of alpha-GPC during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Interactions

  • Scopolamine (Transderm Scop) interacts with ALPHA-GPC

    Alpha-GPC increases a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine. Scopolamine blocks this same chemical. But it's not known if alpha-GPC decreases the benefits of scopolamine.


The appropriate dose of alpha-GPC depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for alpha-GPC.

Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

  • Barbagallo Sangiorgi G, Barbagallo M, Giordano M, et al. Alpha-glycerophosphocholine in the mental recovery of cerebral ischemic attacks: An Italian multicenter clinical trial. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1994;717:253-69. View abstract.
  • Canal N, Franceschi M, Alberoni M, et al.

    Effect of L-alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine on amnesia caused by scopolamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1991;29:103-7. View abstract.

  • Di Perri R, Coppola G, Ambrosio LA, et al.

    A multicentre trial to the evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine versus cytosine diphosphocholine in patients with vascular dementia. J Int Med Res 1991;19:330-41. View abstract.

  • Gatti G, Barzaghi N, Acuto G, et al.

    A comparative study of free plasma choline levels following intramuscular administration of L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine and citocholine in normal volunteers. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1992;30:331-5. View abstract.

  • Moreno MDM.

    Cognitive improvement in mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia after treatment with the acetylcholine precursor choline alfoscerate: A multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Ther 2003;25:178-93. View abstract.

More Resources for ALPHA-GPC

  • Reviews (18)
  • Interaction Checker

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.

Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD.

You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.