You may have come across Alpha GPC on the label of some supplements in the past and wondered what it was. For example, it is used in some of the best human growth hormone supplements. It is also considered an amazing nootropic. But what is it actually? And for what reasons is it included in growth hormone supplements? Find the answer to these questions and more in this piece.
Alpha GPC is a shortened form of L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine. Sometimes, it is simply called glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC) or choline alfoscerate. It is a natural source of choline present in the brain. Available as a non-prescription drug in many countries, the compound is a precursor to acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for memory formation and cognitive health. It is also a precursor to phosphatidylcholine. It is renowned for its ability to bypass the blood-brain barrier to deliver choline to the brain. Alpha GPC is considered the most efficient choline form for making choline available in the body via oral administration.
This water-soluble choline has two parts, as the name seems to suggest: glycerophosphate and choline. The composition ensures that it is not only able to swiftly get around the blood-brain barrier to target pathways in the brain after consumption, but also to bolster the structure of cellular membranes. The latter benefit is not common to other forms of choline supplements.
This natural choline, which features phospholipid, occurs naturally in your brain, although in little amount. It is present in organ tissue and red meat products. The foods from which you can get Alpha GPC include:
• Soy lecithin
• Atlantic cod
• Cottage cheese
• Beef liver
• Toasted wheat germ
The amounts available in most of the foods are rather low, but it is possible to get sufficient amount when you combine the right foods in your diet.
The form of this choline compound used in supplement is usually made synthetically. It may be made from eggs, soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin, in which case it is described as a semi-synthetic derivative of lecithin.
So what is the connection between this phospholipid-containing choline and human growth hormone? Evidence suggests that Alpha GPC may be helpful to individuals who desire to improve the amount of growth hormone in their body. It is believed to do this with the aid of its cholinergic properties. The choline supplement can also boost HGH levels via growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), which stimulates growth hormone production. This essentially makes it an HGH secretagogue. It is the reason you will find it in quality HGH supplement, such as the popular GenF20 Plus.
The growth hormone-boosting potential of Alpha GPC appears to be greater when it is taken pre-workout. In a trial, some subjects were given a dose of 600 mg prior to them having workouts. The researchers observed that the hGH production among those in the treatment group increased more than that of the placebo group immediately. Levels remained significantly higher for a quarter of an hour after the end of physical exercise.
In another study, it was observed that Alpha GPC given to healthy adults in a 1,000mg dose increased the amount of choline in the body half an hour to two hours after administration. This led to a spike in HGH levels an hour later.
Changes observed in growth hormone levels in some studies tend to be more significant in the elderly. This is most likely because that group usually have lower hGH production in comparison to younger individuals.
Based on the foregoing and other studies, it appears that Alpha GPC could help deal with certain problems of aging. The following are some areas where it could possibly be beneficial.
It is common for cognitive function to decline in some persons as they get older. Attention problem, poor coordination, memory problem and dementias, including Alzheimer’s, become more common among such. No doubt, these changes could be quite disturbing and highly uncomfortable. If you need help, you may get some from Alpha GPC. It has been shown to help enhance brain health and function. This is the major reason you will find it in certain nootropic supplements. It boosts availability of acetylcholine, which enhances learning, reasoning, memory and attention.
Evidence from a rat study showed that this phosphorylated variant of choline facilitated translocation of protein kinase C (PKC) in the cortex of the animal. Now, PKC is an intracellular intermediate that seems to help with memory formation.
It was also found that concurrent administration of Alpha GPC with phosphatidylserine and caffeine enhanced attention and reaction time among subjects suffering acute stress. Postmortem examination has further revealed significant phospholipid degradation in persons with Alzheimer’s disease.
This benefit is somewhat related to the foregoing. Stroke is more common among older individuals and may contribute to aging, particularly brain aging. It causes disability and may lead to death. Research hints that Alpha GPC may help prevent or, at least, manage the condition. In a large scale study in Italy, patients of recent stroke given the choline compound showed improvement in cognitive function.
The liver helps in the elimination of harmful substances from the body. This makes it essential for its health to be protected. Research suggests that Alpha GPC can enhance lipotropic functions. Its use can help to guard against issues such as liver cirrhosis and failure.
Alpha GPC delivers this benefit via its effect on the production of growth hormone in the body. This peptide is known for its ability to speed up metabolism. Of course, this causes your body to burn more fats, promoting weight loss.
This is another benefit you can get from Alpha GPC as a result of its role in hGH production. As metabolism speeds up in your body and results in greater fat burning, lean muscle mass becomes more visible. Besides, growth hormone is known to promote growth of body tissues, including muscles. This is a reason it is a favorite in the bodybuilding community, so much so that some consider it a steroid, even though it is not.
Manufacturers also include Alpha GPC in pre-workout and HGH supplements because of how it can enhance strength. It may give you greater stamina and help you to exercise harder. Again, this benefit is down to increased growth hormone production. The performance-enhancing capability of the hormone is yet another reason some athletes and bodybuilders take HGH injections.
There are several other benefits that you may get from using Alpha GPC supplement, mostly because of its hGH-inducing effect. These include improved mood, better sexual function and healthy skin.
Doses of Alpha GPC usually range between 400 mg and 1,200 mg per day. The purpose for which it is being used will determine the ideal amount. For memory enhancement, the single dose is usually between 300 and 600 mg. But this can be as high as 1,000 per dose when used singly for boosting growth hormone production.
There may be need to experiment with smaller doses at the initial stage to determine the right dose. Appropriate dosage may be split into three equal doses to ensure availability of the choline in the brain.
Alpha GPC is a very safe supplement which, perhaps, explains why it is popular. It is well tolerated, especially in adults having no health issues. So there should be no problem so long you stick to recommended safe dose. Failure to do that may lead to side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, headache, fatigue and gastrointestinal disturbance.
As we pointed out earlier, it is possible to get Alpha GPC from food sources. But you could consider taking it in supplement form if you are not sure of getting enough amount from your diet. Better still, you can check out a growth hormone supplement that has it, such as GenF20 Plus, if your interest is in slowing aging. We need to state that it is always a good thing to speak with your doctor before taking any supplement.
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