Alpha-GPC Summary

Alpha-GPC is one of the most popular choline supplements on the nootropic market. This is because of its high efficacy, potency, and safety.

Many of the premier nootropic formulas on the market make use of this molecule for its ability to provide the brain with the choline necessary to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter plays a crucial role in memory development, as well as numerous other cognitive processes.

When combined with a cholinergic such as racetams, the effectiveness of both substances can be significantly enhanced. Whenever taking racetams, it is always recommended to consume alpha-GPC or an alternative choline donor to avoid side effects of choline depletion and to optimize the effectiveness fo the nootropic.


Where Does It Come From?

Alpha-GPC is produced in small amounts in the human body, and can be found in plant sources such as soy. It has also been found in milk.

soybeans are a source of alpha-gpc

+ Indications

  • In combination with cholinergic nootropics
  • To improve memory and concentration
  • Protect agains neurodegenerative disorders

+ Contraindications


+ Mechanisms

  • Choline donor
  • Nutrient used in the formation of cell membranes


  • Cognitive stimulant (Mild)
  • Memory enhancer
  • Neuroprotective
  • Increases focus


60 - 1400 mg/day

Dosage range is heavily debated.

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Chemical Description

Alpha-GPC is the short name for L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine. [1].

It's a water-soluble, deacylated phosphatidylcholine derivative [2].


Pharmacology & Medical Research

+ Alzheimer's Disease

In a multicenter, double blind, placebo controlled trial consisting of 261 individuals, the choline precurser choline alphoscerate (alpha-GPC) was shown to produce a significant improvement in Alzheimer's symptoms over 180 days of treatment. The scores were based on numerous cognitive assessment scales such as ADAS-Cog, MMSE, GDS, ADAS-Behav, ADAS-Total, CGI, and GIS. The dosage used in this trial was 1200 mg/day broken into 3 doses of 400 mg. [2].

Alpha-GPC has also been shown to increase acetylcholine binding site density [5].

Choline preloading is slowly becomming a popular treatment option for the condition of Alzheimer's disease as a result of studies like this. As an essential precurser to Phosphatidylserine preloading follows similar benefits.

+ Growth Hormone

1000 mg of Alpha-GPC was shown to significantly increase levels of growth hormone in male patients 60 minutes after ingestion. The mechanism of action was reported to be through the action of acetylcholine-stimulated catecholamine [3].

+ Neuroprotective

In an experimental study, alpha-GPC was shown to have a neuroprotective effect on irradiated hippocampus of mice. More research is required to comfirm these effects in humans. [1].



Alpha-GPC is considered safe by the FDA and remains unregulated.

Some users have reported sleep disturbances after taking alpha-GPC due to some mild cognitive stimulating actions. Avoid taking alpha-GPC too close to the desired sleeping time in order to avoid this. 



Alpha-GPC is suggested to be synergistic with cholinergic nootropics including the racetam family of nootropics.

Alpha-GPC and other choline donors are also considered to be synergistic with antiacetylcholinesterase nootropics for a similar effect.

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Justin Cooke, BHSc

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated March 2017

Recent Blog Posts:


  1. Plangár, I. (2014). Radio-neuroprotective effect of l-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC) in an experimental rat model. Jour2nal of Neuro-Oncology, 119(2), 253-261. doi:10.1007/s11060-014-1489-z

  2. Toke´s T, Varga G, Garab D, Nagy Z, Fekete G, Tuboly E, Planga´r I, Ma´n I, Szabo´ RE, Szabo´ Z, Volford G, Ghyczy M, Kaszaki J, Boros M, Hideghe´ty K (2014) Peripheral inflammatory activation after hippocampus irradiation in the rat. Int J Radiat Biol 90:1–6

  3. Adibhatla, R. M., & Hatcher, J. F. (2005). Cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline) in stroke and other CNS disorders. Neurochemical research, 30(1), 15-23.
    Adibhatla, R. M., & Hatcher, J. F. (2005). Cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline) in stroke and other CNS disorders. Neurochemical research, 30(1), 15-23.

  4. Gimenez, R., Raich, J., & Aguilar, J. (1991). Changes in brain striatum dopamine and acetylcholine receptors induced by chronic CDP‐choline treatment of aging mice. British journal of pharmacology, 104(3), 575-578.

  5. Trabucchi, M., Govoni, S., & Battaini, F. (1986). Changes in the interaction between CNS cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons induced by L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, a cholinomimetic drug. Il Farmaco; edizione scientifica, 41(4), 325-334.

  6. Lopez, C. M., Govoni, S., Battaini, F., Bergamaschi, S., Longoni, A., Giaroni, C., & Trabucchi, M. (1991). Effect of a new cognition enhancer, alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, on scopolamine-induced amnesia and brain acetylcholine. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 39(4), 835-840.