Imagine if there was something you could take that could help stop the memory loss that comes with age. Something that could help counteract the ravages of Alzheimer’s and stroke. And while we’re at it, how about something that could help you lose weight as well?
Sounds like one of those sleazy late-night infomercials, doesn’t it? But it’s not. There is actually a substance that is scientifically proven to do all of those things.
I’m talking about a completely natural substance that research shows can actually help repair brain cells. An essential nutrient that our body makes naturally.
I’m talking about alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine—or alpha GPC for short.
Study after study shows that alpha GPC has amazing brain-boosting capabilities. And that’s not all this nutrient can do.
Research also shows that alpha GPC helps stimulate our pituitary gland to produce human growth hormone. And that can increase lean muscle mass and help you get more out of the exercise you do—which can help you lose weight. Not to mention look and feel younger.
I’m so impressed with the research behind alpha GPC that I consider it a must for anyone battling dementia. And after I tell you about these studies, I think you’ll be as wowed as I am. But first, let’s look at exactly what alpha GPC is and how it works from head to toe.
Benefits beyond the basic B vitamins
Alpha GPC is a form of choline, which is a nutrient that’s usually grouped with the B-complex vitamins. Choline is an essential part of cell membranes—especially brain cell membranes. And unfortunately, our choline levels tend to decline as we age.
But alpha GPC is more than choline. Think of it as choline on (natural) steroids.
Alpha GPC combines choline and phospholipids (the prime building block of cell membranes). This helps jumpstart our production of acetylcholine—a natural chemical that’s essential for mental function, including memory, concentration, and learning.
So it’s no surprise that when many study participants are given alpha GPC, their brains respond positively. Let’s look at some of the most compelling evidence.
Memory and cognition. A research review found that in lab animals, alpha GPC can actually decrease age-related changes in the areas of the brain associated with learning and memory. And in humans, the researchers concluded that alpha GPC has significant impacts on cognitive function—and it’s safe to take.1
Alzheimer’s and dementia. In a study of 261 men and women with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, the people given alpha GPC (400-mg capsules three times a day) had consistent improvements in brain function tests in as little as three months.2
Another study of 120 people with dementia found that within 45 to 90 days of taking 1 gram per day of alpha GPC, participants had noticeably improved memory and word fluency. And amazingly, their depression decreased.3
Stroke and aneurysms. A review of three studies of nearly 2,500 people found that daily doses of alpha GPC helped with recovery of brain function after an acute stroke.4
In another study of 2,044 people who had recently had a stroke, researchers found that a whopping 71 percent had no cognitive decline or forgetfulness after treatment with alpha GPC. Patients received 1,000 mg of alpha GPC intramuscularly (via a shot) following the attack for 28 days. Then they took a daily oral dose of 400 mg three times a day for 5 months. Less than 1 percent of patients did report side effects, including heartburn, nausea, insomnia, or headaches.5
All this and weight loss too
Scientists believe that alpha GPC helps stimulate the pituitary gland to increase its release of human growth hormone (HGH). And as we know, levels of this key hormone decline as we age.
I’ve written before about how I’m such a fan of HGH that I use it myself (“The safer, simpler secret to ‘eternal youth’ HGH levels” in the March 2014 issue of Logical Health Alternatives.)But HGH is extremely expensive. That’s why I’m so excited about research showing that alpha GPC can actually help our bodies release more HGH.
And while alpha GPC may still be considered expensive (especially compared to something like a basic B complex), relatively speaking, it’s much more affordable than HGH. Making it a very viable alternative for many of my patients.
Most of the research on alpha GPC and HGH has to do with improved exercise performance and increased lean muscle mass. One small study showed that a single dose of alpha GPC taken 90 minutes before resistance exercise increased the participants’ bench pressing ability by 14 percent. And even more impressive, alpha GPC increased the men’s HGH levels 44-fold.6
Of course, I don’t have to tell you all of the benefits of exercise. Or how increased muscle mass helps turbocharge your metabolism and burn more calories. Which helps you lose weight.
But that’s not all alpha GPC can do. In fact, one study directly linked alpha GPC to the type of fat burning that leads to weight loss.
The researchers found that a group of young men had significant increases in HGH levels 60 minutes after taking alpha GPC. And their fat oxidation was increased within 120 minutes.7
Weight loss, improved workouts, memory and cognition boosts, and protection against Alzheimer’s and stroke-induced brain damage? All in one single ingredient? It’s amazing what alpha GPC can do.
If you’re not taking this vital nutrient already, I suggest you start today. The average dosage in most studies is 800 mg to 1,000 mg per day. However, I believe you’ll still find benefits if less is taken when combined with complimentary nutrients to support brain function, like the basic B vitamins, for example. Or citicoline, which I’ve written about in the past (check out the archives of back issues on my website at www.drpescatore.com under the Subscriber Sign-In tab).
You can always start with a lower dose in a combination formula…and if you don’t notice results, try increasing the number of capsules you take to get closer to the higher dosage. Unfortunately when it comes to cognitive function and treating symptoms of dementia, it can be a very individualized approach. Which is why it’s important to work with a skilled practitioner to make adjustments as needed.
1“Choline alphoscerate (alpha-glyceryl-phosphoryl-choline) an old choline- containing phospholipid with a still interesting profile as cognition enhancing agent.” Curr Alzheimer Res. 2013 Dec;10(10):1070-9.
2“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 Jan;25(1):178-93.
3“A multicentre trial to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine versus cytosine diphosphocholine in patients with vascular dementia.” J Int Med Res. 1991 Jul-Aug;19(4):330-41.
4“Choline alphoscerate in cognitive decline and in acute cerebrovascular disease: an analysis of published clinical data.” Mech Ageing Dev. 2001 Nov;122(16):2041-55.
5“alpha-Glycerophosphocholine in the mental recovery of cerebral ischemic attacks. An Italian multicenter clinical trial.” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1994 Jun 30;717:253-69.
6“Acute supplementation with alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine augments growth hormone response to, and peak force production during, resistance exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2008.
7“Glycerophosphocholine enhances growth hormone secretion and fat oxidation in young adults.” Nutrition. 2012 Nov-Dec;28(11-12):1122-6.