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What Is Alpha-GPC?

Alpha-GPC can be found in milk.
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  • Written By: Synthia L. Rose
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2014
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L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine, commonly known as Alpha-GPC, is a phospholipid building block that stimulates the body’s creation of acetylcholine, a brain chemical which fuels learning and memory. While naturally made in the human body, Alpha-GPC is also present in soy and milk, two primary sources for supplements containing this agent. The compound promotes physical strength and mental clarity, but can cause rash and insomnia depending on the dosage. Dexterity and balance are said to be greatly improved through the use of dietary Alpha-GPC.

Research suggests this supplement counters amnesia and resets memory for some users, making it an aid for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, senility and other brain disorders where mental focus is lost. Often, those without mental problems, including children, take it for alertness and fast response to stimuli. Male and female users often report a return of sexual interest and stamina after taking this compound. Liver disorders can also reportedly be corrected by the supplement.

Adolescents who have stagnant growth and development due to problems with the pituitary gland often find that this gland begins making more human growth hormone (HGH) due to Alpha-GPC supplementation. Users can grow taller and develop more muscle tone. This HGH activity is why the supplement has a reputation for increasing strength and leanness; it is also why it is often promoted as a weight-loss aid. The increase in muscular development revs up the metabolism to burn more fat.

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Stroke victims attempting to relearn motor skills and speech patterns also benefit from Alpha-GPC because it improves the transmission of nerve signals between the muscles and brain. It does this partly by reviving enzymes in both nerve cells and muscle cells; in addition to that, it has the unique ability to permeate the brain barrier and soak deeply into brain tissue, thereby repairing it. All this fosters better coordination for a range of activities, including walking, grooming, and dancing.

Detriments of the supplement include dizziness, heartburn, and migraines. Occasionally, confusion and anxiety can result. These negative effects are generally dose-dependent and can be curbed by switching to small doses, according to nutritionists. Most people experience benefits with 300 mg a day, although others elect to take double that amount. Patients recovering from stroke often take high doses of 1,000 mg to 1,500 mg a day for a month to repair neurons and lost brain function.

Alpha-GPC is sold in capsules and soft gels. Powder is typically the preferred form for bodybuilders who mix it in nutritional drinks. Some dietary shakes include this compound as one ingredient among many.

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