ALPHA-GPC

OTHER NAME(S):

Alfa-GPC, Alpha Glycerol Phosphoryl Choline, Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline, Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphatidylcholine, Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, Choline alphoscerate, Glycerophosphorylcholine, Glycérophosphorylcholine, GPC, GroPCho, L-A-Glyceryl Phosphorylcholine, L-alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

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.

How does it work?

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

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • 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

Side Effects & Safety

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.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

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

Interactions?

Minor Interaction

Be watchful with this combination

!
  • 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.

Dosing

Dosing

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

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

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 2009.