If you’ve been studying brain health supplements and choline, you’ve probably seen different forms. Choline is one of the best things you can add to your supplements for your brain. Let’s discuss the differences between Alpha GPC vs Citicoline (CDP Choline), two very popular forms of choline.
You may have read my article about Choline as a prevention tactic for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and dementia. It’s true! In fact, I feature choline in the #2 spot in The Top 10 Brain Supplements article. It really puts your brain on overdrive. Some say to take it in the morning for the most benefit. It’s now included in infant formulas since found it is critical for infant nervous system development.
It is found in the diet but not in quantities that our bodies require. The amounts recommended by the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is 550mg for adult males and 425mg for adult females. Choline, found in some plants and animals, naturally occurs in two forms: water-soluble and lipid-soluble. Choline synthesizes in the body to acetylcholine for use in the brain and nervous system. In fact, choline is required by all cells for maintaining structural integrity.
Related Article: Does Choline Help Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s?
It’s really quite amazing that choline wasn’t recognized as an important nutrient until 1998. It’s been dubbed Vitamin B4 and it works similarly and with some of the B vitamins in the body. Choline is also critical for liver health and can improve non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Choline and the Brain
According to Arizona State University (ASU) in September 2019, choline is critical in curbing the development of neurodegenerative diseases, like AD and dementia. And that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is not enough to curb these diseases or mental decline. The upper safe intake limit of choline is 3500mg per day. As you can see, there is plenty of room to add more than the RDA. ASU mentions taking 4.5 times the RDA for brain health and preventing AD and dementia.
There are several forms of choline available but for today, let’s focus on Alpha GPC and Citicoline. Citicoline is also known as CDP Choline. Both are potent and good sources of choline.
Alpha GPC vs Citicoline
Alpha GPC — Scientific name: Alpha glycerophosphocholine
Alpha GPC is an excellent source of choline as it rapidly breaks down to acetylcholine as soon as it crosses the blood-brain barrier and starts helping your neurons immediately. Apparently, it also seems to increase brain capacity as well. And it helps with muscle strength since choline is a regulator of muscle contraction. A study by Marcus, L. et. al (2017) tested college-age students’ strength differences with Alpha GPC and placebo and found that it seems to help with athletic performance in doses of at least 600mg.
Citicoline (CDP Choline) — Scientific name: cytidine-diphosphocholine
Citicoline is very bioavailable, is fully absorbed and can easily make it past the blood-brain barrier. Along with synthesizing into acetylcholine, it also helps with the synthesis of other substances, like phosphatidylcholine. Studies have shown it supports healthy cognition, memory, and overall function. Whether you’re young or older, it helps with your neuroplasticity. Since it’s so readily available to the brain, it’s a great choice.
Both Citicoline and Alpha GPC are considered the best supplements of choline, but Alpha GPC might have a bit of an edge, in my book. You will benefit by supplementing with either one but Alpha GPC has more confirmed research that it does indeed improve cognitive and physical performance.
Below are some links to some high quality choline supplements. Supercharge and protect your brain today!
Thank you for reading today. If you have any comments, questions, or experience you’d like to share, please share it in the Comments section below. Thank you!
Have a very wellbrain day!
Arizona State University. (2019, September 27). Common nutrient supplementation may hold the answers to combating Alzheimer’s disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 28, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190927122526.htm
Marcus, L., Soileau, J., Judge, L. W., & Bellar, D. (2017). Evaluation of the effects of two doses of alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine on physical and psychomotor performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 39. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0196-5
Synoradzki, K., & Grieb, P. (2019). Citicoline: A Superior Form of Choline?. Nutrients, 11(7), 1569. doi:10.3390/nu11071569
Wiedeman, A. M., Barr, S. I., Green, T. J., Xu, Z., Innis, S. M., & Kitts, D. D. (2018). Dietary Choline Intake: Current State of Knowledge Across the Life Cycle. Nutrients, 10(10), 1513. doi:10.3390/nu10101513