Alpha-GPC is a choline-containing phospholipid that acts as a direct precursor for the biosynthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter pivotal in cognitive functions and neuromuscular signaling. It is also hypothesized to potentiate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function, a critical mediator in synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory.

Literature Review

Age-Related Cognitive Decline and Memory: Studies involving adults suffering from mild to moderate morbidity of age-related cognitive decline indicate that a daily intake of 1200 mg of alpha-GPC yields a moderate enhancement in cognitive abilities. These improvements were measured using validated cognitive scales and the Global Improvement Scale over 3 and 6 months, compared to a placebo group.[i]

Mechanism of Action

General: Alpha-GPC is endogenously produced in the body from its precursor choline[ii].

Antioxidant effects: Alpha-GPC is employed as a protective agent against damage related to ischemias. Studies in animals and lab models have highlighted its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities during ischemic events and the reperfusion stage.[iii]

Neurological effects: Alpha-GPC is believed to enhance cognitive functions such as memory and learning due to its role in elevating plasma choline levels, which in turn boosts the production of acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine.[iii] As a precursor to membrane phospholipids and glycerolipids, alpha-GPC may also contribute to improved neuronal function by enhancing the fluidity of neuronal membranes.[iii]


[i]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.

[ii]Tuboly E, Gáspár R, Ibor MO, et al. L-Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine can be cytoprotective or cytotoxic in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes: a double-edged sword phenomenon. Mol Cell Biochem. 2019;460(1-2):195-203.

[iii]Haghighatdoost F, Hariri M. Does alpha-lipoic acid affect lipid profile? A meta-analysis and systematic review on randomized controlled trials. Eur J Pharmacol 2019;847:1-10.