Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC)

The human brain is our most vital organ, as it controls all other body functions through neurally-transmitted signals that are carried out through the central nervous system. As we age, our brains must work harder to continue performing its endless range of responsibilities, which can lead to brain entropy and cognitive decline if we do not properly nourish and exercise our brains over time. There are many naturally-occurring substances in our foods that can help to support brain health and cognitive function, in addition to dietary supplements like L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC) that may be taken for added benefit. Today, we will be taking a look at ways to stay sharp over the years as part of our healthy living!

There are many unfortunate side-effects to aging that might affect us as we continue on into our golden years. One study conducted for the British Medical Journal showed a significant tendency towards cognitive decline in a range of brain functions in over 10,000 individuals that had passed the middle age mark (age 45-70)1. The debilitating effects might include a loss of concentration and memory, difficulties in decision-making, and focus1. A gradual loss in cognition may also contribute to brain-related illnesses such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease2,3.

There are many ways in which we may slow the adverse effects of aging, however. These include maintaining a proper diet, exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation.

Many vital nutrients that contribute to overall brain-health can be found in our daily diet, as long as we are consuming the right foods. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant4 that has also been shown to perform a range of other important neurological functions (such as cell signaling)5,6,7. High concentrations of vitamin E can be found in green leafy vegetables, eggs, and select grains. B-vitamins, particularly vitamins B6 and B12, are also essential to brain function. Vitamin B6 contributes to neurotransmitter synthesis8, and can be found in peppers, mushrooms, and greens. Vitamin B12 contributes to normal brain and nervous system function, and may serve as an additional safeguard against cognitive decline in old age10. Meats, including fish and poultry, will be rich in vitamin B12, as well as various forms of seaweed.

Foods that contain antioxidant properties may also possess the ability to fight free radicals and reduce cellular damage to the brain and other vital organs11. These foods may include fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C and carotenoids, oils that are enriched in omega fatty acids, as well as teas and fruits that contain a high polyphenol count12,13,14.

In her discussion on diet and exercise, Henriette van Praag concludes with the argument following based on the review of numerous scientific studies:

The potential synergy between diet and exercise could involve common cellular pathways important for neurogenesis, cell survival, synaptic plasticity and vascular function. Optimal maintenance of brain health might depend on exercise and intake of natural products.15

Her data suggests that there may be positive increases in mental performance in individuals ranging in age from children to adults that have resulted from increased exercise16,17,18. It is then implied that healthy activities such as walking, running, swimming, playing sports, and other great exercises may contribute to overall brain-health, as well, in individuals of any age. Activities that involve hand-eye coordination and critical thinking skills may prove to be increasingly effective.

Social interaction may also prove to have a continued effect on our cognitive abilities over time. The November 2011 issue of Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society includes a study conducted by Bryan D. James and associates that addresses cognitive decline over the lifespan. The study concludes “that more socially active older adults experience less cognitive decline in old age” after comparing the results of 1,138 individuals over a 12-year period19. These social activities may include oral communication, cultural interactions, religious participation, and close interpersonal relationships.

Another key to building and maintaining mental lucidity is to constantly challenge your mind through any range of stimulating activities. Playing games that involve critical thinking and hand-eye coordination may prove effective, in addition to taking up a new hobby or attempting to learn a new language. Other helpful suggestions include crossword puzzles, word games, and jigsaw puzzles that engage our mental capacity. New advances in brain-training exercises may show exceeding results over other forms of cognitive stimulation, as well20.

As an additional means of preventative care, many individuals will turn to dietary supplements to ensure that they are receiving the proper amounts of the aforementioned nutrients and to avoid potential deficiencies through wholefoods meal consumption. Common supplement items that are geared towards mental proficiency include Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Chocoamine, Carnitine, Phenylalanine, and Alpha-GPC. It is this last option that we are most interested in, today.

Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine, or Alpha-GPC, is a naturally-occurring choline compound that has the ability to readily permeate the brain-blood barrier, where it is then synthesized in to the acetylcholine neurotransmitter21. The material is derived from soy lecithin, which is often spray-dried with some other medium in order to form a more stable powder that is most frequently used in the encapsulation of dietary supplements.

Numerous studies have been conductive in relation to Alpha-GPC’s potential ability to fight the onset of dementia, improve neurological function in the brain, and improve cognitive recovery from stroke22,23. These studies suggest that the supplementation of Alpha-GPC (in addition to other brain-healthy exercises) might help to decrease cognitive decline over the course of aging, and improve overall neurological response in users if the supplemental form were able to just as easily pass through the brain-blood barrier.*

True Nutrition currently offers an Alpha-GPC complex as one of many powerful active ingredients in the new TrueBrain Capsules, our signature nootropic intended to help improve brain health!*

True Nutrition also offers the following options with proposed effects in improving general brain-health and cognitive function:

Remember to feed and exercise your brain like you would any other major muscle in order to remain lucid, sharp, and focused well in to your later years! And when you need that extra help, True Nutrition will be there for you.

It is our goal to help you meet your goals, and adding True Nutrition‘s Alpha-GPC to your daily supplementation may be the key to your continued success! Ask us how Alpha-GPC can complement your healthy lifestyle today!

*DISCLAIMER: The above description is provided for information only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician or the appropriately licensed professional before engaging in a program of exercise or nutritional supplementation. No information in this site has been reviewed by the FDA. No product is intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease.

References:

1. Singh-Manoux A, et al. (2012). “Timing of onset of cognitive decline: results from Whitehall II prospective cohort study.” BMJ. 344: p. d7622.
2. List J, et al. (2013. “Relationship between excitability, plasticity and thickness of the motor cortex in older adults.” Neuroimage. pii: S1053-8119(13)00789-1.
3. Muslimović D, Post B, Speelman JD, De Haan RJ, Schmand B. (2009). “Cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease: a prospective longitudinal study.” J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 15(3): p. 426-37.
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15. Praag H. (2009). “Exercise and the brain: something to chew on.” Trends Neurosci. 32(5): p. 283–290.
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