Choline, the most popular nootropic stack, is an essential nutrient and a potent cognitive enhancer. Not only does it protect the cell membranes, but choline is extremely important for the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. However, this vital component comes in many different forms, which is why will we be performing a choline comparison between: Choline Bitartrate, Alpha GPC, and CDP Choline.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Choline Functions, Benefits and Effects
- 3 Choline and Cognitive Health
- 4 Choline Comparison: Different Types of Choline
- 5 Alpha GPC
- 6 CDP Choline
- 7 Stacking and Dosage: What Goes Well with Choline?
- 8 Choline Side Effects
- 9 User Experience: Should I Take Choline?
- 10 Where to Buy
- 11 Conclusion
Choline is a water-soluble nutrient naturally found in our bodies. In 1998, the US Institute of Medicine officially recognized Choline as “essential” due to its major role in human metabolism functions, powerful protective capabilities, and a high rate of choline-deficiency in general. However, while the body can’t produce a sufficient choline supply on its own, food is the number one organic form of choline supplementation.
Although choline shares a strong connection to the vitamin B complex, this micronutrient is not a vitamin, yet not a mineral either. However it’s important, or should we say essential, for a healthy liver, muscle, and metabolism function, brain development, cell energy, and overall mental performance. Not to mention that it’s also involved in the repair of DNA, detoxification, and nerve relations.
Speaking about nerve signaling, nootropic users should know choline is critical for acetylcholine production. In fact, it’s a precursor to this nootropic neurotransmitter that helps us stay focused, in a good mood, and present in general. In other words, choline boosts cognitive abilities and, therefore, works well when combined with other nootropics, especially when stacked with other smart drugs such as racetams.
Unfortunately, although choline is synthesized in the body, studies show that only around 10% of people have adequate choline levels, while others belong to the choline-insufficient group. The good news is that choline is safe, affordable, and widely available. Then again, with so many choline options out there, it’s crucial to identify which one is the perfect solution to use or add to your nootropic stack.
Choline Functions, Benefits and Effects
When it comes to choline, we can just say that it’s responsible for keeping us healthy at any age. Choline supplementation is highly recommended for children, pregnant women, students and all people who suffer from stress, lack of energy, and physical and mental illnesses, including cancer.
On the other hand, for nootropic users, choline can:
· Increase focus
· Improve memory
· Enhance cognitive abilities and performance
· Help with learning
· Amplify the effects of other nootropics
While choline affects acetylcholine production, it also improves the cellular membrane and communication between neurons. That being said, choline functions can be reduced to two key components:
· Acetylcholine (ACh)
· Phosphatidylcholine (Ph)
These two chemicals are in charge of the brain and muscular performance, as well as the regeneration of neurons, learning, memory, concentration, and energy. Hence, in the case of choline deficiency, serious health risks may arise, such as muscular disorders, brain impairments, cardiovascular problems, and more.
Choline and Cognitive Health
The study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 confirms that choline intake is related to a better cognitive performance. After completing a food-related questionnaire and conducting a full neuropsychological exam, the progression of 1391 subjects was closely followed for almost 5 years.
During that time, dementia-free participants were tested on visual and verbal memory, verbal learning, executive function, including brain atrophy and white-matter hyperintensity (WMH), both conditions associated with impaired cognitive function and Alzheimer disease.
The study concluded that in patients with no signs of dementia the regular use of choline supplements resulted in improved cognitive function.
The results showed that verbal and visual memory was better with higher choline intake. This means that choline can efficiently resolve problems with learning and memory. So if you are already taking some nootropic supplementation for these issues, consider switching to or upgrading your stack with choline.
Choline Comparison: Different Types of Choline
As mentioned before, choline has many forms, but different sources lead to different mechanisms of actions, so the end result and benefits of choline consumption depend on the choline conversion in the body.
The main and mostly utilized choline sources are:
All these forms contain a different percentage of choline that the body synthesizes differently. So, let’s see how each of these choline forms work independently.
Choline supplementation is crucial for staying healthy. Given that choline can be found naturally in choline-rich foods, the first step to avoid choline deficiency begins with some simple dietary changes.
Table 1: The highest natural choline percentage found in food, in mg
|Beef liver||1 ounce||118|
|Boiled Egg||1 large (1.75 ounces)||147|
|Broiled Beef||1 ounce||39|
|Chicken breast||1 ounce||24|
|Boiled Beef||1 ounce||24|
|Shiitake Mushrooms||1 cup||116|
|Red Potatoes||1 large (8 ounces)||57|
|Wheat germ||1 ounce||51|
|Kidney Beans||1 cup||90|
The trace of choline is found in food such as soy or egg yolk as well. These tasty goods produce Lecithin, which is a source of Phosphatidylcholine. Although it’s weaker than the pure phosphatidylcholine and accounts for the weakest choline supplement, it contains around 2.5% to 9.5% choline.
Choline Bitartrate (Choline Salts)
Choline bitartrate is the most basic, most inexpensive, and most readily available form of choline of them all. For example, you can find 1,000mg of choline in 2,400mg of choline bitartrate. The simplest choline formula is the cheapest and least effective supplement, because although it’s beneficial for the body, it doesn’t do anything in particular for the brain.
While this choline salts version is not considered a nootropic, it’s still effective for the liver and other systemic bodily functions, not only neurons. You can take advantage and mix choline bitartrate with the racetam stack, but keep in mind, it’s not recommended for those who seek a true nootropic empowerment.
Pros: A cheap choice for preventing choline deficiency in the body.
Cons: Limited supplement without the nootropic brain-rejuvenating powers.
Common Dosage: 500-2000 mg
Also, choline bitartrate is known to lead to headaches. So, instead of using the easiest cost-cutting solution, consider making the most of it with a real acetylcholine supplement. Those nootropic choline types include the following.
Choline is responsible for keeping us healthy at any age and it is highly recommended for children, pregnant women, students and all people who suffer from stress, lack of energy, and physical and mental illnesses, including cancer
Alpha GPC is also known as choline alfoscerate and L-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine. The structure of alpha GPC shows a resemblance to choline bitartrate in density, but it contains more nootropic properties which makes it the best choice over other standard choline supplements.
Alpha GPC is a concentrated side effect-free supplement that works fast once orally consumed. Due to its high bioavailability, alpha GPC is able to rapidly cross over the blood-brain barrier and deliver quality doses of choline to the brain. It’s one of the most highly recommended and popular nootropic stacks that can significantly enhance your mood and mental energy, apart from many other benefits alpha GPC provides.
Pros: A very powerful, safe, reliable, and beneficial nootropic that starts to work within an hour. It goes extremely well with racetams, but it can provide the same results on its own.
Cons: Potential mild side effects are not excluded.
Common Dosage: 300-600 mg.
Other advantages include potent anti-aging properties, fast post-workout recovery, and the complete support of brain health. Although it’s more expensive than choline salts, it’s a valuable nootropic supplement regardless of whether it’s taken as a stand-alone supplement or as a nootropic stack.
CDP Choline is a unique choline supplement known also as Citicoline. First of all, it’s a natural source of choline found in every cell in the body. Secondly, once consumed in supplement form, our body digest it as two separate items, cytidine and choline, which are converted in CDP choline once the compound gets to the brain.
Like Alpha GPC, CDP choline is essential for acetylcholine production. Plus, it’s cytidine component is actually a part of Ribonucleic acid (RNA), a molecule involved in the regulation and the manifestation of genes, which converts to uridine in the brain. This matters because our body uses uridine to synthesize phosphatidylcholine from cell membranes in case of choline deficiency, which is precisely why the CDP choline supplementation is needed, as it helps to establish a healthy choline balance.
Unlike Alpha GPC, which has 40% choline, CDP choline only has 18.5%. However, the small percentage of choline doesn’t take away the cognitive advantages, because CDP choline is actually quite strong. With a high bioavailability and compelling neuroprotective, energy, and motivation capabilities, CDP choline is the top nootropic pick and the best supplement stack for experienced neurohackers.
Pros: Additional (cytidine/uridine) nootropic benefit, high bioavailability, and an excellent stack.
Cons: Difficult to find in stores and carries potential mild side effects.
Dosage: 250-750 mg
What makes CDP choline different? Instead of having to choose between physical and mental energy, CDP choline is able to provide both and then some. This nootropic supplement is recommended for early or late workers, students who could benefit from a mental boost, and people who want to increase focus and to generally improve cognitive functions.
Stacking and Dosage: What Goes Well with Choline?
In a 1981 study, 350 rats were tested to determine the bond choline and piracetam, a member of the racetam family, share. Since choline had already been considered an important factor in cognitive development, the study revolved around age-related cognitive impairments like the symptoms exhibited in aged rats chosen for this scientific research.
After administering only choline to one set of subjects, the study findings showed no particular improvements. While the group that received only piracetam performed slightly better on the behavioral task, the rodents that ingested 100 mg per kg of bodyweight of piracetam combined with the same amount of choline performed much better than the piracetam only group.
The overall conclusion is that choline and piracetam can increase acetylcholine levels by up to 10%. This combination leads to better cognitive efficiency than either of these nootropic supplements alone. Therefore, choline goes well with piracetam and other racetams such as:
Aniracetam – gives an addition kick to the acetylcholine (ACh) production
Oxiracetam – enhances the acetylcholine synthesis
Noopept – controls ACh conversion
Pramiracetam – boosts choline
Phenylpiracetam – increases ACh receptor density.
Additional Choline Acetylcholine Nootropic Sources/Stacks:
· Alpha GPC
· ALCAR (not a choline source but helps in conversion)
· Choline Bitartrate + Citrate
Herbal Choline Stack
Other Useful Nootropics:
Choline is safe, free from toxins, and an essential nutrient. It’s absolutely safe for consumption and commonly well-received
First-time nootropic stackers should know how to make the most of their choline nootropic stack. Here is the list of the best choline stacks with other nootropic supplements:
Choline + Piracetam
Choline + Piracetam + Aniracetam
Choline + Piracetam + Aniracetam + Oxiracetam
Choline + Noopept
Chlorine + Pramiracetam
Chlorine + Herbals
Chlorine + Herbals + Other Nootropics
Depending on the choline source, dosage for stacking will vary. As the choline comparison section already displays recommended choline doses, measures illustrated below are exclusively for other favorable nootropic supplements:
· Piracetam (800mg-3000mg)
· Aniracetam (1000mg-2000mg)
· Oxiracetam (800mg-1500mg)
· Noopept (20mg-40mg)
· Pramiracetam (200mg-400mg)
· ALCAR (100mg-500mg)
Choline Side Effects
Choline is safe, free from toxins, and an essential nutrient. It’s absolutely safe for consumption and commonly well-received. Of course, consuming large amounts of choline may cause some negative side effects, but it’s only natural considering everything you decide to take needs to be balanced.
Classic symptoms of chlorine overdose include:
· Irritation or anger
· Confusion and poor memory
· Anxiety and depression
· Issues with mental and physical performance
· Constipation, nausea, vomiting
· Muscle weakness
· Discomfort and joint pains
· Numbness or tingling sensations
User Experience: Should I Take Choline?
Choline and racetams are very safe and reliable nootropics. They are widely recommended by many nootropic users, though you should never take them on your own. Instead, be sure to consult with the doctor to determine if your body needs chlorine and other nootropics as well as to what extent.
Interactions with these supplements are minimal and are not considered to be addictive. They are suitable for a long-term use and can rejuvenate the brain and enhance physical health.
Where to Buy
As usual, Amazon is a great option for finding your chlorine supplementation. While some of these nootropics are sold as the over-the-counter drugs, many of them are hard to find in a store. But if you hit the Internet, you may encounter verified choline sources such as:
Choline may come in various forms, but its benefits are ever-lasting. This nootropic is perfect as a stand-alone supplement, but it works even better when stacked with other herbal nootropics or potent cognitive enhancers. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is a bit different, so consult your physician before experimenting with choline and other nootropics.