Alpha-GPC

A Natural Compound That Can Restore and Protect the Brain After Injury

Traumatic brain injuries are on the rise in the United States, with the highest percentage of injuries affecting children, young adults, and the elderly.[1]These injuries can result in permanent brain damage that could affect the victim adversely for the rest of their life. While there is not much that modern medicine can do to reverse the damage, there may be hope in a natural compound known as Alpha GPC. Preliminary research indicates that Alpha GPC supports the brain’s ability to recover after traumatic brain injuries resulting from strokes, concussions, and cerebral contusions.

L-Alpha Gycerophosphocholine, or simply Alpha GPC, is a nutrient found throughout the body in organs such as the liver, kidneys, and brain.GPC is a water soluble and very stable form of the nutrient choline, which is usually grouped with the B vitamins. Choline is essential for the structural integrity and healthy functioning of the cell membranes (especially for certain molecules concentrated in the brain) and is the precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for nerve to muscle communication. It is also a component of the myelin sheath that protects the nerves and aids in nerve impulse transmission. GPC is a rapidly available form of choline that has been shown to protect and repair damaged brain cells.[2]

GPC has been used to prevent damage to brain cells after blood flow, and thus oxygen, has been cut off to those cells, such as in a stroke. Studies conducted in Italy, including 2,972 stroke victims, found that GPC significantly improved the rate and degree of recovery of the patients. At the end of the trials it was found that “GPC markedly improved the pace and extent of recovery” including such things as memory, cognition, mood, word fluency, sociability, and overall clinical status. The researchers in these studies also noted that there were no interactions found between GPC and other prescription drugs.[3]

In another study, twenty-three patients who suffered from concussions and cerebral contusions were administered GPC for three months. At the end of the study it was found that 96 percent of the patients’ mental faculties had improved significantly.[4] Finally, a study was done where GPC was injected intravenously in large doses to patients who were comatose due to brain injuries. These patients were found to emerge from coma sooner and suffer less from speech impairment than those who had not received GPC therapy.[5]

Dr. Parris Kidd, a leading researcher on GPC, suggests that if one is recovering from a brain injury to take 600 mg two times a day on an empty stomach for one month. After that he suggests 600 mg per day as maintenance. Manufacturers often recommend 600-1200 mg per day for general mental acuity and cognitive support.

References

[1] Mayo Clinic; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/risk-factors/con-20029302 (sourced 1/14/2014)

[2] P.M. Kidd; GPC (GlyceroPhosphoCholine), Ortho-Nutraceutical For Active Living and Healthy Aging January 2004

[3] P. M. Kidd GPC Injectable, GlyceroPhosphoCholine (GPC) Orthomeolecular Nutrient; April 2005

[4] Mandat T, et al. A preliminary evaluation of risk and efficacy of early choline alphoscerate treatment in craniocerebral injury. NeurolNeurochir Pol; 2003;37:1231-1238.

[5] Madorskyi S, Amcheslavskyi V. GPC in treatment of consciousness disorders after head injury. Neuropsychopharmacol1994;10(3S):8S (abstract only)