3 main types of Brain Food – Choline Bitartrate, Alpha-GPC, and Citicoline
If you read my previous post on Brain Enhancement Nutrient – Choline, you will surely want to know more about the types of Choline supplements available. There are three types actually, namely Choline Bitartrate, Alpha-GPC, and Citicoline on which I will be writing in this post. But before going through that, let’s learn more about Choline and what are the natural sources from which you can get Choline.
What is Choline?
Choline is an indispensable nutrient that is naturally present in some foods and available as a dietary supplement. It is an essential part of the human diet without which, no cell in the human body would function normally.
Choline is a substance from which the neurotransmitter AcetylCholine is formed. Nerves use Choline to make AcetylCholine.
AcetylCholine lets your nerve cells communicate with each other; if there were no AcetylCholine in your brain, you wouldn’t be able to remember who you are!
What are the sources of Choline?
The main dietary sources of Choline consist of meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Choline is also present in breast milk and commercial infant foods.
Your liver produces Choline endogenously as PhosphatidylCholine. However, the amount that is naturally synthesized is insufficient to meet the recommended daily intake which according to the National Institutes of Health – U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, should be as follows:
I have compiled a short and easy list for you to follow in this example:
|Selected Food Sources of Choline||Choline intake|
|255g Chicken breast, roasted||72 mg|
|1 Jumbo egg, hard boiled||147 mg|
|1 cup of milk, 1% fat||43 mg|
|3 capsules of Phosphatidyl Serine,||300 mg|
If you are on a budget, the capsules may seem a bit expensive.
So, my advice here is 3 boiled large eggs (147*3 = 441mg) + 1 cup of milk (43mg) which provide you with a total of 484mg of Choline which is enough for women, lactation, and pregnancy.
For men, in order to get 500mg or more of Choline, you can easily top up for the remaining 16mg (500mg-484mg) with any meat that you will be eating during the day.
Now, if eating 3 boiled eggs and 1 cup of milk is too much, you can try another way to intake all these nutrients.
This may sound bizarre to you, but still, you can swallow raw eggs. Simple method – make a hole at the top of the egg, then fill in your mouth and swallow it. If you like the taste, it passes through your throat easily.
You can put the eggs in your glass of milk and stir thoroughly. To add some taste you can add Ovaltine or Milo.
If you are in need of additional power, in the case you are a bodybuilder or a competing athlete, you can mix the three eggs in your energy drink. You will feel more energetic and alert.
The 3main types of Choline are:
1. Choline Bitartrate
1. Choline Bitartrate
Choline bitartrate is the cheapest form of Choline used by many commercial
Choline supplements. They often advertise that their products contain Choline Bitartrate that will support healthy nerve transmission, assist in fatty acid metabolism and other benefits. This can be true if you follow the proper dosage as Choline Bitartrate contains only 40% of Choline by weight. So, you will be getting only 400mg of Choline from 1 gram of Choline Bitartrate.
Note that Choline bitartrate does not easily pass the blood-brain barrier. Hence, you will need to consume much more than the required dosage as indicated on the product to get any of the nootropics benefits for your brain.
2. Alpha GPC (L-Alpha
This is the most potent form of Choline which is found in the brain and in dairy products. Alpha GPC is available in supplement form but is mainly produced synthetically by purifying soy lecithin. Daily supplementation of Alpha GPC need not be high and it is used to enhance memory of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Note that when the brain is low on free Choline for AcetylCholine, the brain absorbs Choline from cell membranes by breaking them down. Alpha GPC is that catabolic byproduct, and can easily cross the blood-brain barrier to provide you with enhanced memory.
3. Citicoline (CDP-Choline)
Citicoline is the most effective form of Choline to provide the AcetylCholine precursor. It can easily pass the blood-brain barrier to go and help the brain to improve learning and memory. Citicoline is a popular supplement for Alzheimer patients or smart drug users who want to boost their memory.
What you should know is that your body produces Choline naturally. So, all the above will be useful if you are looking to capt on the nootropic effects or if you have a certain deficiency of Choline. And, finally, before adding more of any nutrients in your diet, I would suggest you talk to a nutritionist.
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