Review of the various choline forms

Review of the various choline forms

Choline Bitartrate
This is the cheapest form of choline. It has problems crossing the Blood brain barrier due to its positive charge, and for the most part isn’t very effective at boosting brain choline. It is effective for boosting bodily choline/betaine however

Alpha GPC
This is the most common, expensive form of choline. It is effective at boosting brain choline, but runs expensive due to its high cost, and hydrophilic nature which makes it hard to work with. This is the best form of choline for boosting brain choline concentrations

CDP choline
This form of choline acts as a prodrug to choline and uridine, a different nootropic that helps with the creation of phosphilipids. As a nootropic I think this is the best form due to the added benefit, but it can contradict with some mental conditions. It runs less expensive then Alpha GPC in my experience.

This is a choline prodrug that is able to pass into the brain. It is the best bang for you buck for boosting brain choline costing a fraction of the other supplements. May contradict with pregnancy due to the fetus having trouble using it.

How to use choline supplements
Generally I dose choline supplements every other day, this lowers the risk of overdoing the choline which can cause brain fog and a headache for a while. If this happens stop the choline for a few days, and lower the dose. The recommended dosages are generally for people using racetams, or the elderly.


Obligatory link to choline guide I wrote:

And, if you’re just looking to supplement choline for the health benefits of not having low choline, you may want to look into just having some eggs, as the plasma choline response from choline from eggs was 4x greater than that of the same amount of choline from choline Bitartrate:

And there’s this:

From the full text of said paper, eggs are a rich source of PC, and we’re associated with netter performance on the tests, as well as a trend for a lower risk of dementia.


What about centrophenoxine?

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Very limited human reseaech IIRC. One study on dementia:

2g/day. Over $1/day from Nootropics Depot. Seems really expensive for a choline source IMO, especially one so seemingly unproven relative to CDP or GPC.

Agreed with crohn. I don’t see a clear advantage over other forms and it has a lack of research, and is very expensive/obscure.
I would use DMAE or Alpha GPC over it depending on your budget.

being my lighter area of knowledge in supplements, I’m always looking to learn more here. Thanks for your write-up!


This is great

I’d personally use CDP if cognitive benefits are my primary goal. (250mg)

GPC if power output is my primary goal. (200-600mg)

If you want body composition benefits, and don’t want the calories/fat from eating eggs, then bitartrate is an option (at least 2g)

Then you can add an AChE-I:

100-200mcg Huperzine


4-8mg galantamine

Huperzine is pretty much equally as effective, and much cheaper and easier to find.

Sage (salvia officinalis) is also an AChE-I though, and has MORE promising research than either IMO. And it’s cheap.

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Body composition benefits:

2g/day choline, split in two doses with meals for a week before competition.

Edit: assuming they were something like Bitartrate tablets (the study doesn’t specify), and eggs are 4x more bioavailable, you can get away with 250mg choline 2x/day, which is obtainable from 2 whole eggs 2x/day (each egg contains ~133mg choline)

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Can you link me up the research that lead you to conclude that DMAE is the most cost-effective option for increasing brain choline levels please?

More research on DMAE:

Dose: up to 600mg 3x/day
Duration: 4 weeks
Subjects: senile outpatients


Dose: 500mg/day
Duration: 3 months
Subjects: children referred for problems with learning, including many with hyperactivity


From the full text of the last study referenced above:

[quote] We began this study with the assumption
that deanol is an acetylcholine precursor…

This assumption about the mechanism of
action remains speculative. Although deanol
does serve physiologically as a precursor to
choline, early attempts to show that it increased
brain acetylcholine were unsuccessful,36 which
is not surprising, since acetyl-CoA, not choline,
is normally the rate-limiting factor in acetylcholine formation. However, a recent study,
not described in detail,IO reported a 60% increase in acetylcholine after deanol treatment…

Another mechanism also seems theoretically
possible. Deanol is an effective substrate for
choline acetylase. 16 Acetyl-deanol is known to
have little biological activity. 43 In pharmacological doses, deanol may produce acetyl-deanol as a false transmitter that actually interferes
with central cholinergic function. This would
bring the effect of deanol into line with the actions of amphetamine and methylphenidate,
which are thought to increase synaptic activity
or effectiveness of monoamine transmitters,
and would also explain the otherwise paradoxical effect of deanollowering the toxic threshold
to curare in mice… [/quote]

But maybe this clarifies it a little?

[quote] The clinical use of deanol was initially predicated on
the assumption that the drug crosses the blood-brain
barrier more readily than choline and so constitutes a
more effective precursor for acetylcholine synthesis
[23]. Subsequent evidence has shown that rat brain
lacks the methylating enzymes necessary to convert
deanol to choline C11. Deanol is, however, readily
methylated by the liver [9] and could thus serve as an
acetylcholine precursor by being converted to plasma
choline. Data supporting this concept were recently
provided by Zahniser et a1 [28, 231, who showed that
systemically administered deuterated deanol readily
enters the brain and also appears as deuterated
choline in the plasma. However, they found little
deuterated choline and no deuterated acetylcholine
in the brain. They explained this apparent contradiction by hypothesizing that plasma choline formed
from deanol may exist in an acid-soluble form that is
released during their assay extraction procedure but
is unable to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Our
data suggest another explanation: that deanol itself
suppresses choline uptake into brain by competing
with it for carrier sites on a blood-brain barrier transport system…

Whether deanol administration increases brain
acetylcholine content in experimental animals remains unclear. Haubrich et al [ 131 observed such increases in striata of rats given deanol (550 mg/kg
intraperitoneally) 15 minutes before being killed,
while Goldberg and Silbergeld [ll] observed increased acetylcholine levels in whole mouse brains
30 minutes after the animals received 300 mg per
kilogram of deanol. However, Zahniser et al [28]
failed to demonstrate significant elevation in striata of
rats or brains of mice given as much as 900 mg per
kilogram of the drug intraperitoneally. Our observation that deanol both increases plasma choline levels
and competes with choline for brain uptake may explain these discrepancies: if the net effect of a given
dose of deanol is to elevate brain choline levels, then
acetylcholine levels should also increase; conversely,
if the dose used does not have this effect, no increase
in acetylcholine levels is to be expected [4]…

It is
difficult to predict from available data whether deanol concentrations in sera of patients given doses up
to 2 gm per day would be sufficient to compete with
choline for uptake into the brain. However, our data
clearly raise the possibility that deanol antagonizes its
own therapeutic effect by competing with choline
transport at the blood-brain barrier. Since choline
itself has been shown to constitute an effective
treatment for tardive dyskinesia [7, 8, 121, there
seems to be little basis for administering deanol, its
precursor. [/quote]

So, sort of confusing stuff, and DMAE may have some unique benefits of its own, but I don’t know if I’d use it as a “choline source” if I wanted the benefits of having optimal choline levels, if that makes any sense.


anecdotal review of centro, i used it for over a year without a break, found it to be mentally stimulating and was great for my skin but not something i can fit in my budget any more

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How’d you dose it?

500 mg/day from nootropics depot

I’m curious. Best Nootropic supp for daily use based on your experience? I’ve used AlphaBrain for awhile now. Experience with Ciltep in the past and really react well to AGPC in Pre’s

It depends on if you mind/want caffeine, and at what dose.

My go-to is NootropiMax, but it has ~260mg/day caffeine, either at one time (2 caps) or split (1 cap x2). But you get:

250mg CDP-Choline
100mcg Huperzine-A
20mg Noopept

(Which covers your choline, AChE-I, and a racetam-like-compound)

Then it gives you the studied 300mg/day bacopa from Bacognize, which is great for memory, and 25mg sceletium, which is good for mood and has some cognitive benefits of its own too.

And the caffeine for energy and focus, along with 100mg theanine (balances the caffeine, noted synergy), 250mg ornithine HCL (potentiates the caffeine), and 50mg Theacrine (a little extra boost not subject to the same tolerance as caffeine, and itself enhanced when taken with caffeine).

There’s not many good multi-ingredient Nootropics IMO. If you want one without any caffeine, it’s actually harder to find a good one haha.

Edit: Focus XT has a pretty good caffeine-free option. May want to add an herbal noot or two though if funds permit.

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Thank you

NP. What exactly are you looking for out of a nootropic product? That could help make the best recommendation. Memory? Energy? Focus? Etc.

I use AlphaBrain now. For me it’s about focus/energy on days that I’m not training. Think of it as a pre workout but for life/work. I used Nootropimax in the past and really liked it. Amazing focus and ability to finish tasks

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