Why Do You Use Choline Citrate When Alpha GPC is More Bioavailable?

Q I have been using Memory Upgrade III to improve my acetylcholine levels. The formula uses choline dihydrogen citrate along with certain cofactors. However, I have read that Alpha GPC is the most bioavailable form of choline, even passing the blood brain barrier. Explain the rational for using chloline dihydrogen citrate when Alpha GPC seems to be the better choice?

BRAD, Seattle, WA

A There is no literature we could find showing superior bioavailability for Alpha GPC (aka alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, or choline alfoscerate). The most we could find is, “Treatment with choline alphoscerate, which is a precursor in the biosynthesis of brain phospholipids that increases the bioavailability of acetylcholine in the nervous tissue … ”1 However, choline also does that, and there are no studies comparing it against choline or citicholine (CDP choline).

In fact, Alpha GPC is only the subject of 25 clinical studies in PubMed (7 of which are in Russian), and not all the results are positive. That’s versus over 1600 for choline and citicoline. By the way, citicoline has been demonstrated to be more effectively absorbed than choline, by not by that much. Plus, the results are no different than choline, especially when choline is properly co-factored, However, it is 25 times more expensive and the bioavailability is only slightly better, so using it is a good way to waste a lot of money.

Again regarding Alpha GPC, the best price equals $1.33 per gram vs. $.46 per gram for the form of choline used in the Memory Upgrade product line. That’s 1/3 the price. Vive La Différence!


  1. Amenta F, Bronzetti E, Ricci A, Sagratella S, Scotti de Carolis A, Zaccheo D. Nucleus basalis magnocellularis lesions decrease histochemically reactive zinc stores in the rat brain: effect of choline alphoscerate treatment. Eur J Histochem. 1995;39(4):281-8.

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