CDP-Choline or Alpha-GPC?

What is CDP-Choline or Alpha-GPC?

An essential nutrient, Choline is produced in your body in small amounts, but you need to obtain the majority amount of it from the diet to avoid the Choline deficiency. When you are looking for a complete natural nootropic stack, there should be some form of cholinergic compound; be it Centrophenoxine, Choline Bitartrate, DMAE, CDP-Choline or Alpha-GPC. And CDP-choline and alpha-GPC tend to be higher in Choline content per unit weight and are easily absorbed. It is also usually believed that the best way to supplement Choline is to take either CDP-Choline or Alpha-GPC.
But, now there is much hype on the Internet about the ‘best’ Choline between the two.
So, what should you do? How can you know which one is best for you?
Learning about these two nootropic substances can help you choose the best one for you. And that’s why this article.


Cholinergic is the substance that increases acetylcholine concentrations by taking oral supplementation. Choline itself, usually bought as choline bitartrate, is the most basic cholinergic but considered as one of the least efficient supplements for boosting acetylcholine levels. In fact, Cholinergic can be applied to different types of nootropic compounds. There are many nootropics such as Alpha-GPC, which is a natural cholinergic compound and also a parasympathomimetic acetylcholine precursor. Huperzine-A is also known as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, meaning that it stops an enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine, resulting in increases in acetylcholine. While one type of substance is directly effective, the other is indirectly effective. In both cases, the result is more acetylcholine being available in the brain.

Cholinergic Are Important Nootropic Stack Ingredients

The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is associated with both the peripheral and central nervous systems. It is actually closely associated in your brain with short term memory, motivation, mood, and attention. Maximizing acetylcholine availability is very important for any supplement to boost your brain performance. For example, you can provide your brain with all the energy you want, but if it doesn’t have sufficient neurotransmitter levels to get the job done, that extra energy becomes useless. Cholinergics are a must to enhance your cognitive performance. Then which cholinergic will you need: Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline? Let’s know about these two nootropics.


Choline is just one part of CDP-Choline. Now let’s see  the benefits of uridine. Cytidine is a precursor for uridine. Both cytidine and uridine are utilized in RNA synthesis. Cytidine is purported to be converted to uridine in the body. It has some pretty profound nootropic implications. Additionally, cytidine appears to support the role of choline in delivering the benefits of CDP-Choline. By promoting phosphatidylcholine levels, cytidine frees more of the choline in CDP-Choline to go towards acetylcholine synthesis. Again, enhanced synapse formation may be the most impressive effect of uridine supplementation. Uridine and DHA are circulating precursors for the phosphatides in synaptic membranes, and act in part by increasing the substrate-saturation of enzymes that synthesize phosphatidylcholine from CTP (formed from the uridine, via UTP) and from diacylglycerol species that contain DHA. When uridine was supplemented with DHA, it accelerates phosphatide and synaptic protein synthesis, controls synaptogenesis. It also increases synaptic elements in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.[11] Similar to Alpha-GPC, the entire CDP-Choline molecule seems to work to promote brain health, memory function, and cognition. CDP-Choline is also purported to have some mild stimulatory properties. It may increase heart rate, and enhance the perception of mental energy. Increased dopamine release may be the cause of it. Enhanced dopamine and norepinephrine production can also reduce the perception of fatigue and boost motivation.

Alpha-GPC or CDP-Choline: Comparison

Alpha-GPC and CDP-Choline are part of the choline ‘cycle’. One is a precursor to phosphatidylcholine, while the other is a by-product. Both of them have a direct influence on choline availability in the brain. But there are comparisons between the two compounds, though few studies have been done only in this regard. The conducted clinical studies have used intravenous injections rather than oral ingestion.
A study shows that absorption by the oral route is virtually complete, and bioavailability by the oral route is therefore approximately the same as by the intravenous route.[12]
Alpha-GPC may be a more effective supplement for increasing brain choline levels.
Another study comparing the two concludes by saying that after the administration of CTC, plasma choline levels showed a similar time course but were considerably lower than those observed after the administration of alpha-GPC.[13]
Some other studies which are available online show that Alpha-GPC is more efficient at increasing free choline levels in the blood. But only a few studies are not, actually, enough to prove that one compound is ‘better’ than the other. Many researches are needed in this field to come to a definitive decision about it.
Besides improving cognitive function, Alpha-GPC and CDP-Choline both have outlying benefits beyond conferring choline that make the choice between them even more difficult. But when we go into these benefits, then CDP-Choline seems to be advanced in this area.
Both Alpha-GPC and CDP-Choline are broken down into choline and another substance in the body. They contribute to higher levels of phospholipids, thereby ensuring healthy dendrite (nerve cell) growth and maintenance.
Increasing neurotransmitter availability is definitely important, but ensuring that your brain has an abundant supply of phospholipids to rebuild itself is something very fundamental that you want to get right. And Alpha-GPC does this via conversion straight into phosphatidylserine, while CDP-Choline does this by first converting into phosphatidylcholine. But the significant thing is that they both do it.
Again, Uridine’s potential benefits may be one of those incredibly potent, holistic, and lasting nootropic substances that eventually find their way onto the ingredient list of every reputable stack on the market. Uridine appears to work synergistically with DHA, making its effects more evident and, potentially, longer-lasting. A study concludes by saying that it is possible that giving uridine plus DHA triggers a neuronal program that, by accelerating phosphatide and synaptic protein synthesis, controls synaptogenesis.[14] That means although DHA is believed to contribute to the maintenance of neural tissue, stacking DHA with Uridine turns this support into a full-blown program of reconstruction.
Over again, optimizing dopamine levels can have a profound effect on mood, motivation, and concentration. These are all huge nootropic benefits, and CDP-Choline seems better placed to ensure healthy dopamine and norepinephrine than Alpha-GPC.
Are you thinking now that CDP-Choline might be the better of the two cholinergics? Actually, nootropics are very person-dependent and what is right for one person may not necessarily be right for another. It’s up to you to decide which one of these two compounds you need in your stack.
When ingested orally, both CDP-Choline and Alpha-GPC operate in very similar ways. They are both involved in the biosynthesis of acetylcholine and cell membrane forming phospholipids. However, there are some tiny differences between them and they mean that one may be more suitable to your needs than another. So, research first, then decide the right stack for you.
Alpha-GPC is perhaps the cholinergic for you if you want something that is going to give you the biggest influx of choline in the shortest possible span of time. On the other hand, CDP-Choline might be the way to go for you if you want something that isn’t as fast acting, but has very similar results, and with arguably more potent outlying benefits. And, everything depends on you – what you actually want, and how you react to each substance.
Once more, the side effects that are often associated with Alpha-GPC are not usually associated with sensible CDP-supplementation. And it’s also that CDP-Choline is usually cheaper than Alpha-GPC.

Final Consideration

Both Alpha-GPC and CDP-Choline are involved in the biosynthesis of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter, and phospholipids that constitute brain cell membranes Alpha-GPC is a ‘step closer’ to acetylcholine than CDP-Choline, whereas CDP-Choline is more closely associated with phosphatidylcholine synthesis Alpha-GPC appears to be more efficient (by weight) than CDP-Choline, and quicker acting in terms of increasing brain choline levels CDP-Choline has been proven to be effective at preventing age-related cognitive decline, as well as assuaging the symptoms of memory loss related with neurodegeneration CDP-Choline delivers cytidine, which in turn elevates uridine levels in the body. This has the potential to promote real synapse production and neural cell growth Some users report side effects of taking Alpha-GPC while such reported side effects of taking CDP-Choline are rare CDP-Choline is associated with incredibly ‘peripheral’ benefits, including dopamine modulation, and enhancing the effects of DHA CDP-Choline is known to act as a stimulantOf course, each of the compounds has its qualities. Though their action is broadly the same, some small differences in their composition give them slightly different effects. So, now it’s your choice which one you will add to your nootropic stack – what you actually want, and how you react to each substance.