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Primer on Choline Sources

choline supplements

Chances are if you are taking piracetam or other racetams and don’t have a proper diet, you may need to supplement on choline to avoid headaches. I will talk about what choline is, the different sources of choline and why you need it in your diet. There are many sources of choline, we will discuss the right one for you.

Choline is a simple water soluble nutrient, and is usually organized in the same group as B vitamins. Recently in 1998 it was classified as an essential nutrient by the American Food and Nutrition of Board, which is part of the Institute of Medicine.

Choline generally helps with the development of the brain and the retention of memory (as tested in baby rats). When pregnant women are given choline, their offspring having a fully developed hippocampus (which helps with long term memory consolidation).

Choline helps your brain with muscle control via acetylcholine — acetylcholine activates muscles, and is a major neurotransmitter in the autonomic nervous system. Research has shown that memory, intelligence, and mood are mediated in part by the metabolism of acetylcholine.

Sources of Choline in Foods: Beef Liver, Cauliflower, Eggs (yolks), Broccoli, Cod Fish, Spinach, Chicken, Kidney Beans among others. The list is in Descending order, meaning the highest choline amount per mg is from Beef Liver in our list.

So, how much choline should be had daily by an adult male? The right Intake amount per day for an adult male is 550 mg/day. Additionally if you are not interested in eating real food (which is the best way to get choline) you can try supplementing. You can see if you can buy beef liver capsules, which are not too expensive.

The second way is directly buying choline supplements, such as Phosphatidylcholine, which has 13% choline based on weight. Choline Salts such as Choline Bitartrate is also a good options as it’s effective and very cheap, and for this reason it is most commonly stacked with Racetams. What we recommend is you take Alpha GPC (benefits of AlphaGPC here) and CDP Choline (also known as Citicoline) as a choline source, as it is much stronger and can be considered nootropic by themselves. The reason Alpha GPC and Citicoline seem “stronger” is because they convert to Acetylcholine more efficiently then say salts. Lastly, there is some anecdotal evidence suggesting that salts causes headaches for those stacking it with racetams.

AlphaGPC is 40% choline by weight as opposed to Phosphatidylcholine which is 13% and is able to cross the blood brain barrier intact. CDP Choline and Alpha GPC both contribute to acetylcholine and PC synthesis, they both raise brain levels of choline effectively, both are naturally occurring, both have helped patients with dementia, both increase AhCE. Now the differences?  AlphaGPC is capable of increasing Growth Hormone (may be good if you are going to be bench pressing. Additionally it has been banned by some athletic organizations). CDP Choline is about half or 18% choline by weight, CDP restores dopamine receptor densities in rodents. CDP raises uridine + choline levels which are thought to work synergistically to create phosphatidylcholine.

In terms of safety and side effects, citicoline has a good safety record (reference provided below). The most common side effects that affected 3% of the patients out of over 2800+ was digestive disturbances and appetite suppressing effects when over 200mg/day was consumed.