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Choline and Inositol Supplement Review

choline & inositolInositol and Choline supplements are usually packed together for a very good reason. These important brain supplements work in harmony to promote better cognitive function and healthier brain cells.

Once upon a time Inositol was known as a B-Vitamin, specifically Vitamin B8. Nowadays, this nutrient is no longer considered as a vitamin. Choline on the other hand is considered a vitamin and is one of the few substances that can freely pass through the blood brain barrier (BBB).

Even though these two supplements are not known to be the most powerful brain mental boosters, both are needed to improve cognitive processes related to learning, memory, energy levels, and mood. What benefits does Inositol and Choline provide, how do they work together and what is the proper way to utilize them, we discuss it below.

What is Inositol?choline inositol supplements

Inositol is a mood-enhancing nutrient believed to work particularly well in women who suffer from anxiety or post-menstrual syndrome (PMS). After it was discovered that the body has the ability to make its own inositol, this nutrient was removed from the vitamin category. Inositol is available as a natural supplement that may be just as effective than other some prescribed medications in treating various mental health conditions we discuss below and mention why.

What are the benefits of Inositol?

  • Treats Anxiety: Inositol can affect the action of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a compound present in blood platelets and serum that constricts the blood vessels. Occurrence of depression and anxiety are thought to be related to decreased levels of serotonin in our body. The Ministry of Mental Health at Ben Gurion University published the “Journal of Clinical Psychology” last 1995 after conducting a double-blind study. It was shown that conditions like anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were effectively treated by the use of inositol. Additionally, inositol plays a role in nerve transmission, proper cell formation, and transportation of body fat.
  • Treats Depression: As mentioned earlier, low levels of serotonin are thought to be a major contributing cause of depression. Inositol is a common supplement used in treating depressive symptoms since it helps in manufacturing serotonin. However, unlike choline, inositol is not thought to be an essential nutrient. There’s not enough research to support inositol’s effectiveness in treating depression.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels: By breaking down the fatty deposits, Lecithin could prevent the build-up of fats in the walls of the heart, arteries and brain. As a result, it lowers your cholesterol level, and lessens the fat in your arteries. The fun fact is, when taking inositol combined with choline, lecithin can be produced in your body.
  • Help babies with respiratory problems: In the late 90s, one study suggests that inositol helps new born babies with respiratory distress by reducing disability and death. This supplement has no known side effects and helps in lowering rates of death, brain bleeding, complications of the lungs, and even eye problems. However, it is important that if you are pregnant, you should first consult your physician before adding inositol to prenatal vitamin stack.
  • Helps diabetes sufferers: Inositol could not cure diabetes, however, with increased intake, it can ease the symptoms. Inositol supplements can help treat diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that occurs to people who have diabetes. Inositol has a positive impact on body cells. Since majority of the nerve functions are affected by the decrease of inositol in the cell, thus, increasing inositol intake could help relieve this condition.
  • Helps fight against cancer: Few studies in vitro suggests that inositol, when combined with phytic acid helps to fight against cancer.
  • Eases constipation: Inositol stimulates muscular contraction and eases pain of constipation. Excessive relaxation of the muscles in your intestines and alimentary canal are due to a decrease of inositol in your system which can lead to constipation. Inositol is likewise used in pregnant women during delivery to stimulate muscular contraction.
  • For sleep and insomnia: Inositol promotes peacefulness and calmness, which are essential in order to get a good sleep. Inositol is really helpful those who have troubles in going to sleep, since it helps to improve normal communication in the brain by releasing chemicals like serotonin.

What is Choline?

Choline is known as an important nutrient and is considered to be a member of the Vitamin B family. It can be naturally found inside our body and in various food products. This essential nutrient is produced in the liver; however, this amount is somewhat small and is not enough to promote and maintain good health.

Food products that are rich in Choline include egg yolks, liver, spinach, wheat germ, beans, nuts, and fish. Choline Bitartrate is the type of choline that can be usually bought in the supplement stores, but you can also purchase Choline Citrate as well.

Administering advanced versions of Choline known as CDP Choline (Citicoline) or Alpha GPC has been observed to be effective in treating anxiety, depression, liver dysfunctions and diseases, memory loss, dementia, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Choline can also benefit athletes since it has the ability to effectively increase muscle bulk and delay the onset of fatigue. It is also used as an additive in infant formula to prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects and could be related to increased IQ scores.

On the off chance that you would like to improve your brain power, Choline can be the best choice for you since it is a direct precursor of Acetylcholine, which one of the most important brain chemicals. This neurotransmitter plays an important role in numerous cognitive processes including learning, memory formation, decision making, focus, and many more.

Furthermore, Inositol and Choline supplements aid in the repair and development of worn-out and new cell membranes of neurons inside the brain. These substances also function to transport fats throughout the body, thus preventing the occurrence of fatty liver disease and make it easier to reduce weight.

Other benefits of Choline?

  • Treats Asthma: Studies show that taking choline could reduce the symptoms and the frequency of asthma in some individuals. Higher doses of Choline, which is 3 grams per day could be more effective than lower doses (1.5 grams per day).
  • Treats liver disease secondary to exclusive feeding or parenteral nutrition: Administering choline via intravenous route (by IV) has been proven by some studies to be effective in treating liver disease in individuals who have choline deficiency and are receiving parenteral nutrition.
  • Lowers the risk of neural tube defects: Some evidences show that women who have high intakes of choline in their diet during the time of conception appears to have lower risk of having infants with neural defects than those women who have low choline diet.

Stacking Inositol and Choline

choline and inositol stacksStacking means taking two supplements that provide synergistic effects by working in harmony with each other. Taking both Inositol and Choline appears to be more effective than taking it separately. Experts observe the complementary actions of these two supplements in different areas, especially in the production of lecithin inside the body. Lecithin is a type of lipid that plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of cell membrane in the entire body.

Utilizing Choline and Inositol could not only prevent premature cell death and improve the health of cell membranes, they could likewise enhance the ability of the cells to absorb nutrients. This leads to enhanced responsiveness of brain cells that results to improved cognitive function. A good comparison of the two can be seen here: Choline vs Inositol which can also help you find stacks that utilize these supplements, additionally if you go to the stacks page, you can enter both of these supplements and pull up a list of all stacks that contain these two supplements.

What are the side effects of Choline Inositol?

Inositol Choline is non-toxic and is not likely to produce any harmful effects. However, dosages beyond 500 mg per day may cause minimal side effects. These side effects include nausea, headaches, decreased appetite, body odor, dizziness, profuse sweating, and redness of the skin. In order to prevent these side effects from happening, it is advisable that you start at the lowest effective dose then gradually increase it once you have become familiar with its effects.

On the off chance that you have hypotension (low blood pressure) or any medical conditions, it is vital that you first consult your physician before deciding to take Choline Inositol.

Recommended dosage for Choline Inositol

The usual recommended dose for Inositol is 250 mg of Inositol and 250 mg of Choline Bitartrate. These dosages do not provide brain boosting benefits for the majority of people, but are appropriate for a daily multivitamin use.

The usual recommended dose for those who are suffering from anxiety is 1 gram of Inositol per day divided in two equal doses taken in the morning and a few hours before going to bed. For those who want to improve their memory, a dose of 2 grams of Choline per day is recommended, divided into two equal administrations, taken in the morning and evening.

Taking high doses could cost you a lot of money, especially with the brand name Choline Inositol sold at Walgreens, GNC, or Walmart. It is less expensive to purchase bulk Myo-Inositol powder and Choline powder separately and then mix them together in any dosage you prefer.

References:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-299-inositol.aspx?activeingredientid=299&activeingredientname=inositol
  2. http://vitguide.com/inositol-benefits/
  3. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=50
  4. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-436-choline.aspx?activeingredientid=436&

Is Alpha GPC the best Choline source?

AlphaGpc Supplement
Many choline supplements are readily available today to choose from, how do you determine which one to take or whether you should naturally get your daily choline intake? In the nootropic world, various kinds of choline supplements can be chosen from. But the question is, how do they differ from one another? And which is the best choline source among them all?

Before naming the different types of choline sources, let’s discuss what choline really is. Choline is a water-soluble nutrient that was first discovered by Adolph Strecker in 1864. By the year 1998, choline was classified as an essential nutrient by the Food and Nutrition Board of the US Institute of Medicine. Our bodies are capable of producing choline however, this is not sufficient for our body’s daily needs. Because of this, choline may be obtained from supplements and a variety of food sources.

Choline is closely related to the Vitamin B-complex family. It plays a role in the structure and integrity of our cell membranes as well as in the process of methylation. Moreover, choline is considered to be the backbone of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Acetylcholine or Ach, is vital for the proper functioning of our neurons and is closely associated to one’s memory and cognitive functions (1). Because of this reason, Choline has been one of the essential supplements in the nootropic world and is even used with other supplements for a more potent cognitive benefit. Aside from that, Choline can also prevent and lessen some negative side effects associated with Racetam use.

What are the natural sources of choline?

Before the arrival of choline supplements, how did people get their daily dose? various food sources contain a significant amount of choline in them. It can be found in many plants and animal foods as well as in some processed foods. And, it has discovered that the food with the highest levels of choline is egg. Yes, those eggs that you ate for your daily breakfast is not just your ordinary breakfast meal. Below are the top 10 food sources that have the highest levels in choline with their corresponding specified portion.

Top 10 Choline Sources

1. Eggs
1 whole egg= 146.90 mg 35% DRI/DV

Eggs are considered one of the healthiest foods on earth and have numerous essential compounds in it. Aside from its high levels of choline content, eggs have been recognized as a source of high quality protein. It also contains high amounts of Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Manganese, Selenium, Omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, and so much more. These nutrients each play a vital role in our body’s proper functioning and promotion of a healthy body.


2. Shrimps
4 oz= 153.54 mg 36% DRI/DV

Aside from being an excellent source of choline, Shrimps contain significantly high levels of various important nutrients needed for the body’s proper functioning. To name a few, they are Selenium, Vitamin B12, Protein, Phosphorus, and Copper. Shrimps also play a role as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent as well as having omega-3 fatty acids.


3. Scallops
4 oz= 125.53 mg 30% DRI/DV

Scallops are known for having high levels of choline, Vitamin B12, Iodine, Phosphorus, Protein, and other essential compounds. It serves to promote a healthier cardiovascular system as well as in cancer prevention and age-related cognitive decline.


4. Cod
4 oz= 90.38 mg 21% DRI/DV

Aside from its choline content, Cod provides high levels of other essential compounds such as Vitamin B12, Iodine, Selenium, Phosphorus, Protein, and among many others. It serves to promote a healthier cardiovascular function as well as in cancer prevention.


5. Collard Greens
1 cup= 72.96 mg 17% DRI/DV

Aside from being an excellent source of choline, Collard greens contain significantly high levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, manganese, Vitamin C, and other essential compounds. Like Mustard greens, Collard greens also play in cancer prevention by acting to the body’s detox, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory systems.


6. Brussel Sprouts
1 cup= 63.34 mg 15% DRI/DV

Brussels Sprouts are known for its high levels of choline, Vitamin K content, Vitamin C, and folate levels. It has also been shown to play a role in cancer prevention by acting on the body’s detox, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory systems.


7. Broccoli
1 cup= 62.56 mg 15% DRI/DV

Broccoli is known to be an excellent source of choline, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Chromium, and many other essential compounds. Its health benefits include addressing the development of cancer and its relationship to the three metabolic problems: chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and inadequate detoxification.


8. Swiss Chard
1 cup= 50.23 mg 12% DRI/DV

Swiss Chard is not only one of the most famous vegetables in the Mediterranean but also is one of the most nutritious vegetables. It belongs to the chenopod family along with Spinach, beets, and quinoa. It is an excellent source of choline, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and many other essential compounds.


9. Cauliflower
1 cup= 48.48 mg 11% DRI/DV

Cauliflowers contain significantly high amounts of choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, and among many other essential nutrients. It poses its benefits to the human body as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory agent and supports a healthier cardiovascular system.


10. Asparagus
1 cup= 46.98 mg 11% DRI/DV

Asparagus contains a variety of essential nutrients such as choline, Vitamin K, Folate, Copper, and among many others. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and also supports cardiovascular health. (1)

And, So, What is Alpha GPC?

Alpha GPC or Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine which is also sometimes called Choline Alfoscerate, is one of the many variations of choline supplements available today. Many people regard Alpha GPC as the best available choline supplement since it has a slightly different pathway for increasing the levels of Acetylcholine in the brain. One of its unique characteristics is that it is able to pass the blood brain barrier easily thus, delivering its results faster. Aside from the enhanced cognitive function it provides through the influence on the cholinergic system, Alpha GPC also enhances mood through the dopaminergic system and increases strength and lean muscle mass through its influence on the pituitary glands. Alpha GPC also has neuroprotective properties. It serves to maintain the health of our neurons and neuronal communication within the brain. Also, it helps form new brain cells while preventing damage. With this mechanism of action that Alpha GPC possesses, it keeps our brain young, healthy, and functioning at its peak performance.

Buy alphaGPC

Alpha GPC is more concentrated and more effective (alpha gpc’s benefits here) than the other choline supplements on a per weight basis. Although Alpha GPC tends to be more expensive, it is almost twice as strong and potent from Citicoline, another good source of choline. Meaning, Alpha GPC requires a much lower dosage to produce the same effects as the other choline supplements. Let’s say for example, Alpha GPC’s recommended daily dosage is from 250 mg to 500 mg. This dosage is already sufficient to provide you with cognitive and health benefits. Meanwhile, the other choline sources might require you to double that dose in order to see results. In this way, you would be paying less from your money but at a higher quality of choline.

What are the other Choline Sources?

Aside from Alpha GPC, some other good choline sources available today are Centrophenoxine (Lucidril), Choline Bitartrate, and Citicoline. Centrophenoxine is a synthetic version that is derived from DMAE. Due to phospholipid transformation, it may cause a significant increase in Acetylcholine levels in the brain. It has anti-aging and detox properties and provides a boost in the brain’s energy levels.

Choline Bitartrate on the other hand, is another choline source that is fairly cheap to buy and use. Although it has a high concentration of choline, it cannot efficiently pass the blood brain barrier. In this way, a lot of potential effect is put to waste.

Another choline source is Citicoline, also referred to as CDP Choline. One unique characteristic of which is that it undergoes a double conversion – it splits into choline and cytidine, both of which produce cognitive benefits. Citicoline improves mood and energy as well as it promotes a healthier brain.

Choosing a supplement such as that of a choline source, greatly depends upon your choice and preferences. It would be best to try different choline sources and see for yourself which one is most effective for you. You can visit our shop to see which nootropic vendors we recommend and trust.

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References:

  1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=50