Essential Brain Nourishment: GPC Supplies Choline to the Brain

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Essential Brain Nourishment: GPC Supplies Choline to the Brain

The first step in the recycling process is to break down phosphatidylcholine into its individual components, one of which is L-a-glycerophosphocholine (GPC).18 As research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry has shown, the choline from GPC can be recovered by the cell and reused to produce fresh phosphatidylcholine where it is needed.19 In addition, the choline that is released from GPC within the neuron can be used to produce acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter chemical without which much of your brain activity would be impossible.

GPC Works with Choline

If for some reason not enough choline is available to support the need for new acetylcholine, brain cells will “cannibalize” their own membranes, tearing out phosphatidylcholine to get at its choline. The results of a study published recently in Mechanisms of Ageing and Development show that, within brain cells, supplemental GPC is a better source of choline than is dietary choline.20 Adequate GPC availability prevents neuronal self-destruction from occurring.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Essential Brain Nourishment: GPC Promotes Mental Processing

18. Zaccheo O, Dinsdale D, Meacock PA, Glynn P. Neuropathy target esterase and its yeast homologue degrade phosphatidylcholine to glycerophosphocholine in living cells. J Biol Chem 2004;279:24024-24033.
19. Fernandez-Murray JP, McMaster CR. Glycerophosphocholine catabolism as a new route for choline formation for phosphatidylcholine synthesis by the Kennedy pathway. J Biol Chem 2005;280:38290-38296.
20. Amenta F, Tayebati SK, Vitali D, Di Tullio MA. Association with the cholinergic precursor choline alphoscerate and the cholinesterase inhibitor rivastigmine: An approach for enhancing cholinergic neurotransmission. Mech Ageing Dev 2006;127:173-179.

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