Choline Bitartrate & It’s Uses
Within more recent years, many supplement enthusiasts have tested products that encourage lucid dreams. Unlike the majority of dreams, a lucid dream is when you are aware that you’re dreaming. Although choline bitartrate can help you achieve this goal, it is also known for its ability to strengthen memory and mental performance.
Often stack with more potent nootropics, including Piracetam, users can achieve a powerful synergistic effect. When taken on its own, choline bitartrate helps ensure users that they get enough choline in their diet, essentially helping them ward off memory decline as they age.
What is Choline Bitartrate?
When breaking down this supplement, there’s one component that is particularly important — choline. This natural nutrient is naturally found within the body and although it can be produced, the available amount is fairly limited. Also found in foods such as eggs and fish, the majority of individuals do not get enough.
Found in living tissue, choline is critical for the synthesis and transport of lipids. Affiliated with B-complex vitamins, this nutrient is structurally identical to a type of fat found in cell membranes. While focusing on brain power, choline is a precursor to acetylcholine — the neurotransmitters responsible for cognition and memory formation.
The addition of bitartrate — which is essentially a salt, increases absorption. As mentioned, the body does not generally produce enough choline, so supplementation is highly recommended. It’s been stated in a number of studies, that choline deficiency is now thought to contribute to a range of diseases.
As stated in a 2009 review, published in Nutrition Reviews, when healthy adults were deprived of choline, 77 percent of men and 80 percent of postmenopausal women developed signs of organ dysfunction — experiencing symptoms of a fatty liver and muscle damage.
Once they consumed higher concentrations of choline, these effects were reversed. This leads us into some of the key benefits of supplementation, especially in terms of neonatal development.
Benefits of Choline Bitartrate
Pregnant women are well aware of folate supplements, but what about choline? Within recent studies, it’s been found that choline supplementation during neonatal development, can lead to long-term memory benefits. When studied in pregnant rats, a depletion of choline during critical periods of brain development led to lifelong changes in brain structure and function.
Another area of research has focused on heart health, as low choline levels are associated with increased homocysteine levels — essentially threatening heart health. As levels of homocysteine rise, this causes oxidative stress and potential damage, resulting in plaque formation.
This is important, as nearly 85 million Americans suffer from coronary vascular disease, leading to the number one cause of death — heart disease. Since plaque formation also leads to an increased risk of atherosclerosis — or the hardening of arteries, choline may also help protect against stroke.
While focusing on brain health, choline bitartrate supports the production and storage of acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter helps the brain communicate more effectively and the more that’s available, the better receptor sites respond. From improved learning abilities to improved memory, this essentially leads to higher brain power.
While studying brain tissue, it’s been found that individuals who consume high concentrations of choline, were not only more likely to perform better on cognitive testings; but based on MRI scans, a high consumption of choline was associated with healthier brain tissue. This, of course, has many practical applications in terms of health.
Interestingly, research has also examined choline in relation to anxiety. Within one study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 5918 participants were studied. It was found that the lowest choline group experienced high levels of anxiety. In turn, an inverse relationship between anxiety and choline levels was documented.
Although choline had little effect on symptoms of depression, it’s clear that it could essentially help those who suffer from anxiety disorders.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Like any new supplement, you need to be aware of any potential side effects. When taking choline bitartrate, side effects are typically rare. Well-tolerated in most users, this supplement is considered to be safe and effective. In some cases, users may experience some stomach issues, including pain and diarrhea.
When taken in extremely high doses, dizziness, low blood pressure, increase perspiration, and a fishy body odor may occur. Of course, if you experience any adverse effects, discontinue use immediately. If you’re currently taking any medication, pregnant, or breastfeeding, it’s best to speak with your doctor first.
How Much Should I Take?
At this time, the FDA recommends a daily dosage of 550 mg for men and 425 mg for women. If you’re aiming to enhance nootropic effects, you will, of course, need to increase this dosage. Depending on what you’re aiming to achieve, users generally take somewhere in the range of 550 and 3000 mg daily.
While taking choline bitartrate, before it reaches the brain, it needs to be converted — meaning, not all of the amount you take will end up within your brain. This is why some users prefer options such as Alpha GPC, Citicoline, or Centrophenoxine. Some recommend taking one of these lipid versions instead of a salt-based alternative.
This will simply allow you to experience the effects more rapidly, as they are able to convert acetylcholine at a more impressive rate, increasing cognitive functioning.