In this developing age, we need to be vigilant, active, and smart in order to perform at our best.
A healthy diet, ensuring we take our essential nutrients, are daily requirements that have immeasurable value in our life.
One such essential nutrient is choline.
Choline is needed for memory, learning, sleep, energy, and much more. With its involvement in both the brain and nervous system, it’s crucial that you obtain this nutrient from either diet, supplementation, or both.
The requirement for choline is often insufficient when relying only on diet, hence many find supplementation to obtain choline necessary.
Choline Bitartrate is a supplement that fulfills your body’s requirement for choline.
As one of the most affordable sources of choline on the market, Choline Bitartrate is a solid choice for those who are worried about getting sufficient levels of choline through diet alone.
As we discuss this supplement today, you will find out everything you need to make an informed decision about using Choline Bitartrate.
What is Choline Bitartrate?
Choline Bitartrate is a supplement most widely known for its cognitive benefits. Structurally it is choline combined with a salt of tartaric, which helps to boost its bioavailability when compared to pure choline (1).
Being a small molecular weight salt of choline, it is found to be more potent, water-soluble, and efficacious compared to other choline supplements.
Many adults are deficient in choline, the latter being an essential nutrient present in certain foods, particularly meat and dairy, and widely sold as a variety of over-the-counter supplements.
If you use Piracetam or other members of the racetam family for their nootropic benefits, it is important to add a supplemental source of choline to your nootropic stack.
If you are looking for an inexpensive option that has been found to boost choline levels in both the brain and body, this supplement may work for you.
How Does It Work?
Intake of Choline Bitartrate boosts the availability of choline levels found inside the brain (2).
In a study on healthy young adults and older adults, both plasma and brain levels of choline were boosted after supplementing with Choline Bitartrate.
It was found that after one dose of 50 mg/kg body weight, both the plasma and brain concentration of choline and choline-containing molecules increased for both age groups. While the plasma concentration increased 76% in the young adults and 80% in the older adults, the brain levels increased 60% in young adults and only 16% in older adults.
This study demonstrates two things: Supplementation with this compound increases both plasma and brain concentrations of choline and choline-containing compounds in adults of all ages.
The main functions of choline in the human body include:
- Protects cell membranes, improves brain health, and protects against age-related cognitive decline
- Acts as a precursor for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter critical for memory and learning
- Boosts liver health, particularly when it comes to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- May protect against cardiovascular disease
- Is a major part of the polar head of phosphatidylcholine, which is required for cell membrane integrity and hence is required for all basic biological processes.
As a part of the polar head of phosphatidylcholine, choline is important for the integrity of cell membranes and hence is vital to all basic biological processes.
Acetylcholine is a major neurotransmitter, and adequate levels of acetylcholine protect against various forms of dementia.
These functions on a cellular level make choline an essential requirement and make it necessary for the functional integrity of the body.
Benefits of Choline Bitartrate
Choline and Brain Health
When it comes to brain health, choline plays many important roles. Multiple studies have found the benefits of supplementing with a variety of choline supplements on brain health and cognitive function (3).
Even though few of these studies were on this specific supplement, this supplement has been found to increase both the plasma and brain concentration of choline and choline-containing molecules, as outlined above. Because it is the choline that is the breakthrough ingredient, the benefits of choline in the brain from other supplements are likely to carry over, to some degree, to this drug as well.
Choline has been found to:
- Improve memory
- Reduce physical and mental fatigue
- Increase energy and focus
- Boost brain health
- Improved sleep
Choline Enhances Memory
Many of the positive benefits of choline on memory are because of its ability to act as a precursor to acetylcholine (ACh) in the brain (4).
ACh is a neurotransmitter critical for memory formation and learning. It is also linked to improving mental clarity.
Animal studies have found that supplementation with choline improves memory in rodents.
While similar studies in humans find mixed results, some do find improvements in working memory, verbal learning, and memory in populations with impaired memory performance.
More studies are needed on humans to confirm the benefits for healthy adults.
Choline Improves Sleep
Choline has been shown to help initiate rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. One of the five stages of sleep, REM sleep is considered the most important when it comes to memory formation and storing what was learned throughout the day.
One way in which it is believed to contribute to restful sleep is through its impact on the stimulus barrier. This barrier helps us to ignore the noise and other input from the external environment when we sleep, allowing us to sleep without interruption.
This nutrient is also known to boost the vividness of dreams. Some users even report that choline has allowed them to experience lucid dreaming, where they are aware that they are dreaming and in control of what happens (5).
Promotes Optimal Brain Health
Because of its ability to help with developing new cells and maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, choline is known to help improve overall brain health and function.
Improves Visuomotor Performance
In a study on twenty-eight adults, it was found that ingestion of two grams of Choline Bitartrate improved their ability to hit the center of a target, improving precision, when compared to placebo (6).
In a small study on three patients with Alzheimer-type dementia, it was found that 12.0 g/day of Choline Bitartrate was found to improve some cognitive performance abilities, including auditory and visual word recognition (7).
Improves Bipolar Disorder
Another very small human study found improvements in manic and mood symptoms in the majority of patients treated with Choline bitartrate, along with a rise in the concentration of choline-containing compounds in the basal ganglia region of the brain (8).
Choline Bitartrate Dosage
So how much choline should you consume per day? That depends on your age, diet, and nootropics that you use. The recommended daily intake (RDA) of choline for adults is 425 mg/day for women and 550 mg/day for men. This is combined from both food and supplement sources.
But what if you need a good source of choline to get the most out of your nootropic stack?
Certain nootropics boost levels of ACh in a variety of ways, and without sufficient choline in your body, you won’t only be unable to get the most out of the cognitive benefits. You may also suffer unpleasant side effects, like headaches and fatigue.
As one of the most affordable sources of choline, many young adults looking to up their choline supply may turn to this compound. It is a good start as studies have shown it to increase brain choline levels.
If this is you, experts recommend taking between 500 and 1,000 mg/day of this supplement for nootropic purposes.
Choline is commonly found in many plant and animal-based foods. Some foods that contain high levels of choline are:
- Fish, like salmon and tuna
- Red Potatoes
- Kidney beans
- Dairy products, like cottage cheese
- Whole eggs
Choline can be obtained from a variety of sources that are commonly a part of the diet. Since it is also abundant in plant sources, there are many options for people who eat plant-based diets.
When taken at or below the daily upper intake of 3.5 grams for adults over 18, few side effects are experienced.
The more you take the more likely side effects will occur. Some of the most common side effects include:
- Fishy body odor
- Digestive upset
Here are a few user reviews, bringing to light what experience people who have tried choline bitartrate had with the supplementation.
“It helps my piracetam work and it definitely helps the headaches it’s nothing groundbreaking but it works.”tapestry0fm0lecules
“Choline bitartrate is sufficient for any liver benefits of choline”.5c044
“bitartrate is good enough with just a little higher dose. The bitartrate is quite cheaper than alpha gpc”tinny123
Although users have found bitartrate to be inexpensive and effective, some users were not impressed with the effects.
“Choline Bitartrate and Choline Citrate are economic forms of Choline. Its bioavailability sucks, Alpha-GPC would give you way more bioavailability per mg.”dennisonchubly
“ choline bitartrate works great, but like most people mentioned it also elevates TMAO”assolutofrut
Choline Bitartrate Stacks
Choline bitartrate can be stacked with racetam-family nootropics, like Piracetam, which will affect the flow of ACh in your brain. Similarly, all racetam-family nootropics will affect ACh use in your brain.
Let’s look at some specific racetam-family nootropics that can be stacked with Choline Bitartrate.
Choline Bitartrate and Coluracetam
Coluracetam stack with choline bitartrate will increase the choline-ACh conversion through the High-Affinity Choline Uptake (HAKU) process. This will ensure the upregulation of Choline levels in the brain, thus boosting the overall process.
Choline Bitartrate and Pramiracetam
Pramiracetam stack, similar to coluracetam, increases the choline to ACh conversion through the HAKU process.
Choline Bitartrate and Oxiracetam
Oxiracetam enhances choline-acetyltransferase which is used to synthesize ACh and can be stacked with choline bitartrate. Both of the compounds can synergistically increase the choline levels and make sure that you are high on choline!
Where to Buy Choline Bitartrate?
As one of the least expensive and most widely used choline sources, Choline Bitartrate can be found in both bulk powder and capsule forms.
It can be difficult to find in local pharmacies but is widely available through reputable nootropics vendors online, who vet the quality of the supplements that they sell. Read the following section to know more about the vendors that I would absolutely recommend any time of the day.
Choline Bitartrate vs Other Compounds
When deciding what choline supplement to take, some of the most common and talked about options in the nootropic community are CDP-Choline, Alpha GPC, Choline Bitartrate, and Phosphatidylcholine.
Choline Bitartrate vs Phosphatidylcholine
In the body, choline is used as a precursor to phosphatidylcholine, which is in turn used to create ACh.
When you take supplemental phosphatidylcholine, in essence, you are taking a combination of choline, fatty acids, and phosphates.
Amongst these two supplements, Choline Bitartrate has a higher concentration of actual choline, however, they both provide powerful benefits to cognition and brain health.
Alpha GPC vs Choline Bitartrate
Both of these supplements are about 40% choline by weight.
The main benefit of Alpha GPC when compared to this supplement is its ability to easily cross over the blood-brain barrier.
Chemically, Alpha GPC is a byproduct of phosphatidylcholine (PC), and thus it occurs naturally in the brain. PC is found in cell membranes and is broken down when brain levels of choline are too low, and then the PC is used to create Alpha GPC.
Citicoline vs Choline Bitartrate
Citicoline, also known as CDP-Choline, is 18% choline by weight, in comparison to 40% choline by weight of this supplement. Citicoline makes up for this lack of choline with its ability to cross over the blood-brain barrier and be used as a precursor to making ACh.
What happens chemically in your brain in the creation of ACh is this: choline passes over the blood-brain barrier, is synthesized into CDP-Choline, is converted into PC, and then used to create more ACh.
When you supplement with CDP-Choline, you boost the creation of both PC and ACh. This effect is greater than with Choline Bitartrate thanks to its greater ability to cross over into the brain.
Is Choline Bitartrate Legit?
Choline Bitartrate is an effective, relatively inexpensive supplement that is shown to boost levels of choline and hence provides additive benefits associated with choline.
It is to be noted that further studies are required for a more comprehensive review, but existing studies and user reviews provide sufficient data about how effective choline bitartrate can be.
Other options on the market have higher bioavailability, which can further enhance choline in the body.
FAQs about Choline Bitartrate
Is Choline Bitartrate safe?
Choline is safe for most when taken below 3.5 grams daily. Taking higher doses is probably unsafe, and may cause effects like vomiting, fishy body odor, and diarrhea.
When Should I Take Choline Bitartrate?
Choline Bitartrate can be taken before breakfast or lunch, preferably in one capsule.
Is Choline Bitartrate Good for Weight Loss?
Choline assists in the emulsification and dissolution of fats and cholesterol in your body. Choline can help the body burn fat, resulting in more effortless weight loss and better metabolic health.
Is Choline good for Hair Growth?
Choline for hair growth includes numerous choline hair benefits along with other key health benefits. A lack of this macronutrient can contribute to dull hair, thinning hair, hair loss, and baldness. This makes choline a choice supplement for anyone doing all they can to support optimal health.
Is Choline Good For ADHD?
Since the hippocampus also helps to regulate emotions, choline consumption can even help to calm the aggressive tendencies of those with ADHD. Choline also helps to develop the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe helps to determine what you should pay attention to and what you should ignore.