Choline [acetylcholine precursor nutrient]

Dosing: 0.5g 3x daily
I began taking choline on November 17, 2011 at 500mg/day, but as of January 31, 2012 increased my dosage to 1.5g/day.

Reason for use: Coadministration of choline with Piracetam is highly recommended. Piracetam acts on the cholinergic system, and depletes the brain's reserves of acetylcholine1. Furthermore, studies in rats have found that coadministration of choline and piracetam is significantly more effective than the administration of either alone1. Rat studies alone are insufficient to recommend particular combinations of compounds or dosings. However, these data are also supported by a clinical study in Alzheimer's patients. While not all patients in the study showed significant improvement, those who did were those with the highest blood serum concentration of choline2. This study was very small-scale, but when combined with plausible mechanisms within our understanding of the cholinergic system and data from animal trials, sufficient impetus exists to recommend the use of choline with Piracetam.

Reason for dosing: The recommended daily allowance of choline for adult men is 550mg/day, for adult women 425mg/day, and the tolerable upper intake level for both is 3500mg/day3. The vast majority of Americans do not consume sufficient choline4, so the choline supplementation outlined here is treated as if it were the only source, ignoring that obtained through normal diet. Studies which focus on choline and Piracetam coadministration typically administer them in equal measure1,2, but this is too close to the tolerable upper intake level (and in fact typically exceeds it by a factor of two or three) for continuous dosing. Personal experimentation has led me to conclude that taking 0.5g choline with every 0.8g Piracetam is ideal for my neurochemistry -- I was pleased to find that deliberately taking Piracetam with inadequate choline consistently induced headaches in me, and that taking choline thereafter eliminated them with equal consistency. This enabled me to optimize my choline dosing by finding the minimum amount necessary to prevent headaches, then multiplying by 1.5, assuming this to be near the optimum consumption level -- above the daily requirement, but below the suspiciously convenient equal measures used in most studies1,2. It is also plausible to assume that Piracetam increases the requirement for choline, considering its impact on the cholinergic system1.

1) "Profound Effects of Combining Choline and Piracetam on Memory Enhancement and Cholinergic Function in Aged Rats"
Rats given piracetam performed slightly better than control rats, but rats given the piracetam/choline combination exhibited retention scores several times better than those given piracetam alone. In a second study, it was shown that twice the dose of piracetam or choline alone, still did not enhance retention nearly as well as when piracetam and choline were administered together. Piracetam administered alone decreases hippocampal acetylcholine concentrations in rats.

2) "Clinical Response to Choline plus Piracetam in Senile Dementia: Relation to Red-Cell Choline Levels"
In a small clinical study of Alzheimer's patients, only three showed improvement. These three had the highest serum and erythrocyte choline levels in the group.

3) "Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline"
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies consensus report on required and maximum intakes.

4) "Choline: An Essential Nutrient for Public Health"
Mean choline intakes for older children, men, women and pregnant women are far below the Adequate Intake established by the Institute of Medicine.

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