Choline bitartrate is one of the supplement forms of choline, an essential water-soluble nutrient that is similar to the B-Complex vitamins. Choline supplementation is prescribed mainly for the treatment of a wide range of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, cerebral ataxia, and certain types of dementia. It is also used for the treatment of other conditions like diseases of the liver, atherosclerosis, and glaucoma.
The supplement choline bitartrate is formulated with a chemical salt compound for better absorption. It is one of the more popular forms of choline supplements because of its affordability and availability. While choline bitartrate is a decent source of choline, most nootropic users prefer other forms of choline supplements, particularly those with higher concentrations like Alpha GPC and citicholine.
Choline is one of the common and preferred additions to cognitive enhancement supplement stacks. This is due to the fact that choline is a precursor of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for memory functions and other important cognitive processes. It is estimated that choline bitartrate contains between 40 to 50% choline in relation to its weight.
Choline bitartrate supplements are taken via oral administration either in powdered form or in capsules. Powdered choline bitartrate supplements are usually sold in 500 to 1000mg containers with prices ranging from 12 to 25 dollars for the 500mg container. The number of potential servings of this supplement per container makes it one of the cheaper choline supplement forms available.
The nootropic effects of choline bitartrate are centered mainly on its acetylcholine boosting properties. With choline being an acetylcholine precursor, it aids in its synthesis and helps the central nervous system in retaining this very important neurotransmitter. Increased levels of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter in the brain translate to improved cognitive processes like memory retention and recall, logical reasoning, ability to learn, and verbal fluency.
Choline bitartrate may also prove helpful for athletes, especially those who engage in endurance sports like long distance running and triathlons. Sustained physical exertion causes depletion in the natural stores of choline in the body. Replenishing it using choline bitartrate can increase an athlete’s level of performance during training and in competition.
The downsides to taking choline bitartrate as a choline supplement is that when it is taken orally, it has to undergo several changes before it can actually reach and pass through the blood-brain barrier in the brain. Through these processes, a good portion of the supplemental choline goes to waste. Choline bitartrate also has a number of side effects. These include irritation of the GI tract, diarrhea, fishy body odor, nausea, and dizziness.
- Widely available.
- It has other benefits apart from being a nootropic aid.
- It may work well with your current nootropic stack.
- May not be the most efficient way to supplement with choline.
- It has unpleasant side effects
- May not be a potent nootropic when taken on its own.
Due to varying sensitivities to choline, there isn’t a well-defined dosing standard for choline bitartrate supplementation. When taking it for its overall health benefits, a daily dose of 250 to 500mg is recommended. For its nootropic and acetylcholine boosting effects, 1,000 to 2,000mg daily dosing is advised. In order to determine the right dosage for yourself, it is recommended to start from 50mg and work your way up until you reach the dose that works for you.