Ep. 281 The Power of Alpha GPC: Boosting Cognitive Health and Performance with Scott Emmens

Your trusted source for nutrition, wellness, and mindset for thriving health.

I am thrilled to announce a monumental milestone in our podcast journey! At the time of this recording, our latest podcast reached an astounding 4 million downloads! With continued support and enthusiasm from our dedicated listeners, we hope to surpass 6 million downloads by the end of this year!

Today, I am delighted to dive into an intriguing topic as we explore the latest collaboration between MD Logic Health and myself. Joining me on the podcast is Scott Emmons, the esteemed COO of MD Logic Health and a fellow health entrepreneur.

For this episode, our focus centers on Alpha GPC, a groundbreaking cobranded supplement that will redefine the landscape of brain health, exercise performance, and neuroprotection. This remarkable supplement will captivate your attention as we explore its multifaceted benefits and synergistic mechanisms alongside creatine monohydrate. Acting as a precursor to acetylcholine, Alpha GPC plays a pivotal role in cognition, learning, memory, and attention, with the ability to traverse the formidable blood-brain barrier.

Brace yourself for an in-depth discussion on the cutting-edge research surrounding these mechanisms and their profound implications. Mark your calendar, as Alpha GPC will be launched in July 2023, accompanied by exclusive pre-sale incentives you will not want to miss!

“Alpha GPC has neuroprotective properties and may be able to prevent cognitive decline.”

– Scott Emmens


  • What is Alpha GPC, and how does it work?
  • The benefits of green tea and coffee for Alpha GPC.
  • Key areas in terms of benefits for Alpha GPC.
  • Little tricks to make your coffee taste great.
  • Keeping your wits about you as you get older.
  • The effect of caffeine on the mitochondria.
  • The remarkable physical benefits of Alpha GPC.
  • How Alpha GPC elevates human growth hormone.
  • The efficacy of Alpha GPC on physical endurance.
  • Why recovery is more important than the exercise.
  • How Alpha GPC impacts the brain.

I chose to incorporate Alpha GPC as my third product due to my personal experience with its remarkable benefits. Over the past six months, intermittent use of Alpha GPC has provided me with enhanced mental clarity without the need for caffeine. I have also noticed improved information retention and memory, complementing my lifestyle practices such as quality sleep, exercise, nutrition, and intermittent fasting.

Connect with Cynthia Thurlow

Connect with Scott Emmens

Relevant research:

Effect of a new cognition enhancer, alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, on scopolamine-induced amnesia and brain acetylcholine – PubMed (nih.gov)

Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine Increases Motivation in Healthy Volunteers: A Single-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Human Study – PMC (nih.gov)

Evaluation of the effects of two doses of alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine on physical and psychomotor performance – PubMed (nih.gov)






Cynthia Thurlow: Welcome to Everyday Wellness podcast. I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner, Cynthia Thurlow. This podcast is designed to educate, empower, and inspire you to achieve your health and wellness goals. My goal and intent, is to provide you with the best content and conversations from leaders in the health and wellness industry each week and impact over a million lives.

To my Everyday Wellness community, I’m so excited to share that we just hit 4 million downloads at the time of this recording of my most recent podcast, which is so exciting. Thank you so much for your love and support. And I also wanted to read one of the latest ratings on iTunes from Compassionate wannabe. Cynthia, you and your team have created such a fantastic resource for everyone wanting to keep up with the latest research and wellness. Each episode shows the amount of time and effort you put in preparing for your guests. So much to learn, so much information. Thank you for providing this most valuable resource. Thank you, Compassionate wannabe. We follow your feedback and your reviews really closely. And again, I am just expressing gratitude for the 4 million downloads. We are on target to likely hit 6 million downloads by the end of the year, which is really exciting.

Today, I wanted to dive into information about the latest co-branded supplement I will be doing with MD Logic. Today, I connected with Scott Emmens. He is the COO of MD Logic and a fellow health entrepreneur. Today, we discussed Alpha-GPC. This is a nootropic agent that is integral in brain health, exercise performance, and neuroprotection. It has a great deal of synergistic mechanism with creatine monohydrate. It’s a naturally occurring compound that acts as a precursor to acetylcholine, which plays a role in cognition, learning, memory, and attention. It can actually cross the blood brain barrier.

We discussed relevant research and spoke at great length about several studies and how they reflect on these key mechanisms for brain health, exercise performance, and neuroprotection. Alpha-GPC will be coming out in July of 2023. So excited for you to get your hands on it. There will be some incentives to order during the presale. And you’re probably wondering why I decided to make Alpha-GPC as my third product. And the real honest answer is I have been utilizing this intermittently over the last six months and it has allowed me to feel a great deal of mental clarity without caffeine. It has allowed me to feel as if I have greater ability to retain information, greater memory. And this is in conjunction with all the other things that I do in terms of lifestyle, other supplements, high quality sleep, exercise, pristine nutrition, intermittent fasting. And this has really been a great addition to my supplement stack.

There’s also solid research on exercise performance and neuroprotection, but this is always in the context of making sure we have those lifestyle things added in. So, Alpha-GPC is part of my everyday stack that I take in the morning. As I stated earlier, one of the reasons why I wanted to bring it into the supplement line was that I just felt as if this was going to be a total game changer for focus, brain health, improvement in cognition, memory and learning. All of which are things that I know my Everyday Wellness community is also equally interested in. And there’s pretty interesting, at least initial research suggesting that Alpha-GPC with creatine monohydrate can have a synergistic effect. And so, from my perspective, that’s why I love seeing supplements that can be used that have multiple different uses, but also can beneficial so we can simplify our supplement regimens and not overcomplicate them. I hope you will enjoy this information as much as I did recording it with Scott.

Well, Scott, always a pleasure to have you back on the podcast to talk about Alpha-GPC.

Scott Emmens: Thank you so much, Cynthia. It’s always a pleasure to be here. I must say this is one of the most exciting supplements we’ve launched to date. I’m very excited about discussing Alpha-GPC.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I have to tell you, I had a couple of colleagues reach out to me and it was a very nice, well-received message. And they said, “I love that you are selecting supplements that aren’t as well known and have multiple indications, multiple reasons, multiple benefits, not just solely focused on one thing.” And I tried to explain to, I was like, “I’ve had many years to consider and ponder [chuckles] what a co-branded supplement might look like.” And so Alpha-GPC for me is definitely a product that has multiple applications and one that can be thought of, that can be used in conjunction with things like creatine monohydrate to help with brain and cognition. And I know certainly for women at my age and stage, a lot of our focus and efforts is on maintaining mental clarity, maintaining mood and cognition. And I think that for anyone that’s not familiar with Alpha-GPC, it’s considered to be a nootropic agent, which kind of identifies it. It’s derived from a Greek word meaning towards the mind and it refers to compounds that are both neurologically active and directly or indirectly enhance cognitive potential. And I can’t imagine anyone out there wants to drink copious amounts of caffeine to get the benefits that you can get from a product that is both safe and something that we know has a lot of additional benefits that we’ll obviously discuss today.

Scott Emmens: Absolutely. I think Alpha-GPC is probably one of the most diverse products on the market. When I say that, I mean it has so many different effects, positive effects on the body, both mental and physical, and some of the ones now, Alpha-GPC has been a game changer for me. So, I’m 52, I’m trying to stay sharp, trying to keep up with these kids. And the technology never seemed to slow down and Alpha-GPC has really helped my personal motivation, my energy levels, my workouts are better. I’ve created a pre-workout drink that had this in there and I was like, “Wow, what a difference.” So, as we discuss this today, I think it’s going to be really eye-opening for people to see how powerful and potent this product can be. And to your comment about the coffee, Alpha-GPC with small amounts of coffee actually works synergistically together and you get an even sort of better bang for your buck. So, less caffeine, less jitters, but sort of extra kick. So, I’m excited to speak about that.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It’s interesting when I kind of dove down the rabbit hole to learn more about it, it’s an intermediate in phospholipid metabolism. So, we’re talking about this phospholipid bilayer of our cells and it contains a choline-containing molecule. And choline is an essential nutrient and we know about 90% of Americans are deficient. We can get sources from things like eggs, beef liver, salmon, chickpeas, eggs as I mentioned, chicken breast. Although, interestingly enough, it’s not absorbed all that easily and most individuals can’t get enough from their diet. So, again, it’s this theme of saying these are things that we know are deficient in most people’s diets. And as much as I love eggs, I can only eat so many eggs a day.

Scott Emmens: I’m a big egg fan, organic if possible, with the whole yolk, because that’s where the good stuff is, especially the choline. And I think what makes Alpha-GPC unique in the choline world is it is the most highly bioavailable. Also, in all the studies I read, I’m certain you probably ran across the same thing in your research. You can see clearly that it has the most penetration into the most amount of the brain. So, it gets into the hippocampus, it gets into the prefrontal cortex, and then when I should say Alpha-GPC, I’m talking about choline, acetylcholine. That’s the neurotransmitter that helps you with focus, cognition, etc. But Alpha-GPC is one of the most potent forms of choline that you can get.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. And it’s really interesting, we talk a lot on the podcast about things that can cross the blood brain barrier. So, obviously, my favorite form of magnesium, magnesium L-threonate, Alpha-GPC can also cross the blood brain barrier. And so, as you mentioned, it is a naturally occurring compound that acts as a precursor to this neurotransmitter acetylcholine. And if anyone’s wondering, what does acetylcholine do? It plays a very important role in cognition and brain health, but also learning and memory and helps to optimize brain function. So, it is a multipurpose, multifunctional component.

Scott Emmens: Absolutely. And I also saw some data that suggests that Alpha-GPC may have some input on dopamine. So, dopaminergic effect, I don’t know if it actually affects the dopamine levels, but it has a dopaminergic effect and one of the studies was Japanese studies. It was a small study, but it showed that not only does Alpha-GPC help with the focus and the acetylcholine with concentration, the cognitive support, it also helps with motivation. And there’s not a lot of things out there that help you get motivated [chuckles] and get it a bit a little earlier, do an extra project or two. But that was one small study on Alpha-GPC and I can personally speak to my own personal experience. I have felt, since I’ve been taking it about eight months, maybe a little longer. I definitely just have more pep in my step and more zeal to get out and hit the gym at 52, my joints don’t exactly feel like they used to. So, I need that. [laughter]

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And it’s interesting because for 75% of women, as they’re making that transition from perimenopause into menopause, they are in a position where their bodies are making less and less testosterone. And one of the things that I think many women forget about is testosterone is not just about libido and building muscle, it’s about intrinsic motivation. When I was on testosterone replacement therapy and we had to take a break, I remember explaining to my husband that all of a sudden, I literally had no interest in going to the gym, I had no interest in doing any physical activity. And I said, “That’s not me.” And it just goes to show you how important testosterone is. But the loop that I’m making about this is that we know that Alpha-GPC can work in tandem with the pituitary gland to increase the production of human growth hormone, which we know can also be important for stimulating cell growth, reproduction, and repair. And actually, in animal models, as you mentioned, it has a profile that seems to liberate things like serotonin and dopamine and can help improve communication between cells. So, we talk about synaptic signaling, but a fancy way of saying is improving communication within the brain and outside the brain.

Scott Emmens: As you were saying that, I was looking at the study that talked about the motivation and it does say Alpha-GPC shows an increase in dopamine levels as well as a dopamine active transporter expression, the prefrontal cortex, and the cerebellum. And it can also increase serotonin levels in the frontal cortex and the stratum on animal study in rat brain. So, the more I read, the more fascinating this molecule becomes.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well. I think for a lot of people, we become so dependent on caffeine, we become dependent on stimulants, we become dependent on sugar to get us through our workday or through our harried lifestyles, because we struggle with sleep, we struggle with staying hydrated, we struggle with ensuring that we’re active throughout the day. And so, to me, it’s really exciting to imagine that a supplement can help us have more attention and focus throughout the day without the jitters. Like, even though technically I metabolize caffeine without issues, when I drink too much caffeine, it upsets my stomach. I do get jittery. And so, to me it’s one of the reasons why I have largely remained as caffeine free as possible. I do drink green tea several days a week, but I’ve been taking the Alpha-GPC for the last six months as an experiment of the N of 1. And as I mentioned to Scott, I said, “Okay, I fully and fervently now believe that this is probably something to share with my community and our listeners, to have them take a second look at this as opposed to feeling like they’re growing dependency of oh, I need an espresso in the middle of the afternoon. I need a candy bar; I need a soda. I’m so exhausted by the end of day, I’m dragging to get home. I can barely make dinner for my family or sit outside waiting for my teenagers to finish whatever sport event they’re doing and drive them home at night.” For me, it is very freeing to feel as if I have as much energy as I need to get through my day and not feel like I’m having significant side effects. Like, I would if I were drinking a soda or having a caffeinated beverage late in the day.

Scott Emmens: Yeah, absolutely. The caffeine one is a big one for me because I had gotten to that point about two years ago when COVID was kind of still the peak and things were just so hectic with life in general. I was drinking like four or five cups of coffee a day and I hadn’t even noticed it till my wife was like, “What are you doing with the coffee? [chuckles] Are you eating it? You eating the grinds?” Because we were just going through so much coffee and I said, “This has got to slow down.” So, I slowed down on the coffee. About a year after that, I’m like, I started investigating, what can I do from an energy perspective that’s natural going to give me? And that’s when creatine came into the picture and then Alpha-GPC came into the picture shortly thereafter. And that honestly has been, for me, the game changer where I can have one cup of coffee with two Alpha-GPCs.

Sometimes I’ll take a third in the afternoon, depends on the day, like if I’m going to hit the gym. But I take two Alpha-GPCs with black coffee with a little bit of salt in my coffee, which if you think that’s nasty, it actually kind of kills the bitter taste of the coffee. And changes the flavor–

Cynthia Thurlow: And changes the flavor profile. Absolutely.

Scott Emmens: It does. It’s like put a little salt in your cocoa, it does the same thing with coffee. It really makes it taste. You don’t want a ton of salt, just a pinch, but it also gets some electrolytes in there and it can kind of get you going. But that little bit of caffeine from one cup of coffee will last me 6 hours. Sometimes I’ll do like an MCT oil or even I’ll do a butter coffee or I’ll do coconut oil and mix that in there. If I do that, I can get like 7 hours of just solid work. Between the ketones, a little caffeine and Alpha-GPC, it’s just like I’m on. And if I put creatine in there, that’s when I know I’m going to the gym.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. I think it’s interesting. I know when I’m encouraging people to partake in a clean fast and we’re talking about bitter coffee, bitter tea, water with unflavored electrolytes. Almost always people will say, “I didn’t realize how much sugar and cream I’d been putting in my coffee for so many years until I was encouraged to drink it plain.” And I love that you mentioned that you’re using like a high-quality salt. That’s one of my tricks that is not going to break a clean fast. Go ahead and add some Redmond sea salt or you can even add cinnamon, which will actually upregulate insulin sensitivity, will not break a clean fast. I mean those are two tricks. If you’re really struggling with plain coffee, it can definitely help with that. I’m also a huge proponent of green tea, the bitter teas there are plant-based compounds in these bitter foods that actually provide valuable information to our bodies. I always like to mention that bitter polyphenols invaluable information for the body, but also the fact that these compounds can actually boost fat oxidation. So, when people are telling me they’re weight loss resistant, that’s usually another way I can encourage them to partake in bitter plant-based compounds as opposed to leaning into the sweet stuff that you know our palates are really conditioned for sweet and we can work around that for sure.

Scott Emmens: You’ll quickly adapt to the lack of sugar and cream. It doesn’t really take, especially if you do the salt trick and the cinnamon trick. You do salt and cinnamon and I blend it. So, if I put cinnamon in, I blend it because cinnamon doesn’t– if you’ve ever noticed, it sorts of floats on the top because it has a lot of oil in it. So, if you are doing cinnamon, you have a little quick way to blend it up real quick. That coffee is going to taste great. It’s going to actually help your blood sugar. You’re not going to get any extra calories and you’re going to get hydrated and get the electrolytes. So green tea and I have a love-hate relationship though definitely. [Cynthia laughs] I love that L-theanine, it kind of keeps you calm and it’s got other antioxidants that are great for you. But every time I drink it, every time my stomach just feels like it’s in knots and I’ve just given up.

Cynthia Thurlow: You know what I have to do? I have to drink it slowly. I actually ice it. So, I brew it, ice it, and then I drink it with a straw, and my whole family thinks it’s fascinating to watch me do it. And I just said, there’s something about icing it that allows me to just enjoy it during the morning. I’m not a black tea fan. I will be the first person to tell everyone that. But I have learned to enjoy bitter green tea because of the health benefits. And I do remind myself that since I’m not a coffee drinker, I have to find something that will appeal to me. I find people are either tea or coffee drinkers and that’s completely fine. It’s finding what do you tolerate? What do you enjoy drinking?

Scott Emmens: Have you ever tried Earl Grey?

Cynthia Thurlow: I have.

Scott Emmens: I love Earl Gray and for whatever reason I can tolerate it really well. I do think it’s got perfume in it or something. I don’t know if that taste is natural or how they get it, but the ice on the green coffee, I bet you that would help to sip it on ice. I think that would probably help with the stomach. So, I’m going to try an iced green tea tomorrow.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well and I can tell you that if I drink an iced green tea too quickly, it’ll upset my stomach too. So, to reassure you that will happen to me, that’s why I just kind of sip it. I’m like, “Okay, we’re still in our fasting window. We can finish our green tea.” It’s valuable information to the body. Well, let’s focus in on a couple key areas in terms of benefits for Alpha-GPC, we kind of started the conversation talking about improving memory and learning. We know that it can support the transmission of information between brain cells, which I think is particularly important. It can improve short-term and long-term memory, making it easier to recall and retain information.

And my little caveat here is we’re running holistic blueprint. We’re almost done with this cohort, and I’ve had more women in this cohort tell me that they lose their thought process pretty frequently. They’re losing their thought process, they forget a word, they’re then embarrassed, they have to pause in the middle of conversations. And for me, my N of 1 experience has been, do I find that I’ve had less of those experiences while taking out the GPC. And for me personally, it has enhanced my memory and my ability to retain information, which is huge. I think you and I are both in agreement that there are a lot of things I’m willing to accept as I’m getting older, but losing my cognitive status is not one of them.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. I don’t expect to beat my daughter in a sprint anymore, but I do want to keep the marbles. I still want to be able to play chess with my son and be competitive and all that. And I think as we age, that’s the one thing I think you really want to keep your wits about you. And as life gets more complicated, you only need your wits even more. And having kids takes a lot of energy. You’re sleep deprived, so if they’re little like you’re sleep deprived. Our kids are older. Mine are 23 and 20. Oh my God, my daughter’s going to be 21. Oh, my God. But they still take a lot of energy and time. You’ve got to be on your toes. All the things that they have in their life, your career, your job, you’re transitioning between different projects back and forth. So, I have found Alpha-GPC to be able to keep me focused for long periods of time and also not feel overwhelmed, which is I don’t know how you quantify that, but I just don’t get that overwhelmed feeling. Because I don’t feel like I’m losing my train of thought or losing track of my momentum in various projects or things I’m working on. And that just kind of keeps me, I guess, motivated and just less frustrated in general.

Cynthia Thurlow: Obviously, you have young adults. I have two teenagers, but my oldest will be turning 18 this summer. And I was telling someone with younger kids, I said, “Oh my gosh, now I understand what my friends with older kids have been saying all these years.” My kids, when they go out, I mean, it’s summer. When they go out, they don’t get– their curfew is 11 o’clock. And to some families that may sound late, to others it may sound early, and it’s a constant battle. Like, my husband and I have to alternate who stays up to wait for the kids to come home, although I never fully fall asleep until everyone is home. And I know it’s not going to get easier when they’re in college and they’re used to having no one that’s requiring them to be home by a certain time. And I just said, I think it just means that my years of good sleep, I had a good solid 10 years, we’re going to revert back to me not getting good solid sleep every single night. So definitely something that I’m acutely sensitive to.

Scott Emmens: I can assure you that when they come back from their first year at college that summer, they’re not going to adhere to the 11:00 PM. [laughs]

Cynthia Thurlow: No. Yeah, and my parents I remember when I first went off to college and came home that first summer and my mom said, it would be impossible and unrealistic for us to expect you to have a curfew. But there were usually one or two nights a week she would say, please don’t stay out till 3 o’clock in the morning. And I would try to abide by that, but of course you don’t go out till 11:00, so 3 o’clock is really not all that late [chuckles] in your mind. There was one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that was a published cohort study involving dementia free participants that found that higher choline intake was related to better cognitive performance. And areas of cognition that were assessed included verbal memory, visual memory, verbal learning, and executive function. And executive function for anyone who’s not familiar with that term, is just the day-to-day organizational tasks that we do as adults. That for many people. I used to have patients. I would try to assess their cognitive functioning by looking at what could they do for themselves independently at home. And it wasn’t like go from the bedside commode to the bed. It wasn’t that kind of stuff. It was mentally, what types of tasks are they capable of following through on? And so, I thought this was an interesting study.

Scott Emmens: I saw that same study, and certainly choline has the ability to affect your cognition, your visual cognition, and your executive function. And correct me if I’m wrong, but the way I sort of view executive function is your decision-making ability. Are you able to make coherent, consistent, solid, good choices? And as you get fatigued and tired, you’re making less and less good choices. And so, I think where Alpha-GPC comes in that executive function is it allows you to make those, let’s call it less decision fatigue. And in this day and age, you got to decide everything.

Cynthia Thurlow: It’s overwhelming.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. And that’s where, again, I think where that motivation and lack of frustration comes because I have that executive function, at least I feel that way from the Alpha-GPC and other things. I mean, it’s in combination with lots of other lifestyle things, but that’s been the thing I’ve noticed the most that has had the most noticeable effect on my overall cognition and executive function and lack of decision fatigue.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. And that’s important because I don’t think there’s anyone that’s out there that isn’t making multilevel decisions throughout their day. And I think we take so much of that for granted. But as an example, we have hired some new people on our team. And one of the things that my team had to share with the new people was this is a very high-tech organization. Like, you have to be able to manage all these different variables. And we’ve learned that sometimes when we hire people, we’re not aware that we function at a certain level. And some people are just not technologically there. That’s just not their forte. And it’s unfair to ask them to be part of this team that everything about the team moves very quickly. And so, I think for so many of us, it’s being able to show up as our best selves in our personal and professional lives and to do it with integrity. And so, I love that you mentioned things that have worked well for you, but executive function is a huge piece of this. And it’s not just adults that get assessed for executive function. Also, kids can be as well.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. Those are the kids with the ADHD, right?

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes, because they can’t. They struggle to focus. There was one other study that was looking at, it was published in the Journal of the International Society Of Sports Nutrition found that Alpha-GPC supplementation was beneficial for specific physical and mental performance tasks when used by young adults. There was serial subtraction test scores were 18% faster in those receiving Alpha-GPC compared to those receiving caffeine without the higher scores for jitteriness for people that were utilizing caffeine. So again, it goes back to better tolerated, less side effects than caffeine. Because caffeine, I think for so many of us, I used to work nights in the ER and [chuckles] better believe, I mean, I’m not a coffee drinker, so I was drinking diet soda, which was disgusting, but it was like enough caffeine to help me get through the night. And by the end of the night, I would just be a jittery mess because I had just had so much caffeine.

Scott Emmens: You’re never giving yourself energy with caffeine. You’re just delaying the pain of the energy depletion because, you know, either the next morning or as soon as that caffeine wears out, you’ve extracted all of the nutrients, all of the energy, all of the probably– utilized a lot of your neurotransmitters because you’re just pouring the caffeine on to extract every bit of energy you can. But at some point, you crash. So first you’re jittery and then you’re just like a zombie. And then you either have to pump in more caffeine or sleep for 24 hours. So, I’m a fan of caffeine, I drink caffeine, but once you get over that three cup, I think you’re getting into that danger zone for sure.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, I occasionally have patients that would tell me they would consume six 12-ounce containers of coffee every day and I would say, “Okay.” [laughs] What about your lifestyle, do we need to change? So maybe you get more sleep so you don’t need as much caffeine. What’s going on with your adrenal health? Because I can’t imagine it’s doing well if you’re consuming that much, if that’s what you’re telling me, it’s probably even more than that.

Scott Emmens: This is a little side tangent. There was this bizarre study they did with spiders and they used a number of different stimulating drugs. These psychedelics I can’t remember what they were, but I think mushrooms were one of them. And they used the amphetamines for ADHD kids and a various number of stimulants including caffeine. And then they would let the spiders go make their webs. And all the webs looked really beautiful and intricate, except the one on caffeine was like all garbled and scrambled, so it made them more productive. Their webs were big, but they were all like misaligned and random. And I just thought to myself, I wondered if that’s what happens usually if you get too much caffeine, you really become less focused because you’re so hyped up, you can’t really focus on anything.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Well, you think about if your amygdala is overstimulated, your prefrontal cortex is going to struggle to stay focused for sure. Let’s talk about this neuroprotection and brain health because I think this is certainly interesting. What I had looked at was that Alpha-GPC can support the production of essential brain chemicals and maintaining cellular health. So, we always go back to mitochondrial health, every supplement that we have co-branded together, I’ve been really committed to making sure we could simplify things for people, that we could have products that have multiple uses. And to me, as I’ve talked about before, brain health is paramount for most if not all of us. So, this neuroprotection and brain health without the side effects of some of these other stimulatory agents that so many of us, whether it’s Red Bull, [laughs] whether it’s a lot of caffeine, whether it’s other types of non-pharmacologic drugs that people take to try to stay focused for a variety of reasons, there’s no judgment. Just probably not what you want to be doing all the time.

Scott Emmens: Agreed. Sorry, I was looking for my notes on the neuroprotection because that one surprised me. I did not expect to see that this would be a neuroprotective agent. I don’t have the reference here, but my note says, “Alpha-GPC has a neuroprotective property and may be able to prevent cognitive decline.” And I’m wondering what the mechanism action behind that is. Is it just the choline? Is it helping? I think you had mentioned the phospholipid bilayer. Is it helping strengthen that and thereby making the cell more able to endure sort of the harshness? And one interesting other note is to this neuroprotective effect, and I don’t know if you came across this, but I had watched those VICE specials, I think it was on Netflix and it was about this drug called scopolamine, which is the zombie drug, you forget everything. People can make you take out money and you just have no memory of it. And what was interesting is that Alpha-GPC has anti-amnesic effect. They used scopolamine in animals to see what happened. It reduced the effects of scopolamine by neuroprotection. So, I thought that was pretty interesting.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It’s interesting. So, my understanding of Alpha-GPC is that there’s this other secondary byproduct, this glycerophosphate which supports several non-nootropic processes including healing the cellular membrane integrity. So, we go back to the cell membrane, which is so important, this phospholipid bilayer of cell membrane. So, to me, I look at it as being very neuroprotective, very cellular protective. And so, I suspect that is that neuroprotection, that’s really what it’s referring to. And what many people may not know is that this cross communication between brain cells can be eroded for a variety of reasons. I mean, some of it can be age related, hormonally related, drug related, but understanding that if it’s helping to improve the integrity of that cell wall membrane. It will help with neurocommunication as well as neuroprotection.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. And I think you just hit the nail on the head there. As I’m reviewing further down my notes, it appears that it supports the cellular membrane and may protect cognitive decline. So, I do think it has to do with that glycerophosphorylcholine chain that’s attached to it, helping with the phospholipid bilayer supporting your cells. So, such a unique multi-tool supplement.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And let’s pivot and talk a little bit about athletic performance. I think for everyone listening, all of us like to be active. Some of us may be former college level athletes, some of us may be just exercise enthusiasts. I look at my husband who played college level lacrosse and has kind of pivoted during the pandemic and has now, for some reason, has decided that he wants to do Jujitsu. And so that’s been fun to kind of watch, occasionally getting completely plastered by a 20-year-old. But as a 52-year-old guy, he’s hanging in there and doing really well. But I was talking to him about, can I guinea pig and give you some of these supplements? He’s an engineer, so he will be very objective. He’ll probably track it and then show me a spreadsheet. But we’re talking about improving athletic performance. And so, especially in those of us that are in middle age, understanding that some of the natural things that start to happen if you’re not working against them is you’re losing muscle mass, you’re losing stamina, you may not be as strong, your recovery may be more problematic. And so, from my perspective, what I found really interesting was this improved athletic performance, in particular strength and recovery with the utilization of Alpha-GPC because there are plenty of people listening that are still doing triathlons. And I know because many of you reach out and you share this information with me, but many of you are just trying to remain active, to keep up with kids and grandkids, and just to remain as mobile as possible.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. I have to say that the physical benefits of Alpha-GPC seem kind of remarkable. This is just opinion, I have no study to support this, but my opinion based on the literature that I’ve read and what it seems to support, so it definitely increases strength. But in particular, some of the studies that were done, it increases vertical jump power. So basically, you’re going to get this short burst of strength. But it also, in my opinion, I didn’t see a study on this, but it’s that mental motivation where you’re not fatigued. So, like, if you’re doing a marathon where you hit that bunk, not physically, but where you’re mentally sort of fatigued and challenged. I think that this product or this particular molecule, Alpha-GPC is one that should be in your repertoire. And I’m going to bet if I were a professional tennis player and I happen to just be a regular tennis player, but I can tell you the days that I take creatine and Alpha-GPC before a match, I have energy galore.

Everyone’s like, “Where is this coming from? Who’s on the court?” Because I just don’t,– even if I’m physically tired, tennis is a lot of strategy and mental focus. And so, I just feel great playing tennis with Alpha-GPC. And as I mentioned before, my daughter runs track, so I give her a cocktail of various things to take. Typically, that’s going to be creatine. It’s going to be some osmolytes, which are basically primarily amino acids, and then Alpha-GPC, and of course, all of your electrolytes. So, potassium, sodium, etc., and just put that in a little cocktail and give that to her. But she definitely performs best with creatine, Alpha-GPC, and a blend of some of these osmolytes and some of the regular electrolytes. And I don’t think her performance would have improved as much as it had if she wasn’t doing that. Because as a college kid, you think you have a good diet, but I know she’s not getting the nutrients. I know she’s not getting choline. She eats a lot of eggs, but I’m sure they’re powdered, so I’m not sure how much choline is in those eggs [Cynthia laughs].

I know she is not getting enough meat to get enough creatine, and I know she is probably dehydrated because she’s practicing 3 hours a day. So even if she is getting all of that magnesium and sodium and potassium, she’s burning right through it during training. So, there’s no question that the addition of nutrition for her and in particular Alpha-GPC, I’ve seen some benefits myself, and I know she asked me, “Hey dad, can you make another batch of that? I’ve got a meet coming up.” So, I probably just literally make it in the kitchen with all the different supplements we’ve got, pretty soon we’re going to be having an actual pre-workout blend, and I won’t have to sit in my kitchen and concoct anymore. So that’ll be great.

Cynthia Thurlow: The other thing that I think is interesting and I love how devoted you are to helping your daughter succeed, there were some studies suggesting that Alpha-GPC elevates human growth hormone, which plays a role in cell regeneration, growth and maintaining of healthy human tissue. And it’s also known for its ability to improve physical capacity and exercise performance. And so, I know sometimes we talk about the role of growth hormone that we get peaks of it at night. This is why sleep is so important. If you’re missing out on good high-quality sleep, you’re missing out on opportunities for this growth hormone peak usually around 01:00 AM., which is why we should be in bed way before then.

And there was one kind of small study, I want to be really clear, small study looking at the efficacy on physical endurance and power. This is from a 2008 Randomized Placebo- Controlled Crossover Study. Again, small sample size. It was seven men with resistance training experience. It showed that it did indeed have an impact. Alpha-GPC had an impact on growth hormone levels. And participants in this group were given 600 mg 90 minutes prior to resistance training. And what’s interesting is that they compared the baseline peak growth hormone levels and they actually increased 44-fold after this Alpha-GPC use, compared to a 2.6-fold after the use of placebo. Now, I always talk about how sample size is important. This is a small sample size, but certainly something that could be indicative of a real mechanism that’s going on. Definitely requires more testing, but I thought was particularly of interest.

Scott Emmens: It is. Because you know, a growth hormone is one of the most potent ways to keep lean muscle. Also help you stay lean, actually can help burn fat while maintaining lean muscle. And there’s very few things that can do that. But you don’t want to inject or take growth hormone unless you’re deficient for some biological reason. But to have your body naturally producing it in your sleep cycle and to get it up, especially as we age, growth hormone, like all of our hormones declines. So, anything you can do to help support your growth hormone, I think is tremendous. And that’s probably in part why this product has so many different physical benefits. Because growth hormone, again, can help with strength over time, it can help with lean muscle mass, and it can help burn fat. So, I think there’s a number of things at play here that make this product really good for physical activity.

But I think the fact that it’s increasing growth hormone, again, a small study, but everything I researched did bring up that one of the purported benefits is an increase in growth hormone. And growth hormone again is just so powerful and something that can really help you recover. And as you’re getting older and hitting the gym, you know, you can’t bench press on Tuesday and then go bench press again on Wednesday or Thursday, because you’re going to need at least two days to recover. And I’m a big believer that recovery is just as important, actually more important than the actual exercise. So, to me that was a finding that was both interesting and really just made me think, you know what, I want to make sure I’m taking my Alpha-GPC more often than I’m not.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. I think it’s very important when we’re thinking about the quality of our diets and lifestyle and how can we backfill with products that can have multiple uses. I think from a lot of different levels, I try to be judicious. I am certainly someone that likes to be pretty conservative. I always say that the goal is to be on a carefully curated amount of supplements and not open up your supplement cabinet and have it be filled from top to bottom unless you’re cycling on and off. Like I always say, I have a sleep stack, I have an energy stack. Now we’re starting to share more about what has worked so well. What’s interesting is we’ve kind of touched on some of the mechanisms we talked about dopamine. I also saw in some rodent studies that Alpha-GPC is capable of increasing serotonin in the frontal cortex and cerebellum of rats.

So again, animal model following ingestion also helpful for acetylcholine connect concentration. So, you mentioned scopolamine, which is a drug that more often than not we are utilizing for nausea, motion sickness, etc. Interesting to kind of see how it could beneficial. And then I also saw interesting information about GABA. So, this is this inhibitory neurotransmitter. We know that Alpha-GPC has been implicated in GABA release. We know that it can be very helpful and efficacious for GABA. GABA is one of these neurotransmitters that I talk quite a bit about, the use of progesterone for those of us that are taking oral progesterone either in perimenopause or menopause is very helpful for sleep, for relaxation. But understanding that Alpha-GPC is also implicated in GABA release in the body, so supplementation can be helpful for supporting this additional neurotransmitter.

Scott Emmens: I think that’s really important because as you know, GABA is very difficult to get– you take GABA, but it’s very limited in its bioavailability. It does have some effect, but if your body is excreting it naturally, that’s going to have much more of an impact than taking over-the-counter GABA supplements. Nothing wrong with GABA supplements, but I think if you want to get more bang for your buck, again, this is the multi tool of your brain and a lot of physicality. I love this supplement and that’s something I did not see. So, I have anecdotally talked to– My son takes a lot of Alpha-GPC. He mixes it with some L-theanine, which also can release GABA. And he said his anxiety levels have just gone down significantly. So, it could be the L-theanine, it could be the L-theanine in combination with the Alpha-GPC. But both his cognitive ability, his ability to have the duration of executive function because this is his first corporate job and he was like “I’m dying 8 hours a day, every day.” [crosstalk] That’s called a job. [laughs]

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. It’s a big adjustment for sure. [crosstalk] I love L-theanine. I think it’s a wonderful amino acid and certainly something that I have some of my patients and clients taking it to help with reducing stress and anxiety around bedtime. It’s something that’s a component in green tea as you mentioned earlier and it’s so multifaceted, it’s not going to make you fall asleep, which is a wonderful thing. I do want to briefly touch on Huberman Lab because Dr. Andrew Huberman, we both hold in high esteem, even he talked about how Alpha-GPC is something that he takes multiple times a week to help support acetylcholine and also to help as a stimulant. He said reduced cognitive decline, because he said, “Even though I’m noticing any cognitive decline at this stage of life, I want to do everything I can to help protect it.” And so, I always hold his opinion in high regard and of interest of note. He also talks about creatine monohydrate and that’s part of his daily regimen to support brain health and cognition as well.

Scott Emmens: I listened to that podcast, and I thought, “Okay, if he’s taking those, I’m in good company.”

Cynthia Thurlow: Yes.

Scott Emmens: So, I was very happy to hear that he endorses Alpha-GPC both from his own personal experience, but also all the clinical data he’s read supports that this product, I should say I keep saying product, the Alpha-GPC really makes a difference in cognition.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. Do you think that there’s [crosstalk]

Scott Emmens: Isn’t he a board-certified neurologist and an ophthalmologist?

Cynthia Thurlow: He is a PhD, so he’s not a clinician, but he works at Stanford and works in the retinal neuro-ophthalmology department and is kind of a standout scientist there. But yes,-

Scott Emmens: Yeah.

Cynthia Thurlow: -I think many of us assume Dr. Huberman is an MD-PhD, but I believe he’s not just a PhD, he is not a clinician, but he is a researcher, which is equally needed. So, should we unpack this one bit of research? We both talked about this before we started recording. There was some research that we kind of stumbled upon that was looking at a 10-year retrospective study in Korea, looking at Alpha-GPC and the association with TMAO levels.

Scott Emmens: Yes. So, one caveat that we will issue and that Dr. Huberman also addresses in his talk is there is this one study. It’s basically, I think, I want to call it retrospective, but it was a cohort study that looked at pretty large number of patients in Korea and basically broke them into two groups. group A either got Alpha-GPC prescribed to them or group B did not. And then 10 years later, they looked at what occurred and there was a higher incidence of stroke in the group that had gotten Alpha-GPC. Now, two things to note from where I’m at and Cynthia I’m sure you’ll have things to add. The first is the study itself shows an association, but not a causation. So, it’s an associative, not a causative study. And it says that in the paper’s conclusion. Also, you don’t know, why were they prescribed the Alpha-GPC? Was there something going on that created them to be at higher risk? I don’t know because I don’t have that data. So anytime you’re doing a study like that where you’re not putting both patients on or maybe a double-blind crossover study where both patients are getting it, it’s always difficult to say. But the theory is that increases TMAO which is, I guess, inflammatory to the blood vessels, which all choline, natural or not, can do. So, I’m just curious what your thoughts are based on that, Cynthia.

Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I would echo a lot of your sentiments, association is not causation. Number one, there’s a lack of transparency because I did go down a rabbit hole trying to find more information. And there’re many variables that can impact what results they’re seeing. We don’t know how healthy the population was, we don’t know what their diet was like. We don’t know a lot of different things that could be contributing to why they had elevated TMAO levels. And certainly, it really speaks to the fact that continued good quality research is really necessary. I think that the zone in which many of us exist, where we’re looking at nootropic agents, we’re looking at brain and cognition research, really speaks to the fact that there’s tremendous interest in determining what are some of the causative reasons for why we’re seeing brain health decline.

I would imagine much like here in the United States, we’re seeing a lot of brain health issues relevant to highly processed hyper-palatable diets, rampant insulin resistance, metabolic health issues. And who’s to say that those weren’t contributing factors? But I don’t feel like there was enough information in that study to cause any concern on my part. But for full transparency, Scott and I wanted to make sure that we discussed it during the podcast to let listeners know that we do the due diligence and we try to be exceedingly transparent and provide a high integrity discussion about this particular supplement, which I’m super excited to be launching very, very soon.

Scott Emmens: Yeah. The other thing is with that study, dose related. So, the amount of Alpha-GPC seemed correlated with the late raise in TMAO. So, the dose that we’re talking about that’s effective is 300 mg once a day. Sometimes I’ll go as high as 400 mg like, I’ll take three capsules, maybe I get as high as 500, but I typically won’t go over that. But I think we’re talking about much lower doses than are usually used in a lot of these studies, which start around 400, sometimes it’s 400 three times a day. So, looking at 1200 mg, that’s a pretty high dose. So, I think risk reward and also, what’s that expression? The dose makes the poison. So just everything in its minimal effective amount and I think that’s where we’re at.

Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. And so, any kind of last thoughts on Alpha-GPC? I’m really excited about it because I’ve been using this in conjunction with creatine. And as I’ve kind of disclosed to listeners, my thought process is to keep things very organized, very focused on brain health and cognition, metabolic health, muscle health, etc. Things that I think most individuals that are listening to this podcast are also focused in on.

Scott Emmens Yeah. Actually, I do have one other item I thought was worth discussing, which is what I love about Alpha-GPC beyond its own benefits, is you can combine it with a lot of other things that seem to work either synergistically and/or are just very effective in combination. So, I had mentioned L-theanine, that’s one of them. Another one that I will sometimes combine is acetyl-L-carnitine, which is great for burning fat, great for removing ammonia, really good for your mitochondrial health, and it does give you a little bit of energy boost so that’s another nice one. Alpha-GPC plays really nicely with a lot of other supplements. So, I eat creatine and L-theanine. So, I think as time goes on, if folks are taking other supplements like that, this is going to just blend really nicely into their mental health or their cognitive sort of program. Like, “What am I taking for my cognition?” Both preventative. Are you taking fish oil? Guess what this works great with that too. So, I really like this product for all that it does on its own and all of the ways you can combine it in the future with either other agents or perhaps there’re plans to make an Alpha-GPC with other things in combination. But I feel like this is, again, the Swiss Army Knife of supplements, and even beyond that, because the Swiss Army Knife implies, like, it’s good at a lot. But this is excellent at a lot of different things, both physical and cognitive wise. So, this is probably the most excited I’ve been to launch a product and I’m super pumped for it because I’m taking it every day anyway.

Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it’s super exciting as always. I’m always delighted to have you on as a guest and to serve as a resource point for listeners as well. Please let my listeners know how to connect with you outside of this podcast, how to gain access to the whole library of MD Logic products, of which I am a proud co-branded sponsor working with you.

Scott Emmens: Absolutely. Thank you, Cynthia. So, you can reach me on Instagram @longevityprotocol, so that’s @longevityprotocol, that’s probably the best way to get a hold of me. If you would like to be in touch with MD Logic or take a look at our products, you can go directly to our website at www.mdlogichealth.com. And we have, of course, all the social medias as well. But when it comes to Cynthia’s products, the best place to go is directly to her website, because you’re going to always get the best discount when you go through her website for her products so. But MD Logic has a myriad of new products and a myriad of products that we continue to make cleaner and continue to transition from plastic to glass. And so, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what we’re launching in the second half of 2023 and how clean the products are getting.

Cynthia Thurlow: Really exciting. Thank you again.

Scott Emmens: Thanks so much Cynthia. Take care.

Cynthia Thurlow: If you love this podcast episode, please leave a rating, and review, subscribe, and tell a friend.