Brain feed aims to use the latest scientific data to create naturally sourced supplements that improve your health and wellbeing. Newcastle University, world leaders in medical research, supported their launch and remained as stakeholders.
These choline capsules have been carefully designed to provide your body with alpha-glycery-phosphoryl-choline, which is a key building block of acetylcholine. This particular preparation can cross the blood-brain barrier in a way that food sourced choline can’t.
Choline was discovered in 1998 and plays an integral role in many body systems. It is also released in your brain when you’re recalling memories or are engaged in tasks that require extra brainpower. This brain-boosting effect is the main focus of this particular supplement.
Brain feed’s choline also contains vitamin B12 which studies show also has a role in brain activity and recall. Each packet of choline capsules contains a 60 day supply when you take the recommended once a day.
They are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and the shell is made from vegetable cellulose. In each one you can find:
- Alpha GPC 500mg
- Vitamin B12 0.375mcg
- Brown rice flour
- Silicon dioxide (as an anti-caking agent)
- Magnesium stearate
I’ve never seen Alpha GPC supplements with more than about 350mg before, and that’s probably because brain feed says that a 500mg measure of 99% pure is a world first.
The amount of accompanying information on the packets, in leaflets and the website goes into an impressive level of detail about how the supplements work and the effects they should have. I was impressed to see that brain feed cite several relevant scientific studies on the product page, which gives a sense of transparency and trustworthiness.
I was also quite surprised to read that they expect a spike in the amount of acetylcholine in your brain within 1 to 3 hours after you ingest it. With many supplements, the levels of active ingredients can take months to reach a level high enough to produce a noticeable effect.
Who is Brain feed?
In 2014, with support from the Newcastle University foundership programme, Brain feed was launched. They aim to provide effective supplements with a solid foundation in scientific research. While many of their products focus on brain health and cognitive function, they have designed them to produce a positive holistic effect on the whole body.
Most of the supplements they produce contain only one or two active ingredients designed to provide a specific effect. They use natural isolate nutrients and traditional herbal remedies that have a good base of scientific research behind them.
These are then formulated to create products that can be consumed in the most effective way possible. To ensure that their products are consistent and the results are repeatable, brain feed keeps an audit trail during production to ensure that they always meet quality standards.
Awards and certifications
Brain feed makes all their products to rigorous Good Manufacturing Practices standards (GMP). There is lots of information on the website about safety procedures, natural products and audit trails, but there were few clear statements stating approval from relevant official bodies. I couldn’t find any mention as to whether they make their products from organic ingredients, or if the vegan or vegetarian society approve them.
I would have awarded a higher score if: There were more details about how the products are sourced and manufactured with links to relevant certificates and awards verified by UK official bodies.
Edit: I contacted brain feed and asked them what quality checks they conduct on their products. They responded:
- All of our products are manufactured in pharmaceutical grade facilities in the UK to GMP standards.
- A Certificate of Analysis is certified for every ingredient
- Every production run is Batch Tested to ensure the correct mg dosage
- Stability Data testing informs our best before dates
- We also work with a 3rd party QA expert and this data forms part of the due diligence data we provide to our Pharmacy retail partners
I also asked on two occasions, how the choline is sourced and received no reply. It’s likely produced by breaking down fatty acids from enriched soy or other similar plant products.
Ease of use
The choline comes in a standard-sized capsule which I found was easy to wash down with a small amount of water. The directions for use are brief and suggest ‘1 tablet per day with a meal’.
Surprisingly they come in a plastic resealable pouch rather than a bottle or box. Although I’m more used to seeing rigid containers used for supplements, I found these sealed well and were better to carry in a pocket or bag because they lay flat.
The capsules have no noticeable taste and added no flavour to the water as I swallowed them. Although this may seem standard for capsules, some do produce odd flavours, and in the past, I’ve been able to tell if a product’s been stored too long because they develop an unpleasant musty taste.
How effective are they?
To test the choline, I decided to take one every day until I’d finished the packet. Although you could also save them for when you need a brain boost, I think that taking them regularly is the method that’s most likely to get you the results you want. In the first two days, there was no noticeable difference, but on the third day, I saw some effects.
The effects produced by most supplements are influenced by numerous factors specific to the individual. So it’s likely that my experience with choline will be different from yours. For me, there was no improvement in memory, but when I started work, my brain fog cleared, and I was able to focus almost immediately. I put in one of the longest days I have in ages with complete focus.
Now that I’ve completed the full 60 day supply, I know that, for me, they provide the ability to focus on my task intensely. However, it’s not a consistent effect and somedays I drifted off-topic and resumed previous easily distracting habits. Still, for three or four days a week, I was able to hold a level of focus I’d never previously achieved.
Although this wan’t the effect I expected it was a significant one that resulted in two productive months. Following this experience, I would recommend choline for its focusing effect, but I didn’t see any quick brain boosts that would be useful for exams or similar intensely cognitive situations.
Value for money
A packet of 60 capsules will cost you £41.99 on Amazon, which works out at about 70p per capsule. This is a premium price based on the high-level of alpha GPC in each capsule and the quality of production. The enhanced focus it gave me meant that, for me, it was worth it. One packet will last for at least two months if you take one every day.
The result I experienced after taking these supplements makes them good value. Still, to feel more comfortable paying that price, I would like to see more information about how it’s sourced and the results of detailed quality analysis available for customers to view.
I would have awarded a higher score if: there were more details about the production of the alpha GPC.
You may also be interested in reading our round-up of the best multivitamins UK, or my review of Living Nutrition’s cognitive blend with Lion’s Mane.