Citicoline is a powerful nootropic that supports memory and clear thinking. It occurs naturally in the body, but you can also boost brain power by taking citicoline supplements. Keep reading to learn more about citicoline and its benefits for the brain and body.
What Is Citocoline
Citocoline, also called cytidine diphosphate-choline (CDP-Choline), is a compound created naturally in the body.
Citicoline supports brain health in a number of ways:
- Citocolin supports mitochondrial function and energy production in the brain.
- It influences acetylcholine, dopamine, and glutamate, neurotransmitters needed for brain cells to communicate.
- It’s an essential component of cell membranes and plays an important role in neuronal cell structure.
Because of its role in brain health, people often take citicoline supplements for its cognitive enhancing benefits to support memory and mental performance. When taken as a supplement, citicoline breaks down into choline and cytidine. That means that citicoline delivers all the benefits of both choline and cytidine.
Choline is a nutrient similar to B vitamins that plays an important role in the nervous system and brain function as well as liver health. Foods like eggs, liver, and peanuts contain choline. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, the average American does not consume enough of this crucial nutrient.
The cytidine component has its own unique advantages. Cytidine metabolizes into uridine, which crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once inside the central nervous system, uridine and choline recombine to form CDP-choline which supports nerve cell membrane growth.
Citicoline has a range of health benefits, especially when it comes to the brain. It has become a popular supplement to support attention, memory, craving control, and vision. Let’s see what science has to say about citicoline’s benefits for the brain and overall health.
1. It supports memory
Many studies have explored citicoline and its potential to support memory and brain function. Healthy adults who took citicoline supplements over a 12-week period saw significant improvement in overall memory performance. In another study, participants ages 50 to 85 reported improved recall and verbal memory.
2. It helps protect brain cells
Citicoline helps support brain cell structure. It protects the thin membrane that surrounds each cell. It’s widely used as a neuroprotectant. A study found Cognizin ® citicoline effective in restoring cell structure and signaling between cells.
3. It improves focus and attention
In fast-paced modern life, who doesn’t need a little help staying focused? Citicoline could be just what the doctor ordered if you want better attention.
A study observed the effects of citicoline on attention and impulsivity in healthy adolescent males. After 28 days, participants who took Cognizin citicoline showed improved attention and psychomotor speed as well as reduced impulsivity compared to adolescent males who received a placebo.
In another study, healthy adult women experienced better attentional performance after taking a daily oral dose of citicoline for 28 days.
4. It supports healthy vision
Citicoline has gotten a lot of attention for its brain health benefits, and vision is undeniably an extension of the brain. The optic nerve sends impulses from your eyes to your brain, and the retina, located near the optic nerve, converts light into neural signals to the brain for visual recognition.
It’s not surprising that researchers are exploring how citicoline supports vision. Citicoline seems to enhance visual pathways by stimulating the dopaminergic system. A 2019 study found that oral citicoline helps visual function, retinal ganglion function, and neural conduction along visual pathways.
5. It supports clear thinking
If you want to think on your toes, add citicoline to your wellness routine. People take citicoline supplements to feel more alert and energized. That’s because citicoline supports mitochondrial function and brain energy production. It also affects levels of acetylcholine, dopamine, and glutamate neurotransmitter systems, messenger chemicals that enable neurons to send and receive signals.
6. It promotes a balanced mood
Citicoline enhances the neurotransmitters involved in emotional balance including norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine. Patients who took 100 mg of citicoline twice a day for six weeks experienced a significantly better mood.
7. It helps reduce cravings
Citicoline affects the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates the reward system and influences cravings. Multiple studies found citicoline helpful in reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. One study found citicoline helpful in balancing mood and easing cravings.
How to Take Citicoline
Many people get the cognitive-enhancing effects of citicoline through supplementation. A typical therapeutic dose is 250-1,000 mg taken twice a day. NeuroQ Performance Smart Thinking contains Cognizin citicoline, clinically shown to protect brain cells and optimize performance.