CDP Choline, an abbreviation of cytidine-5′-diphosphocholine, referred to as Citicoline, is an essential nutrient and precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is an efficient source of choline that supports overall brain health, memory function, and mental energy.
CDP Choline Benefits
- Supports cognitive function in the elderly (ref)*
- May improve attentional performance (ref)(ref)*
- May limit excitotoxicity from glutamate activity (ref)*
- Promotes an increase in brain energy through improved mitochondrial functions (ref)*
Citicoline plays a large role in memory formation. A decline in cognitive memory functioning associated with aging may improve with supplementation of Citicoline (1)(6).
There is some evidence suggesting CDP choline may improve attentional performance in young adults (2).
CDP Choline may improve cerebral blood flow to the brain (7) and has the potential to decrease the accumulation of glutamate, which in excessive amounts is implicated in neurodegeneration (4). Glutamate is a nonessential amino acid which is an excitatory neurotransmitter (8).
CDP Choline promotes an increase in brain energy through improved mitochondrial functions (4). Mitochondria are the cell organelles that breakdown the food we eat and turn it into energy (or ATP) for the body (9). Citicoline improves energy in three ways within the cell: maintaining levels of phospholipids in the mitochondrial membranes, restoring ATPase activity and preventing the release of arachidonic acid from cell membranes (an oxidative stress to the body) (4).
CDP Choline Mode of Action
CDP choline is an essential nutrient and precursor to creating the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in the parts of the brain that impact memory and learning, attention, and alertness–making it one of the most beneficial neurotransmitter compounds for overall cognitive function and brain health (4). Citicoline is 18.5 % choline by weight (15).
Citicoline can be produced from choline already present in the body, but choline’s ability to engage in cell membrane formation (phospholipid synthesis) is incomplete without first being converted to Citicoline. This constant demand for choline conversion to citicoline can mean that supplementing with Citicoline itself provides a boost for overall cell functioning (4).
Citicoline provides the body with choline and produces uridine as it converts into acetylcholine. Uridine is a substrate in the Kennedy cycle which is necessary to complete the cycle and stimulates the production of phospholipid synthesis (14).
Though choline can be found in food, less than 10% of adults in the United States are reaching the recommended daily amount. CDP Choline (Citicoline) itself is only appreciably present in a limited amount of foods such as organ meats and liver. Supplementing with Citicoline, rather than choline, provides the body with enough choline to carry out its functions in the nervous system (4).
Common dietary sources of choline are animal-based products, dairy products, whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, nuts and seeds (5).
CDP Choline Dosage
Pure Nootropics’ CDP Choline Capsules provide 300 mg of Cognizin® Citicoline. Suggested use of CDP Choline capsules for adults is 1 capsule by mouth up to two times per day, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
No daily value has been established for Citicoline, however the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Choline ranges depending on gender and age.*
- RDA for Choline for adult men over 18 is 550 mg/day (13)
- RDA for Choline for adult women is 400-425 mg/day (13)
(Women who are pregnant, lactating, and children under the age of 18 should seek medical advice from a healthcare provider regarding their RDA of Choline.)
CDP Choline Side Effects and Toxicity
Side effects from short-term use of Citicoline are generally mild. Studies conducted have mostly been on a short-term basis, and as such, the safety of long-term use is not known. It is generally well-tolerated, but as with all supplements and medications, some people may experience side effects. It is considered possibly safe and side effects could include bradycardia, tachycardia, vomiting, nausea, or hypotension (12). Note: There may be pharmaceutical medications which interact with Citicoline and should not be taken together. Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are taking any medications prior to beginning supplementation with Citicoline. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing.
In both preclinical toxicological studies and clinical studies, research shows that toxicity derived from Citicoline is extremely difficult to achieve (10)(11).
For further information, please see our References Tab above.