Citicoline is a supplement that may boost brain performance, improve memory, and help treat neurological diseases. Research on its effectiveness is mixed.
Citicoline is a naturally occurring brain chemical that has neuroprotective effects, meaning it helps protect and repair the cells, structure, and function of your nervous system. Citicoline is available as a dietary supplement that can be used to enhance thinking ability and memory.
Researchers have also examined citicoline as a drug for neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and dementia.
This article takes a closer look at citicoline’s potential uses and benefits, side effects, and dosage.
Citicoline is a naturally occurring chemical compound that supports brain function and health. It’s also known as cytidine 5’-diphosphocholine or CDP-choline.
In the human body, citicoline plays a crucial role in forming neuron cell membranes. It’s known to have
Citicoline is available as a dietary supplement that is chemically identical to the naturally occurring compound. It belongs to a class of substances called nootropic agents, which are used to improve thinking ability and memory.
The dietary supplement is available over the counter in the United States and as a prescription drug in Europe and Japan.
In a clinical setting, healthcare professionals may give citicoline therapy as a medication you take by mouth, as an injection into a muscle, or as an intravenous medication that flows directly into your vein.
Citicoline vs. choline
Citicoline and choline are both dietary supplements that support brain health, but they are not the same.
Citicoline supplements release two main substances into your body: cytidine and choline. Once absorbed, they cross the blood-brain barrier and reach your central nervous system, where they produce a range of neuroprotective effects.
In contrast, choline supplements provide only choline, an essential nutrient that supports fat metabolism, liver health, and brain function.
As a dietary supplement, citicoline is used to boost brain performance and improve memory. It has also been investigated as a drug to treat a wide range of conditions, including stroke, dementia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
While some research has been promising, results have been mixed. Here’s what current research has found out about citicoline’s effectiveness for specific uses.
Memory and brain function
Many studies have found evidence to suggest that citicoline improves memory and brain function.
However, some of these studies were performed in animals, and most studies in humans used small sample sizes. More research is needed to explore the potential benefits of citicoline for brain function and memory.
Citicoline has been investigated for the treatment of various neurological conditions, including:
According to a
Still, more research is needed to support these findings.
Mental health conditions
However, research has been limited to either animal models or small sample sizes in humans. More large-scale, long-term studies in humans are needed.
Because citicoline occurs naturally in your body, it has low toxicity and a low risk of side effects.
Research, including a small 2021 trial, suggests that citicoline is safe and well tolerated. Side effects are rare and mild.
The side effects of citicoline may include:
- stomach pain
Talk with a healthcare professional before taking citicoline as a dietary supplement. They can provide information about any potential side effects or interactions it may have with medications you use.
Who should not use citicoline?
People who are pregnant or nursing should not use citicoline. The safety of citicoline for these populations is unknown.
The recommended dosage of citicoline as a dietary supplement is 500 milligrams (mg) per day. It’s important not to take more than the recommended amount.
When citicoline is used as a drug for specific medical conditions, the dosage ranges from
Before taking citicoline dietary supplements, be sure to talk with a healthcare professional. They can recommend a safe dosage and duration based on your overall health and any medications you’re currently taking.
What to look for when purchasing citicoline dietary supplements
- Choose products that use transparent third-party testing for safe ingredients and potency.
- Select brands that adhere to
Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP)standards.
- Make sure the label on the supplement package clearly lists all ingredients.
- Check customer reviews online and look for products with positive and genuine reviews.
- Compare prices to find an affordable product that suits your budget.
Citicoline is a naturally occurring brain chemical that has neuroprotective properties. It’s available as a dietary supplement that can be used to improve memory and thinking ability.
Some research supports these uses, especially in older adults with memory loss, but more research is needed on the potential benefits of citicoline.
Talk with a healthcare professional before taking citicoline supplements. They can discuss any safety concerns and potential interactions with other medications.