Citicoline supplement for mental enhancement and better memory and concentration, uses, side effects
Also known as Cytidine 5'-diphosphocholine
January 8 2019 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Citicoline is a nutrient found in the body and also a available as a supplement over the counter, most often called CDP-choline. It often comes in 250 mg and 500 mg capsules.

Function in the body, how it works
Citicoline in an important intermediate in the making of phospholipids in cell membranes, particularly phosphatidylcholine. When a citicoline supplement is taken by mouth, its two main components, cytidine and choline, are fully absorbed into the bloodstream. Once absorbed, it is widely distributed throughout the body and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and reaches the central nervous system, where it is incorporated into phospholipids. Citicoline activates the biosynthesis of structural phospholipids of neuronal membranes, increases brain metabolism, and influences levels of different neurotransmitters. It has been shown to increase acetylcholine, norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the central nervous system.

Buy Citicoline supplement 250 mg pill, 60 Capsules
Stabilized citicoline (cytidine 5'diphosphocholine) is a naturally occurring, water soluble, biological compound that is an essential intermediate for the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, a major constituent of the grey matter of brain tissue (30%). It is metabolized to yield the free nucleotide cytidine and choline. Scientific research demonstrates that citicoline consumption promotes brain metabolism by enhancing the synthesis of acetylcholine, restoring phospholipid content in the brain, and regulation of neuronal membrane excitability.
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Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 Capsule
Serving per Container: 60
  Amount Per Serving % DV
Citicoline (Cognizin) (from stabilized cytidine 5'diphosphocholine) 250 mg *
* Daily Value not established.

Suggested Use: One Citicoline capsule before breakfast or lunch. Taking a capsule in the evening can cause insomnia.

Supplement Facts: Citicoline 250 mg (from stabilized cytidine 5'diphosphocholine), brand name Cognizin

Benefit, how it can help
Citicoline has been proposed to protect nerve cells in conditions where there is low oxygen availability. In animal studies it has been found to improves learning and memory. Citicoline may be used as a treatment for cerebral vascular disease, after head trauma of varying severity, and cognitive disorders of different causes. Citicoline helps recovery from post-traumatic coma and neurological deficits and in those who have had an ischemic cerebral vascular disease such as stroke. Additional uses of citicoline include age related cognitive decline and degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer disease. More research is needed to determine whether it has any benefit in Parkinson's disease, drug addictions, and alcoholism, as well as in amblyopia and glaucoma. It probably is not of help in those who have suffered traumatic brain injury.

Citicoline influences acetylcholine, dopamine, and glutamate neurotransmitter systems; serves as an intermediate in phospholipid metabolism; and enhances the integrity of neuronal membranes.

Eye health or glaucoma, amblyopia or lazy eye
A 2013 report published by the Sao Paolo Hospital Eye Clinic at the University of Milan shows citicoline may support eye health. In a 2-year study on 41 patients with glaucoma, supplementation administered in a 500mg oral dose was found to have a positive affect by significantly slowing gluacoma progression. Perhaps a lower dosage would have similar benefits.

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2014. Effectiveness of the addition of citicoline to patching in the treatment of amblyopia around visual maturity: a randomized controlled trial. o study the effectiveness of the addition of citicoline to patching in the treatment of amblyopia in the age group of 4-13 years. A randomized controlled trial, which included patients who were randomly divided into two groups. Both the groups received patching therapy till plateau was achieved in phase 1 of the study. Then in phase 2, group I received citicoline plus patching and group II continued to receive only patching. Outcome was measured by the visual acuity in logMAR every month in phase 1 till plateau was achieved and then for 12 months in phase 2. No significant difference was found in the mean visual acuities in these two groups in phase 1 till plateau was reached. In phase 2, for the initial four months, there was no significant difference in the visual acuities in these two groups, at the respective intervals. However, five months onward, up to 12 months, there was a significant difference in the visual acuities in these groups. The result was the same in younger patients (< seven years of age) as well as in older patients (> seven years of age). In phase 2, the mean proportional improvement in group I was significantly more than that in group II, at two months and onward, at the respective intervals. The improvement in visual acuity with citicoline plus patching was significantly more than that with patching alone, in one year of treatment.

Sexual enhancement
My personal experience indicates that its use can lead to better erections and improved visual acuity.
Within an hour of taking a 250 pill citicoline pill on an empty stomach, I notice being more alert and motivated. The effects last a few hours. In addition, colors seem brighter and sharper and occasionally I have noticed libido enhancement. Because of the alertness it produces, I have difficulty sleeping if I take this nutrient in late afternoon or early evening.

Seizure prevention?
Bull Exp Biol Med. 2015. Increase of the seizure threshold in C57BL/6 mice after citicoline administration.

Citicoline side effects, safety, risks, toxicity
Citicoline has a low side effect profile. Some side effects include elevated body temperature, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping if the supplement is taken in the evening.

Q. I started taking Citicoline in the last 10 days and have noticed stomach pain and cramping. These are symptoms I rarely experience. I havenít found much information that 250 mg of Citicoline would cause stomach distress. I typically take it in the morning with food. I donít take any other medication except for antihistamines (Allegra) so I donít think this would at all be related to a drug interaction. Do you know if this is a side effect and if so, what would you recommend I do to alleviate it?
   A. It is possible that some people may have gastrointestinal side effects to this supplement. One option is to take it after a meal or to take half the amount.

Does citicoline interact with warfarin or have anticoagulant properties?
   A. Not that I am aware of but it is always a concern when combining dietary supplements with Coumadin since such studies are limited and we don't know as much as we need to know.

Food source
Citicoline is found in foods but only in very small amounts. Higher amounts are found in liver and brain tissue.

I have started taking Citicoline recently and I've noticed that its effects on alertness and even an enhanced ability to communicate seem to last for several days (4-5 days) after just one 500 mg/day dose. Is this typical?
   It's not typical, most people notice the effects maybe one or two days afterwards.

I have come across citicoline somazine, is it a drug.
    I would not say it is a drug, it is a natural supplement.

Is Kyowa Hakko Bio Co. brand of citicoline known as Cognizin a good, reliable brand?
   As far as as I know, Kyowa Hakko is a reliable company and Cognizin is a good brand.

I was wondering if you can tell me if citicoline can be found in syrup version.
    It may be but I am not familiar with such a product.

I am a family nurse practitioner working in a geriatric setting in southern California. The family of one of my dementia patients brought me information from Italy about the use of citicoline injectable. Apparently another family member in Italy also with dementia has been receiving monthly injections and has shown improved cognitive response. The family is asking if this would be worth a trial on their mom as well. Can you give me any evidenced based direction, and any experience you have had with this? Also is there a significant difference in the oral vs injected formulas? I thought there was good absorption when given po. I would appreciate any information or resources that you might share with me.
    I have only used this product in the oral form and find it be be absorbed easily and to be quite effective in capsule form.

Citicholine use to treat Glaucoma. I am interested to find out if my father will be benefit from taking the supplement. My father is 75 yrs old. He has 1 minor heart attack about 10 yrs ago. He currently has minor diabetes and Chronic Myomonocytes Leukemia. Is it safe for him to take the supplement.
    This is a decision you and your doctor would need to make.

Is it safe to add Sam-E (taken daily) to citicoline if I am taking the latter more often than just once every 4 days, but rather even on a daily basis? I think this would be a very useful question to be explored as I know these are two extremely popular supplements! Thanks again and please keep up the great work, I have recommended numerous people to your insightful website!
   I prefer they be taken on separate days, they are both potent.

I have experienced significant hair loss over the last four weeks, especially thinning at the crown. I have no history of alopecia in my family, and have good hair genes on paternal and maternal sides. I had blood tests on hormones, thyroid and iron and all returned normal. My PCP suggests I see a dermatologist. The only recent change in my diet and supplement use is citicoline. Do you know of any link between it and hair loss?
   This is the first time I have heard this mentioned.

I am a lady of 80 years and have been taking tolterodine for a number of years for over active bladder. I am healthy and active and in fact am quite young for my age. I have been taking citicoline for about two weeks and find it has helped me to be more alert and motivated, and has improved my memory considerably. My query is that as tolterodine is an anticholinergic drug and as such affects memory in elderly people, is it pointless taking citicoline whilst taking tolterodine?
   A. The active moiety, tolterodine, is a muscarinic receptor antagonist. I have not seen studies combining cdp-choline with this medications, therefore it is difficult to know the interactions. The best approach is to use the least amount of both that still provide good results.

5 Hour Energy drink
Do you know if citicoline acts as a stimulant? I noticed it's an ingredient in the 5 hour energy drink. I'm recovering from sexual exhaustion and to balance my neurotransmitters I'm taking Gaba, 5-htp, Citicoline, but my nervous system is stuck in sympathetic mode and I'm really on edge and I'm wondering if it might make things worse? It does help with memory. Oh, also can 5-htp cause forgetfulness?
    Yes, it can act as a stimulant. I am not aware of 5-HTP causing memory problems, but sometimes some people have an unusual reaction to a medication or supplement.

I really enjoyed Mind Boosters and have tried several substances that you recommend in the book. I recently had some 5 Hour Energy and felt really weird. I like the effects of caffeine and tyrosine, so I think it was the citicoline (supposedly CDP choline) that gave me that feeling:
   It is difficult to know for sure since I could not find the amount of this brain enhancer listed in the 5 Hour Energy fact panel online. You could try it by itself to see if you get the same reaction when used without the other ingredients in this formula.