What is CDP Choline?
CDP-Choline is also known by the names Citicoline, CDPC, Citicholine, Citicolina, and Cytidine 5-Diphosphocoline. This chemical is naturally produced in the body. The amount of Citicoline produced by the body is usually not enough to fully meet all the needs. Luckily, you can still get Citicoline through various food sources, including eggs, chicken, fish, whole grains, and beans. Alternatively, you can use supplements. CDP-Choline is available as an oral supplement and intravenous injection. Most people opt for oral supplements because they are easier to buy and friendlier to use.
CDP-Choline has been linked to a myriad of health benefits. The chemical is believed to be a powerful nootropic that can boost different brain functions in both healthy adults and seniors with neurodegenerative disorders. Healthy adults use CDP-Choline supplements to boost memory formation and retrieval, thinking, learning ability, attention, and other brain functions. The drug has actually been used as a nootropic for quite some time now despite the serious limitations in scientific studies.
Since the drug can boost brain functions, researchers believe that it is also effective for reversing the cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer’s diseases, Parkinson’s, and other types of dementia. It’s also reported to be effective for glaucoma and attention deficit-hyperactive disorder (ADHD).
Some countries in Europe and Asia use CDP-Choline as a prescription drug to treat memory loss and improve brain functions in patients recovering from a stroke. It was actually developed in Japan before it was introduced as a prescription drug in European countries. In the US, CDP Choline is popular as a dietary supplement. This means you can buy it from online stores without a doctor’s prescription. The biggest challenge here is that the buyers need to be wary of the quality of the chemical they are buying. Most of the dietary supplement manufacturers do not meet the industry’s standards, so it’s essential to make sure you are getting Citicoline from the right store to avoid medical complications.
How Does It Work?
CDP-Choline is one of only three phospholipids that contain choline that can be supplemented orally. The other two are Phosphatidylcholine and Alpha-GPC. Citicoline is very complex, even more than alpha-GPC. The version of Citicoline, sold as a dietary supplement, is very similar to the one produced by your brain. When you ingest this drug, it’s broken down into choline and cytidine, which cross the blood brain barrier. They are then used to make phospholipids and citicoline (the one produced by the brain).
The drug also promotes acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters to boost the nervous system and cognitive functions. It also protects the nervous system by preserving sphingomyelin and phosphatidylcholine producing myelin, which protects the nerves. It also fights oxidative stress by boosting glutathione.
Studies have also shown CDP-Choline increases the supply of blood in the brain. This helps in keeping the brain cells nourished and functioning optimally at all times. It’s one of the reasons why Citicoline has proven to be effective in dealing with stroke.
It also stimulates the mitochondria to boost energy levels.
What are the benefits of CDP Choline?
CDP Choline has been linked to the following health benefits:
- Improved Cognitive Performance
CDP Choline is a unique nootropic that can boost cognitive performance in both seniors and healthy adults. Age-related cognitive decline is very common. Old people tend to lose their memory quite easily, and they also struggle with retaining attention, thinking, and other brain functions. Studies point out that CDP choline can reverse these issues by increasing blood flow to the brain and boosting key neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and dopamine. It fights oxidative damage and strengthens the nerve membranes to make sure your CNS is functioning optimally.
Several trials support the cognitive-enhancing abilities of CDP Choline. However, all the trials recommend additional human studies to fully understand how the drug can be used safely, especially in old people. Anecdotal evidence is also very compelling, with many healthy adults reporting great results.
- Recovery from Stroke
CDP-Choline was developed in Japan for treating stroke. It boosts blood supply in the brain to reverse the effects of stroke. It also strengthens the nerve membranes and fights free radicals, which cause oxidative damage.
Several studies have been carried out to investigate the efficacy of CDP-Choline on patients who have suffered a stroke. In this study, the researchers concluded that if taken within 24 hours of suffering an acute ischemic stroke, CDP-Choline can increase your chances of a full recovery by up to 27.9%! In the study, the scientists used 2000mg.
- Treating Glaucoma
CDP Choline can reverse vision problems such as glaucoma, optic neuropathy, and amblyopia or “lazy eye.” Citicoline can protect and repair optic nerve damage that causes these conditions. It can also sharpen your vision. Additional research on this subject is warranted.
- Slowing Down Alzheimer’s Disease
Citicoline can be used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Studies already show that it can increase memory, thinking, attention, and other brain functions linked to dementia patients. The drug also improves blood circulation in the brain and protects the brain cells and nerves from oxidative damage. Therefore, CDP Choline isn’t just beneficial for people who are already showing symptoms of dementia, but it can also protect healthy individuals who are at an increased risk of developing the condition.
Citicoline is also believed to be effective in treating Multiple Sclerosis because it controls inflammatory molecules like histamine and IL1B.
- Treating Mental Disorders
Citicoline can be effective for mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. The drug promotes key neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline to enhance your mood and emotions.
There is also some limited evidence suggesting Citicoline can be used for:
- Treating substance use disorder
- Treating head trauma
- Supporting recovery after a surgery
CDP Choline Side Effects
Most of the people who take Citicoline by mouth do not experience any serious side effects. Not everyone will have a smooth experience with the drug, though. Some people may experience headaches, insomnia, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, chest pains, blurred vision, and a foul body odor. It may also cause your blood pressure to drop.
It’s best to use CDP Choline in the right dosages and for a short term – not more than 90 days.
Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid Citicoline. You should also consult your physician before taking it if you are already under other medications.
CDP Choline dosages vary depending on your condition and other factors. For instance, if you want to boost cognition, you should take between 250 to 1000mg per day. For Alzheimer’s disease, scientists recommended about 1000mg per day. To treat age-related cognitive impairment, most people take between 1000 and 2000mg per day.
If you are a healthy individual taking Citicoline as a dietary supplement to boost cognitive functions, start with the lowest dosage, and increase it gradually.
If you want to treat or prevent a medical condition like Alzheimer’s, mental disorders, and glaucoma, the smart thing to do is consulting a physician and letting them give you a guide on how to dose the drug appropriately. They will also help you understand some of your other options.