3 Reasons You Need to Know About CDP Choline

Krista H January 15, 2019

If you are interested in nootropics, then you have likely heard about CDP-Choline. If you’re not familiar with cognitive enhancers, this is the perfect opportunity to learn about this naturally-occurring chemical.

A cognitive booster and brain-protectant, here is what you need to know about CDP-Choline.

What Is CDP-Choline?

CDP-Choline (also known as Citicoline) is a nootropic compound, meaning it has the ability to enhance cognitive function. In this case, it influences the nucleoside uridine, as well as the essential nutrient known as choline.

Once ingested, CDP-Choline splits into choline and cytidine, which is then converted into uridine. Recommended for those aiming to prevent or improve age-related memory impairments, CDP-Choline also acts as a natural neuroprotective.

Once in your body, choline is converted into phosphatidylcholine. This phospholipid is a major component of cell membranes. That is why CDP-Choline provides a key advantage, as you obtain both choline and cytidine — which supports the synthesis of nucleic acids.

The Importance of Choline

Since CDP-Choline has a direct effect on choline, this relationship is largely responsible for its positive influence on users. Choline itself is an essential water-soluble nutrient that you must consume through dietary sources.

Required in order to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, without it, your central and peripheral nervous system would be significantly affected. Acetylcholine is found in all motor neurons, impacting every movement and muscle in your body — including your heart. It is also found in the brain, impacting memory and cognitive function. That is why low levels of acetylcholine are often associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Choline was not officially recognized as an essential nutrient until 1998 but is now widely recognized as a vital dietary requirement. Researchers have linked choline-deficiency to a number of diseases based on its wide-ranging roles. From atherosclerosis to liver disease, in order to protect yourself, you must be aware of your intake.

In the American diet, the most concentrated source of choline is found in egg yolks. However, it is believed that average choline intakes for men and women are far below the suggested adequate intake. Other sources include salmon, liver, cauliflower, chickpeas, beef, goat milk, and Brussel sprouts.

Although your required intake changes with age, women age the age of 14 should consume 425 to 550 mg daily and men within this age group should consume 550 mg/day. Since some experts recommend that you obtain even higher levels of choline in order to boost brain function, choline supplements are well-tolerated.

Choline is particularly important during pregnancy. Like folic acid, choline helps to protect against any significant neural tube defects and also supports early brain development. Although important for the fetus, it’s also important for expecting moms, as it influences everything from mental health to memory.

Unfortunately, a study published in Nutrients found that only around 8 percent of American adults and around 8.5 percent of pregnant women get enough. The researchers concluded that it is extremely difficult to get enough choline without consuming eggs or a dietary supplement. In fact, those who ate eggs had nearly double the usual intake of choline in comparison to those who did not.

Citicoline

3 Things You Should Know About CDP-Choline

If you believe that you’re not getting enough choline-rich foods in your diet, or would simply like to unlock brain-enhancing properties, a CDP-Choline supplement may be right for you.

Before you begin supplementation, here’s what interesting information that will help you better understand if this compound is right for you.

1. A Quality CDP-Choline Supplement Can Address a Potential Deficiency

Although you may eat some or all of the foods mentioned above, there is some evidence that most people do not get enough choline in your diets — simply because some of the choline isn’t absorbed.

This process is complex. However, it is believed that certain genetic factors contribute to a higher need for choline among certain populations. For example, approximately 50 percent of the population may possess genes that increase their dietary methyl needs. Choline is connected to methyl processes and in turn, these individuals can develop a choline deficiency.

Since choline levels are highest in animal products, vegans and vegetarians are at a higher risk of developing a deficiency. Once a deficiency does occur, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Increased feelings of fatigue
  • Cognitive decline and memory impairment
  • Muscle aches
  • Changes in mood
  • Poor concentration

Taking a quality CDP-Choline is a simple and effective way to increase your daily intake. Well-tolerated, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine established the tolerable upper intake level for choline to be 3,500 mg/day for adults.’

Citicoline

 

2. CDP-Choline Has Been Widely Studied in Regards to Cerebrovascular Disorders

As stated in this review, published in Clinical Interventions in Aging, CDP-Choline has proved to be a valid treatment option for patients living with cerebrovascular pathogenesis for memory disorders.

Used for stroke, vascular dementia, traumatic brain injuries, Parkinson’s, and general brain aging, CDP-Choline has been shown to stabilize cell membranes while reducing the accumulation and presence of free radicals.

Since CPD-Choline improves dopamine levels in the brain, it is of great interest among the Parkinson’s community. While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, researchers continue to study various treatment options in order to reduce symptoms and to improve the quality of life for people living with this neurodegenerative condition.

The same is true regarding Alzheimer’s patients, as CDP-Choline may help repair cell membrane damage, all while enhancing acetylcholine synthesis. Researchers in this study concluded that CDP-Choline appears to be a promising agent when aiming to improve cognitive, particularly when issues are of vascular origin.

In terms of mild to moderate head injuries, citicoline has been shown to reduce various symptoms associated with a concussion, including dizziness, headaches, and impaired memory. Considering approximately 50,000 people die in the United States from traumatic brain injuries each year, and over 200,000 are hospitalized, this continues to be a highly studied area of research.

CDP-Choline is used to treat traumatic brain injury in many countries, supporting the healing and recovery process. Overall, treatment with CDP-Choline has been shown to improve the outcome and the quality of life for patients, helping reduce the length of hospital stay and the need for rehabilitation.

3. CDP-Choline May Support Those Recovering From a Stroke

Based on the above research, it’s no surprise that CDP-Choline offers support to those recovering from a stroke. In fact, when stroke patients take CDP-Choline (citicoline) within 24 hours of having an ischemic stroke (caused by a clot), they are more likely to experience a rapid recovery.

Since stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability and the third leading cause of death, it continues to take a massive toll on Americans. That is why researchers continue to seek advances in stroke therapy. Although CDP-Choline was originally developed for stroke patients, it continues to be studied in order to better understand its mechanisms of action.

As stated in this review, published in Brain Sciences, CDP-Choline is so effective because it offers therapeutic effects at various stages during the recovery process. Most importantly, long-term treatment is safe and effective, improving post-stroke decline without any significant side effects. Since recovering from a stroke is a lengthy process, CDP-Choline is an optimal choice. Prolonged administration at a set, optimal dose appears to be very well-tolerated — and best of all, it can actually promote neurorepair and neurogenesis.

Choosing the Right Supplement For You

When taking any supplement, it’s imperative that you do your research. Not all supplements are created equal, which is why you want to understand exactly what it is you’re investing in.

You’ll want to look at the ingredients list, ensuring that there are not a ton of fillers. The quality of your supplements matter, so just remember that when you embark on your supplement journey.

Related: Dietary Supplements — Why Form, Dose and Quality Matter

Although there are many choline supplements on the market, CDP-Choline is known for its ability to increase energy, enhance memory, and protect your brain. It works quickly and effectively, typically metabolizing within an hour after you ingest it.

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Krista H
Krista H
Krista majored in psychology and neuroscience, focusing on degenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. As she continued her research, she began to study the complex relationship between lifestyle variables and neurological health, including the impact these variables have on mood disorders and general wellness. She currently specializes in all aspects of neurological and physiological health, especially in relation to nutrition.
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