What is Citicoline?
Citicoline (Cognizin), or CDP-choline is a Nootropic compound that is essentially a prodrug for both Choline and Uridine. Specifically, Citicoline dissociates into choline and cytidine, with the cytidine then converting into uridine. Citicoline is one of the three choline-containing phospholipids that can be supplemented orally. Citicoline is a more effective supplement than choline bitartrate, which is a cheaper but has less nootropic value. Besides Alpha-GPC being a source of choline with the highest concentration of ~40% choline, Citicoline with ~18.5% choline belongs in the mid-range of choline supplements. Cilicoline is traded worldwide under the names Ceraxon, Cognizin, NeurAxon, Somazina, Synapsine,Trausan to name a few.
Effects of Citicoline
Citicoline is usually known for treating memory decay associated with aging. In the many studies carried out on CDP-choline, some interesting nootropic properties were found. Citicoline has many beneficial properties. Allegedly, it can increase attention, has pain killing effects, benefit recovery after stroke, has counter addiction properties, improve memory and widen cognitive abilities and can reduce appetite over the long term for people seeking to lose weight. Some people have also experienced enhanced libido and sexual performance while supplementing Citicoline. Bodybuilders or sportive individuals use Citicoline as a mild stimulant of central nicotinic and muscarinic receptors that increase the human growth hormone.
How does Citicoline work?
CDP-Choline is naturally found in the body and an essential intermediate in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. Citicoline increases plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels and potentiates serum thyrotrophin (TSH) levels. The biological activity resulting through citicoline intake has suggested its ability to improve memory. Studies suggest that CIticoline could aid in the treatment of cognitive impairment . When Citicoline is orally administered, it enters the blood stream rapidly and is more importantly able to cross the blood-brain barrier to reaches the central nervous system with its full potential.
Studies on Citicoline
As mentioned above already, Citicoline is a profoundly studied nootropic, where focus lies on its abilities to aid treatment of patients with cognitive impairment due to brain trauma and recovery after strokes. Many studies have proven that Citicoline is a nootropic with many valuable properties.
Side-Effects of Citicoline
Experts tend to agree that Citicoline is very safe to supplement, especially if not taken more than 90 days. No risks are proven at present other than mild digestive disorders over time. Most healthy adults do not experience any side effects. Although often a result of higher dosages, some have reported following side effects: headache, sleep difficulties, diarrhea, low or high blood pressure, nausea, blurred vision, chest pain.
Recommended Dosage / Usage Instructions
Recommendations vary depending on goal of the treatment. Most sources suggest to take 500-2000mg in two doses across the day, preferably separated by 8-12 hours.
 - Citicoline (Cognizin) in the treatment of cognitive impairment - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695184/
Glycerophosphocholine catabolism as a new route for choline formation for phosphatidylcholine synthesis by the Kennedy pathway. - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16172116
CDP-choline increases plasma ACTH and potentiates the stimulated release of GH, TSH and LH: the cholinergic involvement - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15482372