Citicoline: A Complete Guide to this Brain-Boosting Nutrient
Once a minor player in the brain health field, citicoline has become a popular brain-boosting nutrient. And for good reason.
Citicoline: A Crucial Brain Health Nutrient
Citicoline is a form of choline, an essential nutrient for normal brain development.1 It is crucial for getting choline to the brain. (More about that in a minute.)
Since your brain powers everything in your body, you need to give it nutrients that support this all-important function. If you allow a deficiency in key brain nutrients to develop, it doesn’t take long to notice problems in cognitive function.
You might have trouble with your memory or with focus, for instance, or with depression or anxiety.
Though you can get many brain nutrients through your diet, it’s almost impossible to get enough citicoline from the foods you eat. That’s why its supplementation is so important, much like postbiotics are important to your digestive care.
Citicoline Guide Table of Contents:
For ease of navigation through the SANE Solution Citicoline Guide, below is the table of contents
- Citicoline Introduction
- What is Citicoline Sodium?
- Citicoline Nootropics
- Citicoline Mechanism of Action
- How Citicoline Works
- Citicoline Uses
- Citicoline Benefits
- Citicoline Supplements
- Citicoline Supplements: The Preferred Form
- The Unique Form of Citicoline in Vitaae™
- What Sets Vitaae™ Apart From Other Citicoline Brain Health Supplements?
- Citicoline Best Place to Buy
- VitaaeTM With Citicoline Sodium Reviews
- Citations and References
Citicoline is a naturally occurring chemical compound in the body. It is composed of choline and cytidine and is present in every cell of your body, especially the brain.
You might see it mentioned as citicoline sodium, though this is a slightly different form than pure citicoline. It may also be written as CDB-Choline or cytidine-5′-diphosphocholine. The most bioavailable form of it, and the one I recommend, is Citicoline Sodium.
Science and research suggest that citicoline is found in just a few foods, often in trace amounts. Organ meats, such as liver and brain, are the richest sources of it.
But these are not eaten regularly — or at all — by most people. You can also get some of the molecules from choline-rich foods, such as eggs and poultry. But you won’t gain much overall from these foods, either, because dietary choline is not completely absorbed in the gut.
Considering all these factors…is it any wonder so many people are deficient in this nutrient?
And even if you manage to get an adequate amount of it through your diet, it won’t be nearly enough to give you the really great benefits from it that I’ll discuss shortly.
For this reason, you should get your supplementation from a high-quality supplement that Citicoline Sodium daily.
In the 1970s, doctors in Japan first used it as a supplement to treat stroke victims and those with traumatic brain injuries. These doctors found if they gave their patients citicoline within 24 hours of having a stroke, they were able to recover completely.
Later, it was introduced as a prescription medication in several European countries. Today, citicoline is marketed as a medication in Europe and as a dietary supplement in both Europe and the United States.2
It can be taken orally or by injection through an IV. Your healthcare provider can even give you a shot of it into a muscle.
This compound has been the subject of many clinical research studies and was found to be beneficial for many mental and physical health conditions.
What is Citicoline Sodium?
Citicoline pharmacological and clinical reviews have been conducted at great length – especially when it comes to citicoline sodium, a pharmaceutical drug and an over-the-counter supplement believed to have the same brain-boosting effects as “regular” form. It is used to treat neurological disorders, such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and brain trauma.3
As a supplement, this compound is often available in powder form.
What is Citicoline Powder?
The powder is simply the powdered form of the compound. It is sold online and in natural food outlets and is believed to have the same health benefits as the “regular” form.
This supplement as a nutraceutical is and has proven to be a very effective nootropic because it enhances cognitive performance.
Nootropics are substances that can boost brain performance. Each type of nootropic offers different benefits. Some can alter certain neurotransmitters — such as serotonin and dopamine — in the brain. Others can boost energy or increase blood flow to the brain.
Many nootropics are made from plants or certain amino acids typically found in foods. Thus, most nootropics are considered to be “natural” brain enhancers. (Synthetic nootropics are not natural.)
They can be prescription drugs or over-the-counter supplements. Pharmaceutical nootropics typically have stimulant effects.
They are used to treat the often debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), or narcolepsy.4
A Natural Nootropic?
Prescription nootropics are commonly synthetic and can have stronger effects than their natural counterparts.
For instance, Piracetam is a popular prescription nootropic used to treat cognitive impairment. It has been shown to be particularly effective at treating age-related cognitive decline.
In fact, researchers analyzed 19 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (the “gold standard” in scientific research) on Piracetam’s effect on cognitive decline in the elderly.
The elderly patients in these studies suffered from dementia or other cognitive impairment. All 19 studies showed clinically significant improvements in cognitive performance in patients.5
That said, there is almost always a risk of side-effects when taking prescription drugs. That’s one of the reasons I recommend “natural” nootropics, such as the compound you’re reading about now!
Other natural nootropics include coffee (for its stimulating properties), L-Theanine (for its ability to increase alertness), and omega-3 fatty acids (for their anti-inflammatory, memory-enhancing properties).
Citicoline Choline: An Unbreakable Bond
It is impossible to talk about it without discussing choline. That’s because this compound is essential for helping transport choline to the brain.
Why is this so important?
Well, though dietary choline and supplemental choline does cross the blood-brain barrier, it does not do so as easily or as efficiently as this compound.
Citicoline Mechanism of Action
It works like this: When you ingest or inject it, it is broken down into cytidine and choline.6
Cytidine is then converted into uridine. Uridine is essential to brain health, as it helps neurons connect properly. This is important for neuronal communication, without which your brain wouldn’t really work.
It also helps synthesize RNA, a molecule that is essential for proper gene expression. Both choline and uridine are quickly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract before easily crossing the blood-brain barrier.
Once inside your brain cells, they merge to re-form it.7
That both choline and cytidine/uridine are within it is an indication of the incredible brain-enhancing power of this nutrient.
How Citicoline Works:
Its primary function is to transport choline to the brain. Choline is an extremely important nutrient, even recognized in 1998 as an essential nutrient by the Institute of Medicine.
But because your body doesn’t make enough choline, you need to either get it through your diet, or through the supplements or shots/injections.
Choline is vitally important for your brain health, of course. But it also appears vital for overall health.
For instance, a deficiency in choline has been associated with liver disease, atherosclerosis, and other health issues.8
Some of the functions of choline include:
Acetylcholine is a major neurotransmitter essential for speech, memory, information processing, focus, emotion regulation, proper muscle contraction — virtually all executive brain functions!
Phosphatidylcholine is a fatty acid responsible for building new neurons. Without it, brain cells would eventually die. The choline provided by phosphatidylcholine is used to synthesize acetylcholine, which is vitally important for brain functions.
Cell-membrane signaling (phospholipids):
Phospholipids make up the cell membrane that surrounds the cell. Cell membrane signaling is essential for cells to communicate with each other as well as with the outside environment. Dysfunctional cell-brain signaling disrupts bodily functions, leading to illness or death.
Lipid transport (lipoproteins):
Lipids are fats transported through the bloodstream. Proper lipid transport is essential for proper breakdown and absorption of food.
It also needed to transport fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) from your intestines to your bloodstream (more on that in our postbiotics guide )
Methyl-group metabolism (homocysteine reduction):
Homocysteine is an amino acid produced by the body. High homocysteine levels can increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases and other conditions.9 Choline is also required to make several essential components for all membranes.10 It also plays a vital role in fetal growth.11
And that’s just for starters. A list of all the health benefits of choline is a long one and outside the scope of this report.
Suffice to say that without citicoline, your brain wouldn’t have enough choline to perform all its essential functions. And your physical and mental health would suffer.
Citicoline uses are varied, but most people take it to improve their brain health. It has been shown to improve cognitive function.
One huge effect of it is that it increases levels of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, which is vitally important for brain health.
Some effects of this nutraceutical include boosting memory, increasing brain energy, enhancing focus, and improving learning ability.
In fact, this compound is so effective at supporting brain health that it is commonly included in brain-boosting supplements.
Most citicoline benefits are those that affect the brain. And there are many clinical research studies that show the beneficial effects that its intake has on cognition.
Cognitive impairment can be age-related, or it can be caused by stroke, vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. (Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement, including motor speed.)
As previously mentioned, this compound was first used in Japan to treat patients suffering from stoke. These doctors saw improvements in their patients’ mental function when given citicoline. Subsequent studies have supported this benefit of it.
In a systematic review of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials with oral citicoline usage for acute ischemic stroke — 583 patients received placebo, 789 received it — researchers concluded:
“Treatment with oral form within the first 24 hours after onset in patients with moderate to severe stroke increases the probability of complete recovery at 3 months.”12
Stroke-related cognitive dysfunction is not the only condition that can be improved with it. A body of research shows that this brain health supplement, may be an effective treatment for memory disorders.13
And there’s more on citicoline:
A clinical research study has shown that Citicoline Sodium increased brain energy by 14 percent and sped up the formation of brain membranes by a whopping 26 percent in healthy adults!14
This certainly indicates that citicoline improves overall brain function! This means that this brain nutrient of sorts could give a much-needed boost to your memory and learning ability.
It can improve your focus and maybe even help lift the brain fog you’ve been struggling with.
Citicoline Health Benefits:
Citicoline health benefits affect more than just the brain, however. Research shows that citicoline may also improve several eye conditions or diseases.
Here are some of the benefits:
Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a very common eye condition affecting over 3 million Americans, most of whom don’t know they have it.15 This condition is characterized by increased eye pressure that damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness if left untreated. Thankfully, citicoline may help. In two clinical research trials, citicoline was shown to repair nerve damage in eyes, improve vision, and slow the progression of glaucoma.16,17
Optic neuropathy: This is a debilitating eye condition characterized by damage to the optic nerve. Optic neuropathy can be caused by a number of factors, including stroke, brain tumor, glaucoma, and head injuries.18 A clinical research study on 26 patients showed that this brain-boosting supplement repaired optic nerve damage and improved vision.19
Amblyopia: Also called “lazy eye”, amblyopia is characterized by a blurry vision in one eye. This is caused by a lack of proper communication between the brain and the eye. Amazingly, it can help with this condition, too. A common treatment for amblyopia is to have the patient wear a patch over the good eye. This treatment is known to strengthen the “lazy” eye. Studies have shown that oral supplementation with it can boost the effects of this treatment in children.20,21
Are These the Only Non-Brain Health Benefits of Citicoline?
Well, not necessarily. You see, your brain is the operating system for your body. If your brain is not working properly, it can affect your entire body.
You may not experience serious health problems, but you may feel fatigued, depressed, anxious. You may even put on some weight. All because of poor brain health that, thankfully, it can help fix.
How about Citicoline and ADHD?
This compound in theory, may also help with ADHD symptoms. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition marked by the inability to sustain attention, often combined with hyperactivity. It has become an increasingly common disorder.
ADHD affects an estimated 6.1 million children.22
Though you may think of ADHD as a childhood disorder, the symptoms often persist into adulthood. ADHD affects an estimated 4.4 percent of U.S. adults age 18-44.23
This could be a very low estimate, however, as adult ADHD is often undiagnosed.
Symptoms of adult ADHD include:
- Extreme distractibility
- Reckless driving
- Lack of organization skills
- Poor listening skills
- Trouble starting/finishing tasks
- Anger issues 24
The causes and risk factors of ADHD are not yet known. Research shows that genetics may play a role, and scientists are studying other potential risk factors, such as exposure to environmental toxins or alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy.25
But can citicoline help symptoms of ADHD? It’s possible.
In this 2019 study, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, 75 adolescent males were placed into either the treatment or the placebo group.
Those in the treatment group were given 250 or 500 milligrams of citicoline for 28 days.
Those given citicoline “showed improved attention and psychomotor speed and reduced impulsivity compared to adolescent males who received placebo.”26
The reason for this effect is unclear. But as previously noted, it helps the body make phosphatidylcholine, a fatty acid responsible for building new neurons.
In addition, the choline provided by phosphatidylcholine helps create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. This helps brain cells communicate with each other, which could help with focus and with learning skills.
Can you see how very important choline is to her brain?
Anxiety & Citicoline:
Though research is limited, citicoline may even help fix anxiety issues. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental health issue in the United States. It affects 40 million adults each year.27
Though researchers do not yet know the exact cause of anxiety in all cases, certain neurotransmitters are thought to play a role. There is scientific evidence, for instance, that low levels of serotonin may trigger panic disorder (a severe and often crippling form of anxiety). The exact reason for this effect, however, remains unclear. 28
We do know that drugs, such as Prozac and Zoloft, make serotonin more available to brain cells. This class of drugs, called SSRIs, is often the first line of defense for panic disorder, as they seem to provide relief to many people suffering from this condition.
Dopamine and acetylcholine are two other neurotransmitters that may be involved in anxiety29.
As citicoline modulates several neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine and dopamine, supplementing with citicoline could help ease anxiety.30
There is no shortage of citicoline supplement brands today. After all, citicoline is a popular nootropic that is routinely added to “memory” and “brain-boosting” supplements. And for good reason. Studies have shown that citicoline may provide many benefits for the brain. Research shows that by improving neurological and cognitive function, citicoline supplements may speed recovery from stroke.31
Research has also shown that citicoline improves cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.32,33 (As you probably know, Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by progressive memory and behavior issues.)
This report can help you choose the best form and the best brand of this nutraceutical designed to meet your needs.
Citicoline Sodium: The Preferred Form
For the best brain-health results, it is essential that you choose the breakthrough Citicoline Sodium.
Because your brain uses a whopping 20 percent of your body’s energy when at rest, you need to give it nutrients that will replenish these energy stores. (Otherwise, your senses will be a bit dull, and you’ll lose focus.)
Citicoline sodium is the most bioavailable form, efficiently supplying your brain with the energy it needs to stay sharp. It is also pure, vegetarian, and allergen-free.34
And…Citicoline Sodium is a crucial part of the multi-factor brain health matrix in Vitaae™.
The Unique Form of Citicoline in Vitaae™ Brain Health Supplements:
Choosing this unique form of citicoline in Vitaae™ is the only way to go if you care about your brain health.
Why Vitaae™ Is Your Best Citicoline Brain Supplement Choice?
Vitaae™ is your best citicoline brain supplement choice because they made sure that only the best, most effective, and deeply studied breakthrough new nutrients are used in this one-of-a-kind formula.
You see, Vitaae™ doesn’t just contain Citicoline Sodium. It also contains nutrients clinically proven to reduce brain inflammation and improve cognitive function. This is the first and only time all of these rare forms of these powerful anti-aging nutrients have been put into one convenient and affordable package.
What Sets Vitaae™ Apart From Other Citicoline Brain Health Supplements?
What sets Vitaae™ apart from other citicoline brain health supplements is the quality and the synergy of Citicoline Sodium with 3 other brain health nutrients. What are these nutrients?
1. Folate: This B vitamin is vitally important to brain health and cognitive function. Yet, because many of us lack the enzyme needed to absorb folate from all conventional sources, most of us are deficient in this nutrient. This can cause brain fog, forgetfulness, or just low mental energy that you may be experiencing right now. Not to worry, though. Vitaae™ contains a more bioavailable form of folate. This is an outstanding patented form of folate, clinically proven to be more bioavailable than the folate supplements found on store shelves. This is especially important for those who suffer from the MTHFR gene mutation, as this superior form of folate bypasses the body’s normal metabolic process to deliver the more effective form of -5-Methyltetrahydrofolate.
2. Citicoline: As previously mentioned, it’s so important for you to get optimal levels of citicoline because it has been clinically proven to help: improve memory and learning, improve cognitive control, reduce memory impairments, and reduce the death of brain cells.38, 39, 40, 41
We’ve already covered the brain health and cognitive benefits of Citicoline Sodium earlier in this report. But there’s one more important point you should consider: folate and citicoline seem to work together synergistically. Studies show that folate PLUS citicoline is critical for long-term brain health.
3. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Often called the “universal antioxidant,” CoQ10 exists in your mitochondria… the tiny energy centers in your cells. Not only does CoQ10 destroy free radicals that cause heart disease, it sparks energy production in every cell of your body, especially the heart and the brain.
CoQ10 is one of the most potent brain-boosting nutrients in existence; however, not all forms of CoQ10s are created equally when it comes to your brain health. You want to make sure your CoQ10 has superior bioavailability, guaranteed absorption, and, importantly, 24-hour timed release for round-the-clock benefits.
Vitaae™ contains a superior, more bioavailable form of CoQ10, the best CoQ10 choice that meets all of the above qualifications.
This dramatically increased bioavailability and 24-hour release ensure all the energy-producing power of CoQ10 can get right to your cells, where it provides a natural energy boost from the inside out. And get this… just like folate and citicoline come together to synergistically improve brain health, CoQ10 works synergistically with nutrient #4, L-carnitine, to supercharge the brain-boosting power of each nutrient.
4. L-carnitine: Carnitine has been getting a lot of attention recently for good reason. It’s the only molecule in our cells with the ability to move fatty acids into the mitochondria, where it’s used for energy. Because of this, a low carnitine level can have serious consequences, such as heart arrhythmia and muscle degradation.
But sadly, again, this is another nutrient that is chronically low in most diets. The early stage of carnitine deficiency can also lead to hypoglycemia, or excessively low blood sugar…. creating a deadly dance with prediabetes. These symptoms are usually indicated by irritability, fatigue, lethargy, upset stomach, and small hand tremors.
Supplementing with the right type and dose of L-carnitine has also been shown in recent studies to help you burn more fat. In one study, overweight participants received a regular diet, either with or without the addition of L-carnitine. After 10 days, those taking L-carnitine lost significantly more fat than those that did not take this nutrient.42
So…losing weight is a pretty good effect of taking L-carnitine…and Vitaae™. But here’s where its brain-health benefits come in…
You see, while L-Carnitine works to bring more energy to your cells, it also has an equally important biological helper called acetyl-L-Carnitine. This is a brain cholinergic, meaning that it mimics the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is incredibly important in improving memory and brain health.
Also, it stands out amongst other cholinergic because it is a powerful antioxidant and can pass the blood-brain barrier where it also supports healthy blood flow to the brain. This transformative amino acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, goes straight into your brain, where it helps improve memory, mood, cognition and learning.43
Citicoline: The Best Place to Buy
When buying citicoline, there are a few rules you should follow.
1. It has to be a complete formula that contains the most absorbable forms of folate, citicoline, CoQ10, and L-carnitine in the exact therapeutic doses that have been shown in studies to help improve and increase brain function.
2. It has to be created with a team of doctors and researchers to ensure the correct doses and purity of the right form of folate plus the right form of citicoline…as well as the right form of CoQ10 plus L-carnitine… to unlock the synergistic benefits of these pairing as discussed earlier. .
3. It has to be made in the USA, in a GMP-designed, FDA-approved facility that you can trust.
The only citicoline, brain-boosting supplement that meets these criteria is Vitaae™!
This breakthrough formula also contains Gymnema Sylvestre leaf extract for its therapeutic impact on insulin and its ability to increase your body’s absorption of the carnitine in the formula… as well as the optimal daily dose of Vitamin D3, because of its proven brain health and anti-aging hormonal and neurological benefits.
It also contains potent EPA/DHA Omega-3 fats because of their exceptional ability to reduce inflammation, boost brain health and add a youthful glow to your skin, hair, and nails, all while increasing the absorption of everything else within the formulation.
VitaaeTM With Citicoline Sodium Reviews:
But don’t take my word for it. Plenty of users have attested to the brain-boosting, health-promoting benefits of VitaaeTM.
Here are just a few of them.
My mind is working like it did in my forties
Abigale G. – Milwaukee, WI
I started taking this three months ago and after about a month I added to my husband’s pill container without telling him what it was. For me, I genuinely feel like my mind is working like it did in my forties (I’m 71 now). After about four weeks, I found out that at my husband’s next doctor’s appointment he asked our doctor if something was “wrong” because of how different he felt.
Remembering names and wedding anniversaries!
Robert W. – San Jose, CA
You know how you go into a room and forget why? That doesn’t happen anymore. I had always been terrible with names, but it’s like they automatically stick in my mind now. I even remembered our wedding anniversary without any reminders this year (my wife couldn’t believe it).
Brain fog is nearly gone
Terry L. – Orlando, Florida
I just love this! I have been taking it for 2 months now, and my brain fog is nearly gone, I have more energy, I exercise more, and I feel very vibrant all over, not just mentally. And I am down 7 pounds so that is a bonus:)
Literally changed the lives of everyone in my family
Josephine H. – Kansas City, MO
This has literally changed the lives of everyone in my family. For me, I feel like those rare ‘moments of clarity’ I used to have are just the way my mind works now. My husband says that he needs less time and coffee to ‘get going’ in the morning and that things are just coming to him now.