What Does Citicoline Do for the Brain?
Our brain is the most complex part of our body. It’s an organ that’s been studied for hundreds of years, yet we still know so little about it. As research continues daily, we are learning more about what our brain needs to function and what we can do to help it function better.
It is known that there are hundreds of neurons and neurotransmitters throughout our bodies that are affecting a wide range of our bodily functions. When these aren’t connecting properly, we l experience a variety of mental disruptions.
One promising nutrient that’s recently been uncovered in the search for cognitive health is citicoline, which many researchers are claiming to be their favorite brain nutrient.
What is Citicoline?
Citicoline’s primary responsibility is delivering choline to the brain. If you want to understand what citicoline does, you have to first understand what choline is.
Choline is a naturally occurring nutrient that is present in our normal diet (eggs, beans, seeds, nuts). With that being said, it’s also known as an essential nutrient, since our body needs it but doesn’t produce it on its own. Because of this, it’s important we consume enough of it every day for proper brain health and function.
Once transported to the brain, choline will help produce acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine. Acetylcholine will be essential to the function of your brain, while phosphatidylcholine will help create new neurons and cell structures.
In addition to choline, citicoline will also transport cytidine to the brain -- a precursor to uridine -- and dopamine. Uridine plays a major role in RNA synthesis, synaptic strength, and the connecting of our neurons. Dopamine will enhance your motivation and focus.
Who Should Supplement Citicoline?
Since citicoline is an essential nutrient, it’s important that everyone gets enough of it on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a majority of people won’t get enough due to their diet or their inability to convert choline into this vital form. If you’re not eating foods that contain high amounts of choline, you’ll want to start supplementing.
How Much Should We Take?
Of course, you’ll want to ensure you’re taking a safe amount when supplementing citicoline. Too little of it won’t give you the benefits you’re looking for. Meanwhile, too much of it can lead to insomnia, headaches, nausea, chest pain, and upset stomach.
To be safe, it’s recommended to start with 150 mg per day if you’re new to it. After the first week, you should think about increasing the amount to 200-350 mg. This is where you’ll really start to notice a difference. Some studies show significant results at higher doses like 500-1,000 mg per day, but you’ll probably want to be sure you’re the right kind of target individual seeking the same types of changes those studies are showing results for. As always, talk to your healthcare provider about what’s best for you.
There are different brands, but one of its purest and patented forms will be designated as Cognizin®.