Though its original purpose was to aid stroke patients, Citicoline has been shown to be an effective cognitive enhancer. Citicoline is available today as a prescription drug in most European countries and as an over-the-counter dietary supplement in the United States under various brand names.
What is Citicoline?
Citicoline is a naturally occurring chemical in the body. It was originally synthesized in Japan for use on patients who had suffered an ischemic stroke. Those patients administered the drug within 24 hours of having the stroke were more likely to manage a full recovery as opposed to those that did not. Also, patients suffering from glaucoma noticed an improvement in vision as the drug nourished the nerves damaged by the pressure from the buildup of fluid in the eye. Further research suggests Citicoline may have nootropic properties and may aid those with circulation and other degenerative problems in the brain.
Studies suggest that taking Citicoline based supplements may have an effect in boosting brainpower by increasing a chemical in the brain known as phosphatidylcholine. This chemical is known to improve brain function and memory capacity. Regular supplementation may be effective in:
- Improving the cognitive abilities in healthy persons.
- Helping to restore memory in older persons.
- Assisting in the recovery of stroke patients.
- Treating persons with attention deficit disorder.
- Improving vision and nourishing the optic nerve in those with glaucoma.
Citicoline Side Effects
Research has shown little to no reported side effects in regular short-term use of Citicoline in doses ranging from 500mg - 2000mg per day, depending on its intended use. Those side effects that were reported included headache, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia and other minor effects; no serious side effects were known to occur. Although no drug interactions are known, always discuss supplementation with your doctor if you are on medication or have a medical condition. At this time, it is unknown whether Citicoline is safe for women pregnant or nursing and should be avoided until more conclusive information becomes available.
How Does Citicoline Help Brain Function?
Studies suggest that Citicoline supplementation increase the amount of phosphometabolite levels, which in turn, provide improved cognition. It is thought to currently assist in protecting brain health and function. It may also stimulate the production of antioxidants in the brain, which protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Although originally intended for those that had already suffered damage to the brain via stroke or other disease, many cognitive benefits could be had from using Citicoline on a supplementation cycle (90 days on, 90 days off) until its long-term use effects can be better documented.
Wondering about which brain supplements contain Citicoline? Take a look at our brain supplement reviews!