Citicholine is one of better supplement forms of choline. Also referred to as CDP-choline, this form of choline supplement has a high concentration of choline content in relation to its weight and its has a very high bioavailability. These properties of citicholine make it one of the most preferred supplement forms of choline.
Other choline supplements like choline bitartrate and choline citrate have poor absorption rates that less than 20% of the supplemental choline actually reaches the brain where it is most needed. Citicholine on the other hand is efficiently absorbed that its effectiveness as a choline supplement is comparable to that of Alpha GPC.
Choline is an acetylcholine precursor, an important neurotransmitter in the brain believed to be responsible for the brain’s cognitive processes. Studies show that choline supplementation increases the levels of acetylcholine in the brain, thereby enhancing its efficiency in performing cognitive processes. Choline supplementation is also popular among athletes, especially among powerlifters and endurance competitors. Sport science research suggest that choline helps the nervous system send more powerful signals to the muscle nerves adding more explosiveness to the lifts of powerlifters. Endurance athletes on the other hand benefit from choline’s effect of increasing tolerance for fatigue and pain.
Apart from being a nootropic and a performance enhancer, citicholine is also being prescribed as a treatment and therapy for a variety of medical conditions affecting the central nervous system. Citicholine is used as preventive and therapeutic medicine for Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, head trauma, and ADHD. Citicholine was invented in Japan where it was initially prescribed to speed up the recovery of stroke patients.
Due to its high absorption rate and choline content, citicholine is an effective cognitive enhancer even when taken by itself. Studies show that regular supplementation with citicholine significantly improved the cognitive processes of the brain. In these studies, the subject was observed to have improved memory retention and recall, problem solving skills, logical reasoning, self-confidence, and communication skills.
Experienced users of nootropic agents swear by its effectiveness as an addition to their nootropic stacks. Given the action of citicholine as an acetylcholine booster, it can significantly enhance the potency of nootropic stacks that have acetylcholine activators as a primary nootropic agent. Choline is also known to prevent the typical side effects of the racetam group of cognitive enhancers like headaches and dizziness.
Quite literally, such effectiveness of citicholine comes at a price. In comparison to cheaper choline supplements like choline bitartrate and choline citrate, citicholine costs approximately five times more. Another common gripe from users when using high choline content supplements is that they claim to experience a reversal of the positive nootropic effects when the supplementation is stopped. These claims however, have yet to be fully confirmed. Some of the known side effects from citicholine supplementation include insomnia, unstable blood pressure, diarrhea, lightheadedness, nausea, chest pains, and blurred vision.
- Very effective.
- It has high choline content.
- It has a high bioavailability.
- Effective even when taken all by itself.
- It can improve physical performance.
- It can enhance the effectiveness of nootropic stacks.
- Very expensive.
- May cause a reversal in effect when supplementation is discontinued.
- It has a number of unpleasant side effects.
The recommended daily dose of citicholine is set at 200 to 2,000mg, preferably divided into several doses taken throughout the day. While some users prefer to higher doses, the cognitive enhancement properties of citicholine appears to be more pronounced when the doses taken are in the lower range. As with any other supplement, citicholine may cause some drug interactions so it is still best to first consult with a physician before supplementing with citicholine.