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CDP Choline is a potent and cost effective way to supplement your choline intake. Choline is a water soluble nutrient which acts as a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in many cognitive processes including memory, intelligence, and mood.
A conservative dosage estimate when taking CDP Choline as a general nootropic supplement is to take 1-2 300mg capsules in the morning. This dosage can be repeated in the afternoon if necessary. While there is no real consensus on an optimal dose, and no health organizations have provided any dosage guidelines it is generally not recommended to exceed a dosage of 1200 mg per day.
When used at moderate doses of less than 1200 mg per day, and less than 600 mg taken at any one time CDP Choline is extremely well tolerated and rarely are adverse side effects present. Some people have reported minor side effects including heartburn, insomnia, and dizziness. Consult your physician before taking this product.
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CDP Choline, also known as Citicoline, is a choline supplement used primarily for memory formation, learning ability, and overall cognitive function. (1,2,3,4) CDP choline acts very similarly as a prodrug would for choline and uridine. (1,3) CDP choline is one of the most bioavailable sources of choline via oral ingestion.
CDP choline is unique as a source of choline as once it’s digested, it separates into cytidine and choline. Choline is present in all cells in the human body but supplementing as a nootropic it has shown to have positive effects on cholinergic brain function. (1,2,3,4)
Although Citicoline is unregulated in the United States and is sold over the counter as a dietary supplement, there are parts of the EU and Brazil where CDP choline is only available with a prescription. (4)
One of the primary benefits of CDP choline is in increase in acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that sends signals to different cells throughout the body. CDP Choline also works to potentiate other nootropics which is why it’s commonly stacked with racetam class nootropics.
CDP Choline has been shown in studies to impact the levels of catecholamine neurotransmitters. (4) Catecholamine neurotransmitters include dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.
Additionally, CDP choline is a precursor that is essential for the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. Phosphatidylcholine is a cell membrane component that is rapidly degraded when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain. CDP choline aids to protect these cell membranes and accelerates the resynthesis of phospholipids. As this is an attribute of some strokes, it has been shown that CDP choline can be administered immediately following a stroke to aid in recovery. (11)
Many other benefits occur as a factor of the production of choline and they can be found in “Research and Scientific Studies” section. These benefits include but are not limited to:
CDP Choline is most commonly found as a powdered capsule that ranges from 100mg per capsule to 500mg per capsule. CDP Choline is water-soluble and therefore is best taken on an empty stomach. Since this is the case, generally CDP Choline should be used in the morning. However, depending on desired effect, subsequent doses of CDP can be taken 8 to 12 hours later. Taken orally, up to 95% of the dosage is absorbed by the body. (4)
CDP Choline Dosage Guidelines
Dosages for CDP Choline may be dependent upon what effects an individual would like to see from the supplement. A general dosage is recommended at 300 mg to 600mg in the morning. A dosage of up to 1,000mg is fine but recommended to be split across two dosages, 8 to 12 hours apart. (1,2,3,4)
Some benefits of CDP Choline, increased bioenergetics or attention-promotion are more prevalently responsive at a lower dosage. However, there are other benefits such as decreased appetite that are more responsive at a higher dosage. (1)
Over different scientific studies dosages have ranged from 500mg to 2,000mg per day. One study showed that a dosage of 4,000mg had no measurable difference from a dosage of 2,000mg indicating little to no value in taking the higher dosage. (4) If using CDP Choline as part of a nootropic stack, a dosage of 300mg once or twice per day is recommended. (4)
Half-life and Duration of Effects
CDP Choline typically begins to work 2 to 3 hours after oral administration at a dose of 5600mg. CDP Choline’s half-life has been reported to be anywhere from 55 to 75 hours. (1)
CDP Choline is considered very safe and well tolerated. Although studies have shown that there is no toxicity up to 4,000mg, no more than 1,200mg is recommended for a day to avoid adverse side effects. (4) Prior to taking any supplement, you should always consult a physician. It is not recommended to take CDP Choline and operate heavy machinery until your familiar with how different dosages effect you.
While adverse side effects are rare, the most commonly reported side effects are insomnia, nausea, dizziness, or chest pains.
CDP Choline is hydrolyzed in the intestines where it’s broken down into it’s two components, cytidine and choline. It then crosses the blood-brain barrier and disperses throughout the body. (4) Cytidine is a component of Ribonucleic acid (RNA). This is involved in the coding and regulation of genes for the human body. Once cytidine reaches the brain, it converts to uridine which acts to repair cell membranes and maintain neuron integrity. (2)
Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh). CDP Choline aids in increasing acetylcholine levels in the brain which increases the electrical signaling between neurons.
CDP Choline also aids in increasing the effects of other nootropics when stacked together. CDP Choline is most effective with the racetam class nootropics where it gives greater potential for memory boosting while avoiding the headaches generally associated with these nootropics. (4)
Additionally, CDP Choline increases levels of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in brain cells. ATP is a coenzyme that provides the energy source for brain cells.
Citicoline Improves Memory and Learning (5)
A scientific study was conducted on rats, where some were normal, and some were spontaneously hypertensive. Hypertension is considered a risk factor for the development of cognitive disorders. This is due to the negative effects on both cerebral circulation and blood flow.
Both sets of rats were tested on short-term memory, five choice reaction time, visual attention processes, and spatial learning and mnemonic capabilities. Half of the rats from both groups were randomly selected to be given doses of uridine and choline (two components that CDP Choline breaks down to).
It was determined that the hypersensitive rats had their scores normalized when administered the choline while the rats from the “normal” group had improvements as well.
Enhanced Nerve Factor Growth in the Brain (7)
Separate tests were conducted on rats of varying ages in which they were given different doses and sources of choline. These tests were conducted over six months to see how the brains of the different aged rats would react.
Both tests were able to demonstrate that the number of silver grains in the older rats were diminished as the cholinergic receptors were introduced to the hippocampus. It also demonstrated that these grains/fibers did not develop as quickly in the younger rats.
An additional study was conducted where choline was administered at 100mg a day for six months. This study was conducted on rats aged 24 months which is considered generally old for a rat. In rats, the cerebellar cortex contains amounts of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Along with NGF receptors, these are sensitive to aging. The addition of the choline suggests that it may increase the expression of NGF receptors.
Increases Growth Hormone Secretion (9)
As individuals age, growth hormone (GH) secretion decreases. This may be in-part due to a decrease in growth hormone-release hormone (GHRH). One study was conducted on both young and old human volunteers where they were given GHRH. Half of this volunteer group was also given a form of choline.
As expected, GH secretion was greater with the younger volunteers. However, the groups given the choline with the GHRH showed increased levels of GH secretion compared to their same-aged counterparts only given the GHRH. Additionally, the older volunteers saw more pronounced levels of GH secretion with the addition of the choline. This can conclude that increases in choline can increase GH secretion.
Improves Cognitive Performance of Individuals with Alzheimer’s (10)
It is important to note that not enough clinical testing has been completed to definitively state the effectiveness of choline on patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The studies being discussed are only a starting point for these conversations.
126 patients with mild to moderate senile dementia of Alzheimer’s type (SDAT) were tested by means of behavioral scales and psychometric testing. These patients were either administered a choline pre-cursor (Alpha-GPC) acetyl-l-carnitine (ST200), a quaternary ammonium compound. It was found that the patients who were administered Alpha-GPC showed significant improvement in testing.
Is CDP Choline safe?
CDP Choline supplementation has been found to be very safe and non-toxic.
How does choline help the brain?
Choline primarily helps the brain by producing acetylcholine which is a key neurotransmitter for mental focus and learning.
Is CDP Choline a stimulant?
CDP Choline does not act as a stimulant.
Does CDP Choline help with weight loss?
Choline has been shown to help lipid metabolism which might encourage body mass reduction, but this is generally found to be more successful in active individuals and should not be used as a weight loss supplement.
Which foods are highest in choline?
Eggs, beef liver, and grass-fed raw dairy are some of the highest sources of choline in food but have been shown to be metabolized by the body and are not as efficient as CDP Choline at supplementing the body.
What causes choline deficiency?
Choline deficiency is generally caused by an individuals’ diet. Most western diets do not have sufficient amounts of choline. However, food with choline is not as effective as choline supplementation as the choline in the food gets metabolized.
* These reviews are the experiences of the individual customers that submitted them, results may differ from person to person.
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