Citicoline has been recently very popular in the United as a dietary supplement for treating and improving cognitive performance. It also recently received the approval of the EU to be used as a food and medicinal supplement .
This natural compound can be used in treating brain impairment and improve the mental performance of healthy adults. It has also been investigated for treating visual impairments and preventing strokes.
What Is Citicoline?
Citicoline is a naturally occurring compound, meaning a chemical compound formed by living organisms found in nature.
It is also known scientifically as cytidine diphosphate-choline (CDP-choline) or cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine.
It consists of two main components: cytidine and choline, which are released once the Citicoline is ingested.
As an endogenous compound, Citicoline already exists in abundant amounts in some common foods such as:
- Eggs: 293.8mg per 100g (53% DV)
- Lean Chicken Breasts: 117mg per 100g (21% DV), more in Roasted Chicken wings: 33% DV
- Fish, such as Salmon: 112.6mg per 100g (20% DV), and Shrimps: 25%
- Lean Pork Chops: 89.9mg per 100g (16% DV)
- Skirt Steak Beef: 77.8mg per 100g (14% DV)
- Navy Beans: 44.7mg per 100g (8% DV)
- Broccoli: 40.1mg per 100g (7% DV) 
*DV: Daily Values
Citicoline can be taken as a pill or injection. It has been traditionally prescribed for improving memory and treating brain impairment before its recent popularity as a brain stimulant and neuroprotective drug .
The health benefits of Citicoline have been linked to neuroprotection, as they can improve Neuroplasticity. In the following section, we review the most common health claims.
Health Benefits Of Citicoline
Before deciding to buy a brain stimulant supplement online, let's learn which health benefits of Citicoline you may expect and for whom it is suitable.
1. Brain Stimulating Effect
Citicoline supplements can raise attention levels and increase psychomotor speed among healthy adults.
A study of 75 healthy males evaluated the effect of Citicoline tablets. Participants took 250 and 500 mg Citicoline tablets. Researchers assessed participants' mental performance against cognitive performance scales such as the Ruff 2&7 Selection Attention Test, Finger Tap Test, and the Computerized Performance Test.
After 28 days of using the Citicoline supplements, the participants showed improved focus and reduced impulsivity compared to placebo .
A similar study was performed over a female population. The participants also took equivalent doses of Citicoline. They showed significant cognitive performance improvements after the 28 days of daily Citicoline supplements.
The study suggested Citicoline as a potential therapy for attentional deficits associated with central nervous system disorders, especially among middle-aged females .
2. Treating Cognitive Impairment
The decline in cognitive performance is a major remark of aging that you can influence by lifestyle and diet choices.
Cognitive impairments appear as by-products of aging in the form of alterations of neuronal structure and neuronal loss. A healthy lifestyle, including regular exercises, mental stimulation, and controlling anxiety, helps decrease cognitive decline rate while progressing with age .
Citicoline can improve cognitive deficients such as aphasia, apraxia, and agnosia, which have a vascular origin. It can be used as a neuroprotective drug, especially with older adults.
Taking oral pills of Citicoline over nine months helped patients with mild vascular cognitive deficits to achieve higher cognitive scores (assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination) and positive mood levels.
Increased levels of noradrenaline and dopamine explained the improved mood levels due to Citicoline intakes [7, 8].
Neuroplasticity represents the capacity of the brain's neurons and networks to change in response to new information. Research suggests that Citicoline can increase Neuroplasticity and inhibit vascular cognitive decline.
The study proposes the role of Citicoline in modulating the expression of some protein enzymes involved in neuronal death and increasing SIRT1 gene expression in the central nervous system. The study confirmed the safety of using Citicoline both parenterally and orally .
Furthermore, Citicoline can suppress the damage of neural tissue caused by free radicals. It has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. The compound is proposed by research to be used in mental therapy and to preserve brain health .
3. Stroke Prevention
Citicoline has been studied in experimental stroke models. The compound stimulates cell membrane repair and growth, promising potential in preventing neurologic diseases such as ischemia and hemorrhagic strokes. In the subacute period of neurologic disease, Citicoline grants the brain acute neuroprotection and improves neuro-repair. Experimental data from ten trials with 2279 patients suggest that taking Citocoline reduces the chances of mental disability and death significantly .
Experiments showed that Citicoline compounds could be easily absorbed and transferred over the blood-brain barrier (BBB). These components have neuroprotective properties helpful in enhancing neuronal membrane regeneration and repair. These results suggest Citicoline for stroke therapy and treating the early stages of Alzheimer's disease .
4. Intervention In Visual Impairment And Glaucoma Cases
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease that impairs visual function, especially among older adults.
Citicoline is suggested to improve the visual function.
Prolonged intakes of Citicoline are effective in treating slowly developing neurodegenerative diseases like glaucoma.
Treatment with Citicoline over two to eight years helped patients with moderate visual impairment to stabilize, or even improve visual dysfunction caused by glaucoma .
Studies proposed that using the compound increases the levels of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system and acts in the biosynthetic pathways of cell membranes.
The neuroprotective effect of Citicoline is considered a valid therapy to slow down the progression of glaucoma. Research showed that Citicoline eye drops delay glaucoma progression independently of pressure-lowering impact caused by hypotensive drops .
Health Benefits Of Citicoline: Summing Up
Citicoline is a strong candidate among Nootropics that can enhance cognitive performance. In contrast to brain stimulants like Caffeine, or Ginseng, Citicoline is a chemical compound naturally produced by living organisms.
It exists in sufficient amounts in animals and fish; it is also safe to take in moderate dosages of (200 to 2000mg per day) as a supplement, especially with vegetarian and vegan diets.
Evidence suggests that Citicoline has a role in improving attention and mood in healthy male and female adults. It is also recommended as a potential therapy for cognitive impairment or intervention with early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The drug can also be used in delaying the progression of glaucoma and preventing strokes.