The brain has its own energy-producing centres. Given that it consumes around 20% of our overall body energy, it’s really important for the brain to have the capacity to do some energy production on its own. Giving your brain the nutrients to do so is of vital importance if you want to say focused and alert.
That’s where nootropics come in – substances capable of being able to trigger the brain’s energy-producing centres to provide additional energy. One of the most powerful nootropics able to do this is citicoline.
In today’s article, we are going to take a closer look at citicoline and nutrients able to affect the brain.
Nootropics and Nutrients
Nutrients are essential for our overall well-being. They are compounds that provide our cells and bodies with everything they need to go through a day. Our bodies use them as building blocks, or as a way to regulate very delicate physiological processes.
However, not all nutrients are found in the food we regularly consume through our diet. Even some of the naturally-occurring substances in our bodies are scarce in foods, especially nootropics like citicoline.
Nootropics are compounds that specifically help the brain and are also known as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers. They come in the form of pills or powder and are usually developed around a single or several brain-enhancing nutrients. Their effects vary, though. Some of them are able to facilitate learning, while others enhance memory and cognition.
Brain Affecting Nutrients
The effects of different foods on our bodies, especially the brain, has always been of interest to scientists. There are plenty of studies that brought nutrients – brain connection, to the light. One of the most recent metaanalysis
outlines the brain affecting nutrients and their role in brain functioning.
For instance, omega-3 fatty acids can help slow down cognitive decline, help regulate mood swings, and help patients with a traumatic brain injury. Some Vitamins can also positively affect the brain, including Vitamins B, D, and E.
However, there are only a couple of compounds able to facilitate energy production in the brain. These are the above-mentioned nootropics. Citicoline is one of the most powerful nootropics out there. Not only does it play a vital role in maintaining the healthy functioning of the brain, but it also delivers additional benefits.
Let’s take a look at the mechanisms behind that.
Citicoline's Role in Affecting the Brain
The savvy brain hackers know Citicoline as cytidine diphosphate-choline or cytidine 5’-diphosphocholine. Our bodies can naturally synthesise it, and the compound naturally occurs in the brain. It’s a complex molecule. Alongside cytosine, pyrophosphate, and ribose it also contains choline.
What’s its role in affecting the brain? It is considered the most powerful nootropic because it boosts the brain in two different paths. It’s like using two nootropic supplements instead of one.
Our brain produces phosphatidylcholine, which is then used for enhancing cell membranes. Citicoline acts as an intermediate in this production.
Citicoline also contains cytidine, a known component of RNA(Ribonucleic acid). However, when it enters the brain, cytidine is converted into Uridine. Uridine is then used to synthesise additional molecules of phosphatidylcholine. As you can see, Citicoline streamlines the production of phosphatidylcholine in two different ways.
Its ability to enable the production of phosphatidylcholine places Citicoline in the group of nootropics with neuroprotective properties
. It’s one of the few nootropics available to us that can both boost alertness and focus while protecting the brain cells from neurodegenerative processes.
Studies Outlining Its Benefits
It’s completely reasonable to look for scientific proof before you take a compound that can affect the brain. Let’s quickly go through several studies that prove Citicoline benefits.
In a study from 2008
, researchers decided to examine the effects of citicoline in older people experiencing memory disturbances. The study’s data suggests that citicoline is indeed a powerful nootropic. It improves the functioning of the frontal lobe and enhances the functionality of brain cells. It increases energy reserves and energy utilisation and boosts focus and alertness.
One of the recent studies
approaches citicoline from a different perspective. The scientists tried to discover the connection between citicoline and attention and motor speed in adolescent males. The group of participants who received citicoline supplementation had significantly improved attention and increased psychomotor speed, unlike the group receiving placebo. Citicoline also decreased impulsivity.
In another study
, researchers decide to use citicoline as a proven compound with cognitive rehabilitation properties and examine its effects on patients with major depressive disorder. They used the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale to track the changes.
The group that received citicoline had significantly better HDRS scores than the placebo group. The first significant results were measured only two weeks after the start of the trial.
Finally, the researchers also wanted to examine the citicoline effects on our ability to learn. Phosphatidylcholine levels in brain cells decrease as we grow older, and it can impair our learning abilities. The study results
confirm that subjects who received citicoline had improved scores on the California Verbal Learning Test.
Citicoline facilitated the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, thus improving the learning ability of study subjects.
Improved Attentional Performance
Improved Verbal memory
Citicoline is one of the most powerful nootropics. While it has neuroprotective properties, it can also help you improve attention, focus, and enhance your ability to learn.
If neural performance is an area you want to perform in, Citicoline is definitely a nootropic you should consider using.