Citicoline is identical to the natural intracellular precursor of phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine (McDaniel et al. 2003; Grieb 2014), the main phospholipid of cell membranes (Zeisel 2000; Cohen & Wurtman 1976) and thus is an essential component of the human diet and vital for the normal functioning of all cells (Zeisel & Blusztajn 1994).
The body uses phosphatidylcholine to make a brain chemical called acetylcholine (Wurtman et al. 2009), an important neurotransmitter that is a major part of the autonomic nervous system.
Acetylcholine is released in the brain during learning (Hasselmo 2006) and is critical for the acquisition of new memories. Its role is to facilitate the activity of NMDA receptors, proteins that control the strength of connections between nerve cells in the brain (Harata et al. 1992). Acetylcholine also causes muscles to contract (Furchgott & Zawadzki 1980), activates pain responses (Decker et al. 2001) and regulates endocrine and REM sleep functions (Watson et al. 2010).
Phospholipids have a very high turnover rate, which involves continuous synthesis to ensure adequate function of cell membranes (McMurray & Magee 1972). Supplementing with citicoline increases phosphatidylcholine and thus improves brain and muscle function.
Phospholipids are extremely important structural elements of cells and are essential for the normal processing of dietary fat (Best et al. 1936). Therefore low choline levels can lead to fat accumulation in the liver (Buang et al. 2005). In this way citicoline plays a role in the transport of fatty acids in the body (Iulia et al. 2017). In one study increased levels of choline encouraged rapid body fat reduction (Elsawy et al. 2014).
Changes in phospholipid metabolism, particularly low levels of phosphatidylcholine, have been shown to be a mechanism that triggers cell death in several conditions (Cui et al. 1996; Morton et al. 2013) and shown to lead to cognitive impairment (Klein 2000) and in other conditions affected by neurotransmission (Giesing et al. 1985).
Due to these pathophysiological conditions there is an agreement that supplementing with citicoline that can accelerate and/or increase synthesis of membrane structural phospholipids to protect and repair the nervous system (McDaniel et al. 2003; Morton et al. 2013; Zweifler 2002).
The best form of choline in my opinion is citicoline (also known as CDP-Choline) due to it increasing noradrenaline and dopamine levels in the central nervous system (CNS), making it stimulatory(Cansev et al. 2008).
I mentioned how low levels of acetylcholine creates cognitive impairment. By elevating acetylcholine levels, citicoline has a neuroprotective effect and improves scores on cognitive evaluation scales (Secades 2016).
Citicoline’s cognitive enhancement is further magnified when combined with caffeine, significantly improving sustained attention, cognitive effort, and reaction times in healthy adults (Bruce et al. 2014).
Citicoline has shown to reduce omission and commission errors, indicative of improved attentional focus and inhibition, as well as nerve regeneration (McGlade et al. 2012; Özay et al. 2007; Kaplan et al. 2014).
Choline is important for enhancing myelin regeneration, which is critical for intelligence and IQ (Singer 2009), exerting beneficial effects on oligodendrocytes, and axons (Skripuletz et al. 2015). Myelin is a fatty substance that wraps around the nerve cells and propagate electrical communication between neurons (Xu et al. 2017).
An extract from the book 'Creating The Anomaly'.
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