CDP-choline is composed primarily of choline and uridine, two molecules which are important to our cognitive faculties and overall well-being. It can help boost your mental acuity, as studies suggest this increase is linked to improved circulation and oxygen absorption as a result of CDP-choline supplementation. In one study, women ranging in age from 40 to 60 showed a significant improvement in their attention span and ability to focus on a given test.
Part of the effectiveness of CDP-choline is related to its ability to boost acetylcholine levels in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in memory and cognitive function; low acetylcholine levels have been linked to memory loss and cognitive decline. CDP-choline has been shown to increase acetylcholine levels following a stroke or traumatic brain injury.
It is also involved in your body’s ability to signal and transport dopamine; while CDP-choline doesn’t necessary help your body synthesis or create more dopamine, it does help your dopamine receptors and transporters, meaning that your dopamine is more readily available. It has been suggested as a possible treatment option for Parkinson’s disease, which is the most well-known condition produced by low dopamine levels.
CDP-choline has what are known as neuroprotection capabilities, meaning that it can protect your brain cells from toxicity and damage. Rats who took CDP-choline at the beginning of a forced stroke showed significantly less damage than rats who were not given the supplement. A similar study which focused on brain damage rather than stroke showed rats who were given CDP-choline retained significant portions of their memory. Human subjects who were given CDP-choline after a traumatic brain injury, coma, and concussion, were associated with a faster recovery time in terms of memory and cognition.
CDP-choline has been shown to have its greatest memory-boosting effects on aged rats who are already suffering some form of memory loss or cognitive impairment. Rats who were given the supplement for 8 weeks showed a reversal of the spatial memory loss that is common with aging. It has also been shown to improve results on active avoidance tests in both young and elderly rats. Active avoidance tests use fear or pain as a consequence of pushing the wrong button or performing some other task, and are used to judge learning and memory. Rats given CDP-choline were able to learn what to avoid much quicker than rats who were not given the supplement. Studies performed on humans have had similarly positive effects – in healthy, aged human subjects, CDP-choline supplementation resulted in significant increase in memory formation and recall.
CDP-choline also supports cell health and communication throughout your entire brain and body, as it elements known as phospholipids, which are crucial ingredients in neuronal cell membranes.
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5. Eberhardt R, Birbamer G, Gerstenbrand F, et al. Citicoline in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Clin Ther. 1990;12:489-495.