Citicoline – The Brain Nutrient

These days we have nutrients for our hearts, liver, joints and hormones.  However, whilst we are vigilantly maintaining our body to keep mobile into our old age, many people are concerned about keeping their mental faculties.  So you may be interested to know there is now a nutrient to feed your mind – introducing Citicoline.

Citicoline is a substance that can be found in every cell of the body.  It is primarily used to build and repair the cell wall tissues, which are made of a double layer of special fats known as phospholipids.  Cell walls are under constant attack from free radicals produced during everyday body processes.  The damage increases as we age and our ability to repair and restore cell structures declines.  Since our brain contains around 60% fat, in the form of phospholipids, you can see how important it is to maintain them for brain function.

The cell walls are important in our brains as they are a barrier against unwanted things coming into the cell, whilst allowing nutrients to pass through to increase energy to power cell function and create brain energy.  They also facilitate strong cell signalling for thinking, memory and general speed of communications round the brain.  (A bit like maintaining your telephone network).

So when we understand this we can see how important citicoline is.  It helps to regenerate our membranes by breaking them down and building new ones.  Keeping our brain fresh and our thinking sharp.  Citicoline has been shown to increase mental clarity, concentration, memory and recall.

The conductivity and good maintenance of the cell membranes is not the only thing that is important for our brain function.  Our brain consumes 20% of our energy at rest, so you would think it needs a lot of nutrition to keep it going.  Our friend citicoline can help out here as increases brain energy reserves by supporting mitochondrial health in the brain.  The mitochondria the mini-organs in our cells, that act like motors or little energy factories inside brain cells.

The last, but not least, use for citicoline is to make the neurotransmitters (or chemical messenger); namely acetylcholine, dopamine and noradrenaline.  Acetylcholine is particularly important as it helps sleep, thought and memory.  Production of this neurotransmitter declines with age, resulting in slower learning, lighter sleep and poor memory.  Studies have shown abnormally low levels of acetylcholine in people with Alzheimer’s.  When levels are too low the body looks for choline needed to make acetylcholine and pinches it from cell walls damaging them. Therefore having a good supply of citicoline to get choline from, will help the brain cells from being damaged.

Dopamine and noradrenaline help brain function in relation to cognition, attention and learning.  They also provide the benefits of good mood and restful sleep.

Who can benefit from citicoline?

The obvious answer is to say that anyone who wants to keep their brain and thinking in tip top condition would benefit from citicoline.  Advancing age increases free radical damage to the brain tissues; however exposure to environmental pollutants, drugs, alcohol, toxins, stress, poor nutrition and lack of oxygen can speed up the process.  So if we are living life in the fast lane we may need some extra support and research shows cognitive decline actually starts as early as 45 years.

Citicoline is actually a registered medicine in Japan where it is used following cerebral strokes.   There has also been use around glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease.

The other great feature about Citicoline, is that it can be used short term to boost memory and focus for specific times in our lives, such as important meetings, deadlines and at exam time.  It can be taken a few days ahead to improve function when studying before the exam or in the preceding hours before a test.  This is because it is water soluble and is quickly taken up in the brain to increase energy output.

Safety and drug interactions

Citicoline is a product that our body produces naturally and is considered safe and well tolerated in people over 18 years.  There are no drug interactions, which is great as many older people are on several prescription medications.

There is no data for pregnancy, so on this basis should probably be avoided.

By Jane Cronin

Clinicians Naturopath

Clinicians Brain Boost with Cognizin is a powerful clinically researched formula containing Citicoline. It supports mental clarity and healthy brain function, mental energy and mental focus. Buy it now from our secure online shop.

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