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Benefits of Citicoline: Is It Good For Me?

Benefits of Citicoline: Is It Good For Me?

Have you ever wondered if you could find a supplement that helps raise levels of essential neurotransmitters, increase mental energy, and protect the brain from damage and aging? If that is the case, you might want to look at the benefits of citicoline.

Citicoline is a nutrient commonly sold as a brain supplement to improve mental performance. It can boost levels of essential neurotransmitters, increase the energy available to the brain, and protect it from foreign substances, to cite only a couple of the benefits of citicoline.

But it does much more than that.

“The Secret of Your Success Is Determined by Your Daily Agenda.”
― John C Maxwell


What Is Citicoline?

“Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.”
― Sara Blakely

Citicoline is a natural supplement that enhances mental functions such as concentration, focus, learning ability, and memory. It is an organic choline compound linked with cytosine (a nucleobase found in RNA), as mentioned in a study in Future lipidology [1].

It was first isolated in 1954 at the University of Wisconsin to possibly treat liver diseases. While the researchers of CNS Drugs noticed citicoline had no benefits when it came to liver disease, they noted unexpected effects when injected into animals: increased blood pressure accompanied by heightened alertness, awareness, and responses [2].

Citicoline, particularly in its premium Cognizin® form, has been associated with benefits in mental energy, memory, attention, response time, concentration, and focus in humans [3,4,5].

These effects prompted them to discover that citicoline could cross the blood-brain barrier. Since then, it has been extensively studied as a drug candidate for stroke recovery, leading to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1995 for this purpose, under the trade name “Cognizin®.” It is also marketed as a nootropic supplement capable of enhancing mental functions.

Citicoline increases CDP-choline levels, which brain cells use to synthesize phosphatidylcholine, an important component of biological membranes essential for the optimal functioning of neuronal membrane receptors responsible for neurotransmission.

Citicoline increases levels of acetylcholine in the brain by inhibiting cholinesterase,  an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter. It also contributes to neuron regeneration and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting neuronal nitric oxide synthase – a key player in generating nitric oxide, a molecule involved in cell death.

In short, citicoline stimulates neuronal function and protects from ischemic damage.


Benefits of Citicoline?

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”
― Maya Angelou

When it comes to the benefits of citicoline, it is primarily known for its use as a mind and cognitive-enhancing compound. It helps the body combat the symptoms of cognitive decline and as nootropic effects. It also has several other health-promoting benefits, such as being able to assist with stroke recovery, support vision. It has been linked to alleviating the symptoms of several addictions and mental disorders.

As with Alpha GPC, CDP Choline is mostly beneficial to the brain. This is one of the major reasons why these two supplements are so misunderstood by fans. Choline, in particular, focuses on reducing distractions and promoting greater focus and attention in humans.

The following are some of the benefits of Citicoline;

Nootropic Effect

Citicoline has nootropic effects that act as stimulant-free energy that boosts brain cells for maximum cognitive performance. Among which is its potential to Improve recall and information processing. In general, it promotes brain health and boosts cognitive and memory loss.

Stroke Recovery

According to studies published in Canadian Medical Association Journal and Current Medical Research and Opinion, the cut-off blood flow to a specific brain area can result in the death of neurons and severe brain injury. Citicoline may be beneficial by strengthening neuronal membranes and inhibiting the formation of free radicals [6, 7].

Citicoline at 2,000 mg within the first 24 hours after a stroke enhances the likelihood of full recovery by 38%, according to a meta-analysis of clinical trials (1,300+ patients) described by researchers in a Stroke journal [8].

Citicoline improves outcomes and assists in recovery in over 4,000 stroke patients; larger dosages (2,000–4,000 mg) were more beneficial. A study published in Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology asserts that definitive conclusions cannot be drawn due to the absence of a placebo control group in this trial [9].

Vision Problems

Citicoline may protect the optic nerve in the same way as it protects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. A study published in Current Neuropharmacology described that It might be able to repair damaged neurons in your retina and aid in the treatment of eye problems such as [10]:

  • Neuropathy of the optic nerve
  • Glaucoma
  • “lazy eye.”

Glaucoma is a collection of eye diseases that wreak havoc on the optic nerve, whose health is critical for clear vision. An unusually high intraocular pressure frequently causes this injury.

Glaucoma is a primary cause of blindness in persons over 60. It may strike anybody at any age but is more prevalent in older persons.

Brain Support

The number one benefit of Citicoline is its ability to support brain function. This, in other words, means that it boosts energy production in the brain cells by enhancing mitochondrial function. While that is in effect, Phosphatidylcholine levels in the brain are also increased. Along with acetylcholinedopamine, and norepinephrine are some of the neurotransmitters supported by this supplement. Cognitive supports such as synthesis and repair of DNA and membranes in the brain, which counteracts the effects of radicals and aging that damage brain cells are one significant role of Citicoline as brain support. In brevity, this compound is potentially beneficial in preventing permanent brain damage after a head injury.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Citicoline (500 mg daily for 1–3 months) reduced the following symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in three clinical studies found in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences and Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders [11, 12, 13]:

  • Increasing mental capacity
  • Stimulating cerebral blood flow
  • Reduce inflammatory molecule levels (histamine and IL1B)

Citicoline supplemented the effects of Alzheimer’s disease medication, therefore reducing progression in two observational studies (approximately 600 patients).

Citicoline protected neurons from protein alterations and decreased blood flow in rats with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, the rats’ cognitive impairment was reduced, and their memory was enhanced.

Parkinson’s Disease

The destruction of dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease causes muscle stiffness, trembling, and other symptoms.

A study published in Korsakova found that in rats with Parkinson’s disease, citicoline relieved muscle stiffness by raising dopamine levels in the brain. It also boosted the effects of standard treatment [14].

Mental Disorders 


In a study published in Clinical Neuropharmacology, which involved 50 patients, the addition of citicoline to an antidepressant (citalopram) improved depression symptoms and recovery [15].


In research published in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, Citicoline enhanced the efficacy of standard therapy in 66 schizophrenia patients. It alleviated what are referred to as “negative” symptoms, such as muted emotions, ineffective communication, and rigidity. These are particularly difficult to treat with standard medications [16].

Combats Aging

A lesser-known benefit of CDP Choline is that the acetylcholine it creates is also regarded as an anti-aging neurotransmitter, which helps our bodies overcome the disadvantages of aging.

Boosting Metabolism

The rate at which your body burns calories and digests food has a large impact on how quickly or slowly you acquire or lose weight. As a result, it is critical to maintaining a diet high in metabolism-boosting foods.

Female athletes who have been diligent with choline supplements had lower body mass indices (BMIs) and leptin (body fat) levels than others, according to research published in the Journal of human kinetics [17].

Ideal Dosage of Citicoline

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”
― Bill Bradley

Citicoline is a nootropic supplement. In subjects who do not have cognitive impairments, citicoline boosts mental energy, attention span, and focus – making it an ideal daily supplement to increase productivity at work or school.

People who wish to enhance their learning abilities, logical reasoning, and problem-solving skills also benefit from citicoline supplementation. Gradually increase the dosage until you reach your desired intake – which may vary from 120 mg to 400 mg per day depending on each individual’s needs.

Conclusively, Citicoline has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients with certain types of cerebral vascular insufficiency (reduced blood flow within the brain), to improve verbal fluency in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and to improve some measures of cognitive function in adult subjects with age-related memory decline.

Marco’s Grounds uses Citicoline as Cognizin®, meaning you’ll get the currently most advanced form on the market in order to enjoy the full benefits of citicoline.

Cognizin® has been shown in human research to increase ATP brain energy by 13.6% and accelerate brain cell membrane formation by 26%.

It is best to start with a lower dosage when starting a new supplement. Taking the supplement with food also helps combat any nausea.

Who Benefits From Citicoline

“Failure is success if we learn from it.”
– Malcolm Forbes

Citicoline’s main benefits relate to focus, concentration, brain health as well as its overall cognition promotion properties.

Some of the best use cases to make the most out of the benefits of citicoline are for example for students who want to study for longer without their mind wandering off.

Citicoline might also be extremely beneficial for pilots who need to focus for longer periods and for air traffic controllers who need to be at the top of their game.

Athletes and professionals who want a mental edge without risking being flagged for controlled substances might also greatly benefit from using citicoline.

All in all, citicoline is beneficial for people who need to be on top of their game for prolonged periods and need focus and attention to clear their tasks.

For those people, the best use would be to start taking citicoline for 6 to 8 weeks before the event for which performance needs to be delivered since the benefits of citicoline tend to increase over time.



“Every great cause is born from repeated failures and from imperfect achievements.”
― Maria Montessori

Citicoline is a natural supplement that enhances mental functions such as concentration, focus, learning ability, and memory. It is an organic choline compound linked with cytosine (a nucleobase found in RNA).

Further benefits of citicoline include neuroprotective effect, accelerated recovery from strokes, potential prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease as well as eye health.

Why not experience the benefits of citicoline in their purest form along with other clinically studied compounds for increasing brain performance and health with Maximum Mind?

Read more about citicoline on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive.



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  2. Grieb P. (2014). Neuroprotective properties of citicoline: facts, doubts, and unresolved issues. CNS Drugs. 2014;28(3):185-193.
  3. Vance JE. Thematic Review Series: Glycerolipids. Phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine in mammalian cells: two metabolically related aminophospholipids. July 2008 The Journal of Lipid Research, 49, 1377-1387]
  4. Hanahan DJ, Nelson DR. Phospholipids as dynamic participants in biological processes. J Lipid Res. 1984;25:1528–1535.
  5. Morell P, Quarles RH. Characteristic Composition of Myelin. Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular, and Medical Aspects. 6th edition. 1999
  6. Musuka, T. D., Wilton, S. B., Traboulsi, M., & Hill, M. D. (2015). Diagnosis and management of acute ischemic stroke: speed is critical. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 187(12), 887–893.
  7. Zweifler, R. M. (2002). Membrane Stabilizer: Citicoline. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 18(sup2), s14–s17.
  8. Dávalos, A., Castillo, J., Álvarez-Sabín, J., Secades, J. J., Mercadal, J., López, S., Cobo, E., Warach, S., Sherman, D., Clark, W. M., & Lozano, R. (2002). Oral Citicoline in Acute Ischemic Stroke. Stroke, 33(12), 2850–2857.
  9. Cho, H. J., & Kim, Y. (2009). Efficacy and safety of oral citicoline in acute ischemic stroke: Drug surveillance study in 4,191 cases. Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, 31(3), 171.
  10. Parisi, V., Oddone, F., Ziccardi, L., Roberti, G., Coppola, G., & Manni, G. (2018). Citicoline and Retinal Ganglion Cells: Effects on Morphology and Function. Current Neuropharmacology, 16(7), 919–932.
  11. CACABELOS, R., CAAMAÑO, J., GÓMEZ, M. J., FERNÁNDEZ-NOVOA, L., FRANCO-MASIDE, A., & ALVAREZ, X. A. (1996). Therapeutic Effects of CDP-Choline in Alzheimer’s Disease-Cognition, Brain Mapping, Cerebrovascular Hemodynamics, and Immune Factorsa. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 777(1), 399–403.
  12. Becker, R. E., Colliver, J. A., Markwell, S. J., Moriearty, P. L., Unni, L. K., & Vicari, S. (1996). Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Metrifonate, an Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor, for Alzheimer Disease. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 10(3), 124–131.
  13. CACABELOS, R., ALVAREZ, X. A., FRANCO-MASIDE, A., FERNÁNDEZ-NOVOA, L., & CAAMAÑO, J. (1993). Effect of CDP-Choline on Cognition and Immune Function in Alzheimer’s Disease and Multi-Infarct Dementia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 695(1), 321–323.
  14. Kashkin, V. A., Shekunova, E. V., Makarova, M. N., & Makarov, V. G. (2017). A study of combination treatment with nacom (levodopa + carbodope) and citicoline in the model of Parkinson’s disease in rats. Zhurnal Nevrologii i Psikhiatrii Im. S.S. Korsakova, 117(7), 59.
  15. Roohi-Azizi, M., Arabzadeh, S., Amidfar, M., Salimi, S., Zarindast, M. R., Talaei, A., & Akhondzadeh, S. (2017). Citicoline Combination Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Clinical Neuropharmacology, 40(1), 1–5.
  16. Ghajar, A., Gholamian, F., Tabatabei-Motlagh, M., Afarideh, M., Rezaei, F., Ghazizadeh-Hashemi, M., & Akhondzadeh, S. (2018). Citicoline (CDP-choline) add-on therapy to risperidone for treatment of negative symptoms in patients with stable schizophrenia: A double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 33(4), e2662.
  17. Elsawy, G., Abdelrahman, O., & Hamza, A. (2014). Effect of choline supplementation on rapid weight loss and biochemical variables among female taekwondo and judo athletes. Journal of human kinetics, 40, 77–82.
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