Citicoline is a novel nutrient with the potential to treat a variety of neurological dysfunctions. It is already being prescribed by physicians in some countries to help treat such conditions. Citicoline is well absorbed via oral and IV administration. It can also be obtained through a variety of fresh food sources. Either way it crosses the blood brain barrier and is broken down into cytidine and choline. Cytidine is necessary for the formation of nucleotides and both are required by the structural components of neuronal cellular membranes.
In the event of neuronal cellular damage, as would be the case in ischemic stroke or other type of brain injury, the release of certain chemicals such as free fatty acids, glycerol, and arachidonic acid occurs. Additionally, toxic metabolites and free radicals are accumulated causing further damage to the brain. Supplementation with citicoline can help sequester this process. The methods which are known to be implemented for this effect include promoting the synthesis of acetylcholine, phosphoplipids, and halting the free fatty acid accumulation that can lead to more extensive damage. The phospholipids that are generated with the assistances of citicoline are required to maintain the structural integrity of the neuronal cell membranes.
Studies have been conducted with mixed results regarding the benefits of citicoline on problems related to neurological dysfunctions. Some small animal and human studies have found beneficial effects of the afore mentioned supplement on conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, learning and memory,eye and mental health as well as appetite control. More studies need to be conducted to validate these results. Recently, the largest clinical trial conducted on the effects of citicoline on stroke was completed. Unfortunately the results were not promising as they proved that citicoline was not protective against the damage incurred following a stroke. Overall it is known to be a safe supplement to take for a period of 90 days. Safety of long term use has not been established.
Endres, Irfan, ND, and John R. Endres, ND. "Citicoline: A Novel Therapeutic Agent with Neuroprotective, Neuromodulatory, and Neuroregenerative Properties." Natural Medicine Journal 2.6 (2010): 11-24. Web.
Kamel, Hooman, MD. "Citicoline Disappoints as a Neuroprotectant After Ischemic Stroke." Online posting. Journal Watch. N.p., 17 July 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://neurology.jwatch.org/cgi/content/full/2012/717/5>.
Laidlaw, Sarah H., MS. "Citicoline: A Promising Dietary Supplement for Preventing Cognitive Decline." Integrative RD 13 (2011): 32-34. Print