What is CDP-Choline?
Cytidine diphosphate-choline, also known as CDP-Choline is a molecule that combines Cytidine and Choline with two phosphate groups.
The molecule itself does not seem to have any pharmacological action, instead the molecule is quickly hydrolyzed in the intestines to form both cytidine and choline. Cytidine is then converted in to uridine. This means that CDP-Choline is essentially a pro drug for uridine and choline. Both of these compounds are naturally present in our diet. Choline is a precursor for acetylcholine, and thus increased levels of choline will ultimately lead to higher brain levels of acetylcholine. Uridine is a major component of our RNA and has the ability to increase cellular membrane synthesis and increase dopamine receptor density.
What are CDP-Choline’s applications?
CDP-Choline is most commonly used as a highly bioavailable choline source alongside a racetam. However it can also be used as a stand alone product, with the purpose of increasing memory and attention. As discussed in the previous article about Pramiracetam, many racetams increase either the production or use of acetylcholine. In some users this can lead to a depletion of acetylcholine, which can result in a headache. Supplementing with a choline source such as CDP-Choline can alleviate this. Choline supplementation has also been shown to enhance some of the effects associated with racetams due to increased acetylcholine production and utilization. An additional benefit of CDP-Choline is that it seems to increase dopamine levels1 and dopamine receptor density2, likely caused by its uridine content3. It’s uridine content may also further aid in the production of acetylcholine4.
Although CDP-Choline is generally tolerated extremely well by most individuals, there are some anecdotal reports, which suggest that any choline supplementation including CDP-Choline could induce short lasting depressive symptoms. Though not very common, this is something that any individual taking a choline supplement should be aware of. If depressive symptoms do occur, the individual could try a lower dose of CDP-Choline or completely seize their use of CDP-Choline and pursue an alternate method of increasing acetylcholine, such as Centrophenoxine supplementation. According to anecdotal reports, Centrophenoxine does not induce depressive symptoms in those that do experience depressive symptoms in response to choline supplementation.
How to take
CDP-Choline should be taken on a daily basis, in the dosage range of 500-2,000 mg. This daily dosage is usually divided in to two equal doses separated by at least 6 hours. You can purchase CDP-Choline tablets in our store here.
Written by Emiel Bakker on behalf of Focus Supplements
- Agut J, Ortiz JA, Wurtman RJ (2000). Cytidine (5′)diphosphocholine modulates dopamine K(+)-evoked release in striatum measured by microdialysis . Ann N Y Acad Sci.
- Giménez R, Raïch J, Aguilar J (1991). “Changes in brain striatum dopamine and acetylcholine receptors induced by chronic CDP-choline treatment of aging mice”. British Journal of Pharmacology104 (3): 575–8.
- Wang L, et al (2007) Dietary uridine-5′-monophosphate supplementation increases potassium-evoked dopamine release and promotes neurite outgrowth in aged rats . J Mol Neurosci.
- Wang L, Albrecht MA, Wurtman RJ (2007). Dietary supplementation with uridine-5′-monophosphate (UMP), a membrane phosphatide precursor, increases acetylcholine level and release in striatum of aged rat . Brain Res.