Supplements to Maximise Brain Health

What do you think is the most important organ in your body?

Whatever you feel, we bet you took your time to answer that question. Pretty much, many organs are completely dependent on one another to function.

One essential organ that cannot be neglected is the brain. Your brain is so powerful that it functions as a command centre for your nervous system and triggers thoughts,
memories
and emotions. 

Unfortunately, though, due to the busy lifestyles you might live, you’re more likely to have an increased risk of cognitive decline as you get older. There is research that supports this, showing the number of gadgets we use can reduce our sleep dramatically. 

Less than 6 hours of sleep per night can contribute to cognitive decline in your brain, increasing the risk of depression, anxiety and risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.  

Understandably, in today’s times, it’s tough to live without using any gadgets at all; if you were, you’d have to be living off the grid.  

You can prevent cognitive decline and maximise your brain health by taking two brain-boosting supplements, Uridine Monophosphate and Citicoline.

 

What is Uridine Monophosphate? 

Uridine Monophosphate is an essential organic compound produced from a five-carbon sugar, nucleobase and phosphate. This compound is important for your body because it supports many major roles your brain plays. 

Let’s put it this way; if you didn’t have uridine in your body, you wouldn’t be able to survive as your cells would not be able to function properly. Uridine is actually present in a range of foods that you can easily get in your diet. The thing is, your digestive tract does not absorb it well, nor does your blood-brain barrier. Monophosphate, when combined with uridine, aid this process, allowing your body to benefit more easily. 

How does it work?

Uridine is one of the four main units that contribute to RNA (Ribonucleic Acid). RNA and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) help molecules transmit essential information to your cells. When these molecules cross your blood-brain barrier, they increase CDP choline levels in your brain. CDP Choline is essential to synthesise phosphatidylcholine (PC), which helps the neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. These together help grow the number of neurons in your brain and improve cognitive function. 

Brain benefits of Uridine Monophosphate 

The main benefits to the brain Uridine Monosphosphate have are:

1. Grows the brain

Uridine Monophosphate helps the plasticity of your brain by regulating, maintaining and growing synapses. If you’re not familiar with synapses, they’re a bridge that serves between neurons that help transmit messages from one neuron to the other. The more quickly synapses can grow, the more likely your brain will repair and develop at a quicker rate.

2. Betters your memory

Long term exposure to uridine Monophosphate is known to improve your verbal and logical memory. In particular, it helps increase the chemical levels known as phosphatidylcholine, which specifically strengthens your hippocampus (memory centre). This has been detected in rat studies where they were given Uridine supplements and found cognitive development in rats exposed to it.

3. Neuroprotective agent

Uridine also reduces the likelihood of fatty acids accumulating around neurons. If such acids increase in your brain and develop, they’re more likely to cause more inflammatory reactions, free radicals and break down your neurons membranes. Moreover, it also helps improve the coordination of neurons making the brain constantly active. 

4. Enhances mood and makes you more alert

Another fantastic cognitive advantage Uridine Monophosphate has is that it triggers the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps provide you with a pleasure and reward sensation. In addition to this, it helps reduce cortisol levels in your brain, which respond to acute stressors. If you have elevated cortisol levels, you have a higher chance of becoming stressed and depressed. 

 

What is Citicoline? 

Citicoline is a natural compound that is essential to building cell membranes. Raw citicoline does not do much on its own; instead, it needs to be processed by the liver. Once it’s processed effectively by your liver, it’s converted into choline, cytidine, and later uridine. Citicoline is commonly available in capsule form. Overall, citicoline helps improve your memory, makes you more alert and betters your brain health.

How does it work?

Citicoline triggers your brain to produce more of a chemical known as phosphatidylcholine. This chemical helps build cell membranes, protect nerve endings and strengthen synapses in the brain. When you ingest citicoline, it releases two compounds into your body, cytidine and choline. Once these two compounds cross your blood-brain barrier, they trigger the release of a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine which helps your nervous system run smoothly. 

Brain benefits of Citicoline

There are many benefits to taking Citicoline; however, regarding the brain, it’s known to help:

1. Cognitive enhancer 

Citicoline could help improve your memory, focus, speed, reaction and behaviour. This has been demonstrated in a review of 12 clinical studies, which showed that in people with mild to moderate cognitive impairment, citicoline helped increase their brain circulation and improved their memory. 

Similarly, a study looked at 350 elderly people taking citicoline 1000mg for 9 months. The outcome of the study showed strengthened nerve membranes, higher levels of dopamine and noradrenaline. 

2. Improve stroke recovery 

There’s evidence that supports that taking citicoline could help you recover from strokes quicker. A meta-analysis has demonstrated this by looking at 4 clinical trials across 1,300 patients where they took citicoline 2000mg within the first 24 hours of their strokes. Results showed the chances of the patients recovering fully from a stroke were 38% higher. 

3. Help vision problems 

Citicoline is believed to protect the eye and help improve eye disorders such as glaucoma, lazy eye and optic neuropathy.

How do they work together?

Now you have a bit of background knowledge about the two supplements, let’s look at how they interact together. Both compounds, citicoline and uridine, are nucleotides that help produce nucleic acid in your RNA. You must have RNA for your cells to function properly. RNA works by having information sent from your DNA converted into proteins. Together uridine and citicoline help increase neuroplasticity in your brain, allowing your brain to repair quickly.

Final thoughts

Overall, cognitive decline is inevitable to all of us as we get older. You have the power over bettering your memory and slow down the rate of cognitive decline that happens to your brain. You can achieve this through sleep, moderate exercise, a healthy diet and supplements.