CDP Choline

1. What Is It?

CDP Choline, also known as Citicoline, also known scientifically as Cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine. CDP Choline, when consumed, is converted into two compounds, Choline and Cytidine. Choline is an essential nutrient that is required by the body to maintain our health. Cytidine is converted in the body into Uridine. Uridine is a naturally occurring substance that plays a key role in many neurological processes.

2. What Does It Do?

CDP Choline is known most as a Choline donor that helps enhance cognitive function, but there are more benefits we will get into later. CDP Choline, when consumed, is converted into two compounds, Choline and Cytidine. The increased levels of choline then trigger the body to increase the production of Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is used in many processes in the body and increasing Acetylcholine production is the key to CDP Choline’s benefits.

For an in-depth break down on the benefits of choline supplementation check out our Choline Supplements Simplified Article.

CDP Choline, just like any Choline based supplement, will yield the benefits experienced from increased choline levels in the body and thus increased the production of Acetylcholine. But there are a number of factors that make CDP-Choline different from the other Choline based supplements available.

Increased Uridine Levels

As we mentioned earlier, CDP Choline is converted into Choline and Cytidine. That Cytidine is then converted into Uridine which is very useful to the body. Uridine’s major role is to increase the synthesis of phospholipids, in particular, the synthesis of Phosphatidylcholine which is critical for cell membrane health. Uridine provides neuroprotective benefits through interaction with nerve growth factors, which play a key role in numerous bodily functions from cognitive function to inflammation and even autoimmunity. Uridine has also been shown to elevate levels of dopamine (the ‘feel good hormone’) but more importantly, it achieves this elevation without downregulation of the bodies normal production.

Synthesis of Phosphatidylcholine

CDP Choline is an essential mediator in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, which is a major component of grey matter brain tissue. Phosphatidylcholine is one of the most abundant phospholipids found in cell membranes, with phospholipids making up approximately 30% of all brain tissue. Cell membrane health and integrity is vital for our long term health. The increased production of phosphatidylcholine allows the body to maintain, if not, improve the health of our cell membranes thus improving the structural integrity of our cells which allows for better function, performance, general health and long term vitality.

Reversal of Age-Related Neurodegeneration

As we grow older our brain’s chemistry changes, unfortunately for the worse. Reaction time, memory recall and general mood decline, brain cell membranes and structure weaken, acetylcholine levels, as well as nerve growth factor levels both decline. CDP Choline to the rescue. Thanks to its ability to increase the production of uridine, phospholipids and acetylcholine; it has an impact on the development & strength of cell membranes. Maintaining and improving the health of cell membranes can reduce the effects of age-related neurodegeneration we typically experience as we age.

Influencing Catecholamine Neurotransmitters

CDP Choline has been shown to have an effect on our Catecholamine Neurotransmitters. What are they I hear you ask? Catecholamine Neurotransmitters are three neurotransmitters that are all synthesized from the amino acid Tyrosine. These neurotransmitters are Dopamine, Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and Epinephrine (adrenaline).

The Choline element of CDP Choline is thought to directly increase levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine, while the Uridine element is thought to strengthen dopaminergic signalling. This is due to the unique effect CDP Choline has on the dopamine transporters which allows for increased levels of dopamine in the body without suppressing the bodies natural production of the hormone. CDP Choline has been shown to protect dopaminergic neurons in the body from damage caused by toxins associated with Parkinson’s Disease. This ties back into the neuroprotective benefits of CDP Choline we were talking about before.

3. How Much Do I Need To Take?

Doses anywhere from 250 - 1,000 mg’s of CDP Choline per day have been shown to be effective. Typically a dose single of 250 - 500 mg per serve is the right amount to elicit the nootropic effects. Smaller more frequent serves of CDP Choline can be more effective instead of a single larger serve as the body can struggle to process and manage a large serve of a choline based supplement.

4. When Do I Take It?

As with most ‘Nootropic’ ingredients, CDP Choline, is best taken at the usual times of day.


Midday / Early Afternoon

Before Exercise

For general mental health and increased cognition supplementing with CDP Choline in the morning or before any mentally demanding task is ideal. Ensuring you are not taking CDP Choline too close to the end of the day as it may have an influence on sleep.

5. How Long Does It Take To Work?

You will experience the benefits of CDP Choline within the first 30 - 60 minutes after consumption. Even more impressive is the fact you will notice effects from your first dose of CDP Choline. Some companies argue to have superior forms of CDP Choline, such as Cognizin® Citicoline and then argue they provide faster absorption thanks to their high level of product quality.

6. What Are The Top Products?

The top products containing CDP Choline are:


RYSE Pre-Workout

Core Nutritionals CORE ZAP