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Dr. Robert Pastore
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Fact Checked by Dr. Robert Pastore

What is this ingredient known for?

Citicoline is well-known for its nootropic effects in helping increase cognitive performance, increase mental energy, and improve brain health.

Why are we using it in Power On?

Function #1: Citicoline increases phosphatidylcholine synthesis

Phosphatidylcholine forms brain cell membranes, which is required for healthy functioning brain. The deterioration of these brain cell membranes is thought to be related to age-related cognitive decline. A study using magnetic resonance spectroscopy over 12 weeks with 19 elderly subjects showed an increase in the synthesis of these cell membranes using a 500 mg daily supplementation of citicoline.

S. B, L. W, B. C et al. Chronic citicoline increases phosphodiesters in the brains of healthy older subjects: an in vivo phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Psychopharmacology. 2002;161(3):248-254. doi:10.1007/s00213-002-1045-y.

Function #2: Citicoline increases ATP (brain energy) production

Increased ATP production in the brain equates to more mental energy, allowing greater ability to focus and perform cognitively demanding tasks. Studies using magnetic resonance spectroscopy conducted over 6 weeks in 16 healthy men and women showed an increase of 14% of ATP in the brain using a 500 mg daily supplementation of citicoline.

Silveri M, Dikan J, Ross A et al. Citicoline enhances frontal lobe bioenergetics as measured by phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NMR in Biomedicine. 2008;21(10):1066-1075. doi:10.1002/nbm.1281.

Function #3: Citicoline increases attentional focus

Evidence suggests that citicoline supplementation has a positive effect on attention span and motor speed. A study with 60 healthy adult women supplemented with 250/500 mg of citicoline daily over 28 days showed improved cognitive inhibition and improved attentional performance compared to placebo. Similarly, a study with adolescent males supplemented with citicoline over 28 days showed improved levels of attention and psychomotor speed.

McGlade E, Locatelli A, Hardy J et al. Improved Attentional Performance Following Citicoline Administration in Healthy Adult Women. Food and Nutrition Sciences. 2012;03(06):769-773. doi:10.4236/fns.2012.36103.

McGlade E, Agoston A, DiMuzio J et al. The Effect of Citicoline Supplementation on Motor Speed and Attention in Adolescent Males. Journal of Attention Disorders. 2015. doi:10.1177/1087054715593633.

Function #4: Citicoline increases acetylcholine levels in the brain

Citicoline, which in combination with phosphatidylcholine (which is converted from citicoline), can contribute to increased acetylcholine levels in the brain. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter that is crucial for cognitive functions such as learning and memory formation.

Gareri P, Castagna A, Cotroneo A, Putignano S, De Sarro G, Bruni A. The role of citicoline in cognitive impairment: pharmacological characteristics, possible advantages, and doubts for an old drug with new perspectives. Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2015:1421. doi:10.2147/cia.s87886.

Can be found in

Liver and brains are a sources for for citicoline. Liver, meat, beans, eggs and cruciferous vegetables are a good source of choline, which the body can use to synthesize into citicoline.