Citicoline (INN), also known as cytidine diphosphate-choline (CDP-Choline) or cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine is an intermediate in the generation of phosphatidylcholine from choline, a common biochemical process in cell membranes. Citicoline is naturally occurring in the cells of human and animal tissue, in particular the organs.
Studies suggest that CDP-choline supplements increase dopamine receptor densities, and suggest that CDP-choline supplementation helps prevent memory impairment resulting from poor environmental conditions. Preliminary research has found that citicoline supplements help improve focus and mental energy.
Citicoline has also been shown to elevate ACTH independently from CRH levels and to amplify the release of other HPA axis hormones such as LH, FSH, GH and TSH in response to hypothalamic releasing factors. These effects on HPA hormone levels may be beneficial for some individuals but may have undesirable effects in those with medical conditions featuring ACTH or cortisol hypersecretion including PCOS, type II diabetes and major depressive disorder.