Cognizin (CDP Choline)

Cognizin is a patented form of Citicholine, or CDP-choline. It is a nucleotide made up of choline and cytidine, it is naturally occurring in a wide range of cells in human and animal tissue, in particular the organs. It is considered to have both nootropic and neuroprotective properties and helps improve memory and attention. (2, 3). Citicholine is an intermediate in the generation of choline, which essential to overall health and brain health in particular.

Choline was discovered in the 19th century in France. A pharmacist at the Academie Nationale de Pharmacie isolated a molecule from brain tissue and fish eggs that he later named ‘lecithine’, from the Greek ‘lekithos’ (egg yolk) (4). Years later, another scientist isolated a compound from pig and ox bile that he dubbed ‘choline’, from the Greek word for bile -- ‘chole’ (5). Years later, when working on a human brain, a scientist in Berlin discovered a molecule he thought was “the mother-substance of all” (6). This substance, as it turns out, was molecularly identical to the previous findings in the animal bile, fish eggs, and brain matter. The substance was choline, an essential molecule crucial for chemical transmission in the human body (7).

Citicholine is often used either by itself or combined with other ingredients in the formulation of nootropic supplement, to promote cognitive function and memory. Research suggests it has neuroprotective benefits, may improve visual acuity and protect eye health, and promotes memory and attention (8, 9, 10). Studies have also demonstrated that citicholine may be effective in promoting memory formation and recall in elderly people, and is associated with improve recovery after stroke (11, 12).

Once ingested, citicholine breaks down into choline and cytidine. , which further breaks down into uridine (13). Metabolically, citicholine -- the combination of two molecules -- serves as substrate for the synthesis of choline and phosphocholine in the brain.

 Choline is regarded as the “learning neurotransmitter,” used primarily to improve cognitive function (14). Uridine, the byproduct of cytidine, is another neurotransmitter associated with improved cognitive function, playing a role in the synthesis of cellular membranes and other neurological properties in the brain (15). 

Clinically effective dose for citicholine range between 500 mg - 2,000 mg, ideally divided into two doses/day. Higher doses above 2,000 mg show no additional benefits for cognition. Citicholine may work well with other ingredients and nootropics (alpha-GPC, caffeine, huperzine-A, Bacopa, among others) that stimulate choline receptors in the brain, thus promoting the amount of active choline in circulation.