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Jarrow Formulas Citicoline Review – Is it Effective?

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Facts | Ingredients | Health Benefits | Cautions | Cost | Dosing | Verdict

Citicoline is formulated to contain a stabilized form of CDP Choline (Cytidine 5’diphosphocholine), an intermediate in the biosynthesis of Phosphatidylcholine and brain neurotransmitter Acetylcholine. The dietary supplement manufactured by Jarrow Formulas promotes brain function and metabolism, directly impacting memory and other brain activity.

Jarrow Formulas is supplier of nutritional supplements since 1977. The company is based in Los Angeles, California, USA. The company product portfolio includes a complete range of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, standardized herbal concentrates, amino acids, enzymes and nutrition products. The company has received numerous awards for particular products or for their entire product range.

Jarrow is also the company behind Jarrow Neuro Optimizer.

Caution is advised to people who suffer from a medical condition, are pregnant, lactating, trying to conceive or taking medications. They should consult a health care practitioner prior to use. Citicoline is recommended for adult use only.


1) Citicoline Quick Facts

The formula contains a stabilized form of CDP-Choline (Cytidine 5’diphosphocholine). According to the manufacturer, the formula is free of wheat, gluten, soybeans, dairy, egg, fish/shellfish and peanuts/tree nuts.

CDP-Choline is a naturally occurring biological compound which plays two essential roles for ensuring optimum brain health: it is an intermediate for the synthesis of Phosphatidylcholine and enhances the synthesis of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine. Citicoline is a brand name under which CDP-Choline is marketed.

Phosphatidylcholine is a major component of biological membranes and represent roughly 30% of the grey matter of brain tissue. Acetylcholine is a key brain neurotransmitter, with roles in sustaining attention, increasing learning and short-term memory, reward system, promoting REM sleep and sensory perception after waking up.

Clinical studies and research is still limited, but there is evidence CDP Choline may increase mental acuity, awareness, memory and energy and verbal skills in older people suffering from memory impairment (such as it is the case of people suffering from Alzheimer’s). Citicoline seems to be safe when taken short-term. However long-term use side effects are not known. Some people can have side effects such as headache, insomnia, diarrhea, low or high blood pressure, blurred vision, nausea, or chest pains.


2) Citicoline Ingredients

Citicoline contains the following ingredients: Citicoline (Cognizin Brand) from stabilized Cytidine 5’diphosphocholine, Cellulose, Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source), and silicon dioxide, and gelatin.

3) What Does Citicoline Do?

The supplement being reviewed features a single active ingredient.

This substance is Citicoline, known as a nootropic, which means that it is involved in the psychical stimulation with fundamental benefits on the brain. The substance is considered an intermediate in the production of Phosphatidylcholine from Choline. In turn, Phosphatidylcholine will be used by the body to produce Acetylcholine that is directly involved in the stimulation of short and long-term memory. Because Citicoline is the precursor of an essential brain nutrient, the substance is most commonly used to improve memory retention and enhance the brain’s capacity. Scientific studies were conducted to determine its benefits in the treatment of age-related memory problems, neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease), ADHD, glaucoma, ischemic stroke, and long-term blood circulation problems in the brain.
Citicoline is considered likely safe when used for short terms periods (less than three months). Mild side effects have been reported, consisting in a headache, diarrhea, nausea, low/high blood pressure, chest pain, insomnia, etc. Information regarding any interactions with other drugs is unavailable.

The formula is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women or those trying to conceive, and people under medication without the consent of a healthcare professional. The suggested dose is one capsule, up to 2 times per day, preferably with food or as directed.
There are Citicoline reviews available online. What is being stated includes the following:

  • Don’t waste your money, I did not experience any positive cognitive increase

  • I must be honest, I didn’t experience miracles, but I like the supplement

  • My memory seems to have significantly improved, I now remember stuff that used to take me hours to get in my head!

Health Benefits

4) Citicoline Health Benefits

  • Free of wheat, gluten, soybeans, dairy, egg, and fish
  • Generally positive Citicolinereviews are available online
  • Easy to swallow gelatin capsules

5) What You Need to Know Before Taking Citicoline

  • Potential Citicolineside-effects may occur, even though the manufacturer mentions none possible
  • Long-term use of CDP-Choline is not studied for side effects
  • Precaution warnings issued for special categories of people

6) How Much Does Citicoline Cost?

A month’s supply of Citicoline (CDP Choline) comes at an affordable price. However, the product is not available for individual online purchasing directly from the manufacturer. A full list including the most important online retailers, store partners, and international distributors is provided on the official webpage. The online purchase possibility is available only for the partners of Jarrow Formulations.

The manufacturer does not mention anything about a free trial option, money-back guarantee or shipping taxes. Each supplier has its specific delivery policy, available for consulting on each of the official web pages. The manufacturer doesn’t mention any security program used to protect their customers against potential online threats.


7) Citicoline Serving Size

The suggested dose is 1 capsule up to 2 times per day with food. No side effects are mentioned by the manufacturer. Consumers who have used the formula generally report good result: increased memory capacity, increased mental sharpness and focus. The main complaints refer to the high price of the formula and lack of results.


8) Our Verdict on Citicoline

Marketed as a support for brain function, the supplement works to increase levels of Acetylcholine and Phosphatidylcholine in the brain. These two chemicals play essential roles in maintaining, protecting and improving mental activity, as numerous research studies have shown. The formula particularly received good reviews, with consumers praising its effectiveness. We may, therefore, conclude that the supplement will help consumers achieve optimum brain function.

There are, however, some consumers which claim the product did not work for them. Given that each patient is different and that any supplement’s effectiveness depends on a number of factors, we advise you ask a specialized opinion before use.

3/5 - (1 vote)
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My parents both use this product for some time now, and last week they gave me a bottle to try out, I can’t say for sure, but my memory seems to be better.