Citicoline vs Choline: Which is the Better Nootropic for Cognitive Enhancement?

When it comes to boosting cognitive function, choline-based supplements like Citicoline and choline are often recommended. Supplements that increase choline availability in the brain - known as cholinergics - are certainly highly effective at enhancing your ability to focus for prolonged periods and to process information faster. 

But what is the difference between the two, and which one is more effective for cognitive enhancement? In this article, we will compare Citicoline and choline, discussing their benefits, side effects, and which one is the better choice for improving brain health and performance.

What is Choline?

Choline is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining proper brain function. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in various cognitive processes such as memory, learning, and attention (Zeisel & da Costa, 2009). it is also a necessary building block for phosphatidylcholine, which is a crucial structural component of brain cell membranes.

Choline can be obtained through diet, particularly from foods like eggs, liver, and soybeans. However, many people may not get enough choline from their diet alone, making supplementation a viable option.

What is Citicoline?

Citicoline, also known as CDP-choline or cytidine diphosphate-choline, is a naturally occurring compound in the body. It is an intermediate in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, a vital component of cell membranes (Wurtman, 2015). Citicoline is often used as a supplement to enhance cognitive function due to its ability to increase acetylcholine levels and support the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, which is essential for healthy brain cell membranes.

Cognitive Benefits of Choline

Choline supplementation has been shown to support memory and cognitive function. In a study on rats, choline supplementation during pregnancy led to improved learning and memory in the offspring (Meck & Williams, 2003). Another study found that choline supplementation improved cognitive performance in adults with mild cognitive impairment (Fioravanti & Buckley, 2006).

It is important to note that many of the studies looking at choline supplementation have used cholinergic compounds rather than choline itself. These compounds all have different levels of bioavailability and potency; for example, when comparing Alpha-GPC and Choline Bitartrate, the former is clearly more potent. Read studies carefully to see which compound is being used.

Cognitive Benefits of Citicoline

Citicoline has been studied extensively for its potential cognitive benefits. Research has shown that it can improve memory, attention, and overall cognitive performance (Alvarez et al., 1997). A systematic review of clinical trials found that Citicoline was effective in improving cognitive function in patients with cognitive impairment and brain injury (Secades & Lorenzo, 2016).

Citicoline vs Choline: Side Effects and Safety

Both choline and Citicoline are generally well-tolerated and considered safe when taken within the recommended dosages. Choline supplementation may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and diarrhea at higher doses (Institute of Medicine, 1998). On the other hand, Citicoline has been reported to have very few side effects, making it a safer option for long-term use (Secades & Lorenzo, 2016).

Citicoline vs Choline: Which is the Better Nootropic?

When comparing Citicoline and choline, it is clear that Citicoline has several advantages. First, Citicoline is more bioavailable than choline, meaning that it is more efficiently absorbed and utilized by the body (Wurtman, 2015). Second, Citicoline has been shown to have a more significant impact on cognitive function than choline alone, particularly in individuals with cognitive impairment or brain injury (Secades & Lorenzo, 2016).

Moreover, Citicoline has additional benefits beyond its role as a choline source. It supports phosphatidylcholine synthesis, which is essential for maintaining healthy brain cell membranes and overall brain health. Additionally, Citicoline has been found to have neuroprotective effects, making it a valuable supplement for supporting long-term cognitive health (Fioravanti & Buckley, 2006).

In conclusion, while both choline and Citicoline have cognitive enhancing properties, Citicoline emerges as the superior option due to its greater bioavailability, more significant impact on cognitive function, and additional benefits for brain health.

Taking Citicoline and Choline Together

While Citicoline appears to be the better nootropic, some individuals may still choose to combine it with choline for a more comprehensive approach to cognitive enhancement. This combination could provide a more potent effect on acetylcholine levels, further supporting memory, learning, and attention processes.

However, it is essential to be cautious with dosages when combining Citicoline and choline, as excessive choline intake may lead to gastrointestinal side effects. It is always best to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation regimen.


Citicoline and choline both play a crucial role in supporting cognitive function, with Citicoline having a more significant impact on cognitive performance, bioavailability, and overall brain health. For individuals seeking cognitive enhancement through supplementation, Citicoline appears to be the better choice.

When considering a nootropic supplement, it is crucial to select high-quality, clinically proven products. For those looking to enhance memory, learning, and overall cognitive performance, Citicoline is the superior option over choline. However, as with any supplement, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before beginning a new regimen to ensure it is suitable for your individual needs and health goals.

Nooceptin: The Best Choline Supplement

Nooceptin is an excellent choice for those seeking a high-quality choline supplement for cognitive enhancement. It contains Citicoline, the superior form of choline for improved bioavailability and cognitive support, making it the best option for those looking to boost their brainpower. The additional benefits of Nooceptin include:

  • Synergistic combination of ingredients: Nooceptin combines Citicoline with other proven nootropics such as Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola rosea, and Lion's Mane Mushroom for comprehensive cognitive support.
  • Improved memory and learning: The ingredients in Nooceptin work together to enhance both short-term and long-term memory, as well as support learning processes.
  • Increased focus and attention: Nooceptin's formula helps improve focus and attention, allowing for better productivity and mental clarity.
  • Reduced stress and anxiety: With adaptogens like Rhodiola rosea in the mix, Nooceptin helps counter the negative effects of stress and anxiety on cognitive performance.
  • Supported brain health: The ingredients in Nooceptin promote overall brain health by supporting neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, and cerebral blood flow.

By choosing Nooceptin as your choline supplement, you'll enjoy the superior cognitive benefits of Citicoline combined with a synergistic blend of other high-quality nootropics for optimal brain performance and health.