What foods contain citicoline?

Citicoline (CDP-Choline) is found in very small amounts in only a few food groups. The foods with the highest volume of citicoline are meats and animal products such as liver, brain and other organs.

However, although they are the strongest sources of Citicoline – there’s still not a lot benefit to get it from these foods as their dosage is still inherently low.

If you want to improve your diet with more citicoline-rich foods, you may be out of luck unless you’re willing to push yourself through an incredibly unhealthy diet of just organ meat – which doesn’t sound very appetizing.

There are two options that you can follow to get more citicoline:

  1. Supplement Citicoline into your diet.
  2. Eat foods rich in choline.

Let’s talk through those options:

1. Supplementing Citicoline into Your Diet

Supplementing Citicoline

Supplementing Citicoline is likely your best option to improve the amount of citicoline in your diet.

For one, the only foods out there which have any noticeable amount of CDP-Choline are liver, brain and other animal organs. It’s not a realistic diet to have.

Even if you were eating a lot of these foods on a daily basis, there would be several health risks and would still only be taking on very low levels of Citicoline.

By supplementing products that already contain Citicoline, you can provide yourself with a decent amount of the nutrient and still get the benefits.

The only problem is finding it from a good source, some of the branded versions of citicoline like Cognizin are a good option.

It has been seen in studies to help boost brain cell membrane formation by 26% and brain energy by 13.6%. Not only that, it is vegan-sourced citicoline, making it much cleaner. However, this does affect the price.

Notable supplements that contain citicoline include:

Both of which have featured on our Best Nootropics page for brain boosting.

2. Eat Foods Rich in Choline (which is NOT Citicoline)

Citicoline VS Choline

This is an option. Although it won’t be as effective as CDP-Choline, it can still offer some benefit to your brain health.

What’s the difference between citicoline and choline?

Citicoline is a source of choline. It has all the benefits of choline but can also be a good source of cytidine. Cytidine converts to uridine before crossing your blood-brain barrier which can have numerous benefits including neuronal growth, as well as boosting norepinephrine, dopamine, mitochondiral function and brain energy. This is a lot more than what choline can achieve.

Although choline can’t do these things, it can still, like Citicoline help memory and mental processing when taken in doses of 1000 mg a day.

When it comes to citicoline vs choline – choline has less benefits, but it is cheaper and more readily available to come across in foods, unlike Citicoline.

Foods that contain Choline

Here’s a list of foods that are rich in Choline:

  • Beef liver: 1 slice (2.4 ounces or 68 grams) contains 290 mg.
  • Chicken liver: 1 slice (2.4 ounces or 68 grams) contains 222 mg.
  • Eggs: 1 large hard-boiled egg contains 113 mg.
  • Fresh cod: 3 ounces (85 grams) contain 248 mg.
  • Salmon: A 3.9-ounce (110-gram) fillet contains 62.7 mg.
  • Cauliflower: A 1/2 cup (118 ml) contains 24.2 mg.
  • Broccoli: A 1/2 cup (118 ml) contains 31.3 mg.
  • Soybean oil: 1 tablespoon (15 ml) contains 47.3 mg.

Out of these foods, it’s the Beef and Chicken liver that will be the most useful to you. They both contain small amounts of CDP-Choline, which although is not a lot – is more than some of the options in this list.

Summary: Citicoline Food Sources

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of food sources which contain a great amount of Citicoline naturally. It mainly occurs in organ meats like brains and livers.

The best option is to either do your research and find a supplement which contains a good amount of Citicoline (around 200 – 250 mg), or settle for less with much less concentrated choline foods.


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