Suppose you want to hack your brain and improve your memory, focus, mental clarity and motivation-what then? Sure, you can turn to stimulant drugs like Adderall but you don’t want a short-term solution. Not to mention, such aggressive stimulants can have serious side effects that leave your body completely burned out.
The truth is, there is no magic pill that you can just swallow like in the movie ‘Limitless’ and become the next Einstein. Nevertheless, it is quite possible to increase the RAM of your brain without any grave side effects. That is where nootropics come in.
Basically, for a drug or a supplement to be considered as a nootropic, it must offer improved cognitive abilities with insignificant toxicity and very little side effects. Due to the recent growth explosion in the nootropics industry, there are literally more than a hundred types of nootropics in every corner of the market. However, today we’re going to discuss uridine- highly regarded as one of the most effective nootropics.
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What is Uridine?
Uridine is one of the five nucleotide components that formulate nucleic acid. It is a vital component present in the structure of the RNA: without it, the RNA would be redundant.
In its naturally occurring state, it's known as uridine monophosphate (UMP) and it is synthesized in the liver. It can also be found in breast milk and different types of plants.
What is Uridine used for?
There is an intricate network of connected neurons in the brain known as synapses which are responsible for passing electrical or chemical signals vital for memory retention and cognitive abilities. The more synapses you have in the brain, the better your mind works. When uridine is present, it helps to boost the production of neurites which in turn increases the number of synapses in the brain.
Besides that, uridine plays a crucial role to stabilize neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and acetylcholine. If you're having a problem trying to focus or pay attention, a boost of dopamine levels in the brain can give you the much-needed motivation to complete your work. On the other hand, increased production of acetylcholine can make you process information faster and enhance your memory.
According to a Neurology research, uridine contains neuroprotectant elements that can prevent old age complications such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
There is a catch though; for uridine to be effective as a supplement, it must be combined with other supplements such as choline, Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and B vitamins.
What Foods Contain Uridine?
Want to eat some healthy diet that contains uridine? Try out broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, sugarcane, fish, cow liver, yeast, beets, oats, beer and parsley. Although once the uridine diet is digested, only a small percentage is absorbed into the brain. Hence, if you want a significant amount of uridine to improve your cognitive abilities, you should complement your diet with uridine supplements.
What are the Benefits of Uridine?
1. Improves Your Learning And Memory Skills
In a MIT clinical study, subjects that were exposed to uridine improved their learning and memory skills. Apparently, the dopamine and acetylcholine levels also increased when the subjects were administered with uridine monophosphate.
In humans, uridine supplements are much more effective for enhancing learning and memory abilities when combined with choline. In the long run, it can prevent Alzheimer’s due to the growing synapses activity in the brain.
2. Enhances Cognitive Abilities and Prevents Epilepsy
On a laboratory research, rats suffering from epilepsy were given three injections of uridine a day but didn’t experience any seizures. However, one injection dosage didn’t prove to be effective. In the same experiment, subjects which were sleep deprived turned out to have an improved sleeping pattern after receiving uridine.
Afterwards, it was deduced that a uridine monophosphate supplement complemented with choline and DHA activates neurotransmitters such as the P2Y2 receptors which facilitate neural growth and performance.
3. Fights Depression and Bipolar Disorder
According to a study commissioned by the National Institute of Mental Health, uridine was concluded to be successful in preventing depression among adolescents. Since uridine improves the production of dopamine, also known as the ‘motivational molecule’, it counters the mood swings common in depressed patients. Moreover, adolescent patients didn't experience any bad side effects during the study.
But wait- there’s more; bipolar disorder symptoms can also be subdued by taking uridine supplements. What usually happens behind the scenes is the mitochondrial malfunction that can influence bipolar disorder is corrected by uridine.
4. Improves the Blood Flow
If you’re having episodes where there isn’t enough blood flowing through your heart, an intake of uridine and uridine monophosphate can help stabilize the situation. Mind you, if your heart doesn’t receive sufficient blood it can lead to low oxygen levels in your body and eventually a heart attack. A supplement of uridine and adenosine can also have the same effect of improving the blood flow.
Additionally, a clinical study done by the Department of Cardiology in Lund University documented that uridine triphosphate can slow down the effects of a heart attack.
5. Uridine is an Effective Pain Killer
Thanks to an extensive research, there is evidence that uridine can be used to reduce pain and inflammation. For instance, if you’re suffering from hip, back, neck pain or nerve-related pain, an oral supplement of uridine triphosphate, cytidine and vitamin B12 can reduce the pain significantly.
Alternatively, a combination of uridine monophosphate, vitamin B12 and folic acid can be used as a pain killer for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. The anti-inflammatory properties found in uridine also make it an essential supplement for treating cystic fibrosis.
6. It Can Be Used To Treat Anemia and Regenerate The Liver
Apart from relieving nerve pain, a combination of uridine, cytidine and vitamin B12 supplements can be used to treat anemia symptoms – according to a Brazilian case study. It doesn’t just stop there- in a different clinical study in Sweden, it was inferred that a uridine supplement helps to regenerate the liver with insignificant side effects.
7. Uridine Prevents Dementia
It is quite common for people who are 65 years and above to suffer from dementia complications such as Alzheimer’s disease due to the progressive death of brain cells. Thanks to a vital scientific study done by Richard J. Wurtman in 2014, it was discovered that when uridine, choline, DHA, and are used together, they give rise to new synapses in the brain. Needless to say; if you get older past a certain age, your brain deteriorates but if new synapses are consistently formed, it can prevent dementia before it is too late.
What Are The Side Effects of Uridine?
Since it classified as a nootropic, uridine doesn’t have a lot of side effects. Nevertheless, a few users have complained of minor side effects such as fatigue, headache, nausea, gastrointestinal distress and nervousness. Keep in mind that there are severe side effects such as diarrhea, fever and emotional outbursts when uridine is taken in excessive doses.
To avoid any side effects, it is recommended you start taking the lowest dosage possible and progress slowly until you find the right balance. In retrospect, you should avoid taking uridine if you have certain medical conditions:
- Cancer- Various medical studies have shown uridine affects cancer patients negatively. The activation of the P2Y2 receptors speeds up the spread of cancer cells particularly in patients who are suffering from pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Anyhow, all cancer patients should avoid uridine supplements.
- Diabetes- There are a lot of supplements diabetes patients are told to avoid and unfortunately, uridine is on that list. However, the research related to uridine and diabetes is self-conflicting; one clinical trial done on human cells concludes that uridine helps to accelerate insulin production while another research suggests that uridine can be a negative factor in diabetes patients. Regardless, if you have diabetes you can’t really take a chance since there aren’t enough conclusive findings on the subject.
- Advanced Heart Disease- Even though uridine can help improve your blood flow and slow down the effects of a heart attack, a study done on mice showed that uridine can indirectly cause the heart valves to become thicker. For that reason, it isn’t recommended for patients with advanced heart complications.
- Fracture or Broken Bones- Uridine is a supplement that enhances cognitive abilities but doesn’t do much to promote bone formation. Apparently, even low doses of uridine can inhibit new bone formation. Hence, if you’re recovering from a bone fracture, it is better to withhold uridine supplements until you’ve fully recovered.
What Is The Right Dosage For Uridine?
A normal uridine dosage is between 500mg to 1 gram per day, although there are people who take up to 2 grams daily for optimum effects. Despite all its benefits, uridine has proved to be most effective when complemented with other supplements such as Vitamin B12, Choline and DHA. Additionally, introducing a diet rich with uridine would give you an edge to capitalize on the supplements.
It should be noted, expectant mothers or nursing women should consult a physician before taking any uridine supplements.
How Long Does it Take Before The Effects Kick in?
Unlike a typical stimulant drug that kicks in after a few seconds or minutes, uridine is a restorative nootropic supplement that takes days or even weeks before you can feel any effects. Once introduced into your body, the objective is to balance the dopamine levels and stimulate neuroplasticity. Eventually, you will start to notice subtle changes in your mood and cognitive abilities.
Apart from an intense upsurge of motivation, uridine users have reported a boost in their creativity. For instance, you could be engaging in a task and have a better thought pattern, flow of words or vocabulary and a sharper working memory – something that caffeine can't deliver consistently.
If you ask the average guy about uridine, they probably wouldn’t even know what it is. Of course, you can’t really blame them since when most people think about cognitive enhancers, stimulants such as caffeine and Adderall come into mind- blame the advertisements.
The problem with such popular “smart” drugs is that they won't make you smarter or improve your knowledge; instead, they will make you work nonstop for an abnormal longer period of time. Eventually, the body gives in and you become depressed, barely getting anything done without reliance. Does this sound like you?
However, it doesn’t have to be like that- there is another better option. Granted, it will take longer to work but it will be worth it considering the rewards: enhanced cognitive abilities, better learning skills and memory, anti-depressant, fights bipolar, prevents dementia, improves the blood flow and it can be used as a painkiller. The best part? It is a nootropic with very little side effects.
Want to see how it works right now? You can order uridine supplements online. Don’t worry about the right dosage - you can start with 500 mg per day and slowly progress to 1 gram daily depending on how you feel about it. It’s all up to you……what are you waiting for?
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James Dolan is a professional freelance writer and blogger. Anything new in the health and nutrition space? James Dolan will tell you about it. When he’s not working, you can find him playing hockey, traveling or hanging out with his German Shepherd Dog.