The Power of Uridine Monophosphate as a Nootropic Compound
It’s no secret around here: we love Uridine. I started fussing with Uridine in the beginning of the 1.5 year journey of setting out to create the best commercial nootropic stack in the world with Cortex.
My first experience with Uridine was actually quite bad, because I foolishly mixed it with 100MG of Sulbutiamine, which basically put me to sleep. I was sort of like: “really Uridine? I heard so many good things about you.”
But then I slapped myself and recognized I had co-administered it with Sulbutiamine, and that was NO WAY to judge a single nootropic compound. So I approached it again, with a 150MG dose, by itself.
How Uridine blew my mind
Boom. Within about 30 minutes I felt myself a lot clearer, operating a lot faster, and thinking a lot smoother. It was like I had quickly become an enhanced version of myself.
The most notable component of the compound to me was the change in verbal fluency. I talk A LOT for a living, being an entrepreneur (doing deals, doing bizdev, talking with customers, Skyping, etc), and I noticed that in terms of sentence formation, and vocabulary recall, I had ascended to another level. Pretty cool.
I was hooked, and I realized I was onto something major with Uridine. It would later go on to be the basis for the Cortex nootropic stack, combined with CDP Choline (rendering acetylcholine + dopamine receptor density enhancements), Artichoke extract (inducing neurite outgrowth + PDE4 inhibition, translating to better focus) and Bacopa (providing a smooth stress relief and mild memory enhancement).
Of course, before actually putting it into a commercial stack, and continuing to use it myself, I had to fully understand what it was doing to me. I had to understand the science.
So I started ruthlessly researching, and what I found was some of the most profound studies, indicating that Uridine helps from everything to neurite outgrowth, to repairing dopamine receptors, to converting to CDP Choline and yielding a precursor to the major focus neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
This was a huge find for me. In the Nootropics community, we’re always looking for nootropics that are multi-faceted. We want compounds that affect and optimize various neurological systems. And Uridine does just that in a very impressive way. Let’s get into it.
One of the most impressive components of this nootropic is its ability to induce neurite outgrowth. A neurite is defined as a projection from a neuron. In the brain, neurons communicate with each other via “branches.” There are two types of branches: axons and dendrites, and collectively, they are called “neurites.”
The more branches a given neuron has, the more efficiently that neuron can send signals to the other neuron. That is, the faster and better the pre-synaptic neuron can send signals to the post-synaptic neuron.
This might explain the massive fluidity feeling that occurs in my brain when I take Uridine, and interestingly, the more fluid brain I have from baseline now, even without taking Uridine. I feel like the compound optimized my brain residually.
One of the major neuropathological characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease is in fact damaged neurites, and particularly, axons. To me, this is all the more reason to take Uridine in controlled increments. I believe you should cycle off of virtually everything. Even caffeine. But in the interest of preventing Alzheimer’s disease, Uridine should be considered as a preventative strategy.
Uridine and dopamine receptors
Uridine also has the capacity to do wonderful things to dopamine receptors. One of the interesting studies on rats indicates Uridine’s ability to recover damaged dopamine receptors in young rats, but not old. Does that mean take Uridine while you’re young? No idea, but pretty impressive nonetheless.
Co-administered with DHA, one of the primary structural components of the human brain, Uridine has a restorative effect on dopaminergic neurotransmission.
For me, when I take the substance, I always feel an enhancement in motivation. The only way I can explain it is I’m just amped to get things done. I feel motivated, ready, and energized to make things happen.
I’m normally a pretty ambitious guy, but Uridine takes it to another level completely. I almost feel like I have the unfair advantage sometimes while taking Uridine. Under normal baseline conditions, I walk faster, am more determined, and have more of a sense of purpose than 99 out of 100 people I see.
But when I take Uridine, I notice it a lot more. I’m bolting around, getting things done with ease. People in the grocery store must think I just snorted a bunch of smarties or something. I’m just determined, purposed, and actioning. And it’s wonderful.
Uridine and CDP Choline
Uridine interacts with CDP Choline in a couple ways. First, it increases CDP Choline concentration in the brain. It also increases phosphatidylcholine synthesis. Co-administered with CDP Choline, this is where I think Uridine has tremendous potential and power. That’s one of the reasons we stacked them together in the Cortex nootropic stack.
Uridine provides Cytidine to the brain, which accelerates the synthesis of CDP Choline. So, Uridine is actually a prodrug of CDP Choline, but taking them together in many people yields a more powerful nootropic response than taking one or the other. I noticed this early on in my experimentation with Uridine for the Cortex stack. Uridine by itself is quite awesome, but stacked with a choline source, CDP specifically, it’s really something else.
Now – for some people that are sensitive to high levels of acetylcholine, Uridine and CDP taken together may not be the most optimal combo. Plenty of people get brain fog from taking high levels of acetylcholine precursors, so take heed and find your sweet spot dose if you’re going to experiment with these compounds.
In Cortex, we worked really hard at achieving a dose of these two chemicals that didn’t create side effects, and that yielded powerful brain performance.
Uridine and B vitamins
One of the interesting actions of Uridine is that it facilitates cellular growth and repair. A lot of my research on Uridine originates right here, where a user on the life extension forum Longecity, talks about (and links to a myriad of scientific papers) the various mechanisms of Uridine, and its potential to up-regulate neurogenesis and cellular repair.
And one of the co-factors of the stack mentioned on that forum is B vitamins, particularly because Uridine, Choline, DHA, and B vitamins are the primary substrates used in neuronal tissue development. If you take a look at the ingredients in any mainstream baby formula, or do the research behind what ingredients are in mother’s breast milk, you’ll be surprised (or not) to find: Uridine, Choline, B vitamins, and DHA.
So by combining B vitamins, particularly B9 and B12, with Uridine, you are effectively up-regulating cellular repair and growth. Pretty cool huh?
The general recommendation is to take a complex B vitamin with the RDA of all Bs in there. I suggest that too, and we’ll be adding those components (or at least B9 and B12) to future generations of Cortex. In fact, it’s important to note that Uridine supposedly accelerates the usage of vitamin B9 in the body. Cellular growth and repair requires vitamin B9, and may deplete it in your body if you’re not absorbing it, getting enough in your diet, or supplementing with it.
Uridine potentiates caffeine
Uridine seems to potentiate stimulants, not just caffeine. But for the sake of keeping it simple, let’s talk a bit about Uridine and Caffeine.
For one, anecdotally, it’s an amazingly powerful combo. I suggest to people to take the Cortex stack and drink some coffee, and see where they’re at. If people aren’t into pre-made stacks, and would rather titrate their doses granularly (which is awesome) with bulk powder, a scale, and making their own capsules, I suggest this Uridine/Choline/Caffeine combination and people regularlyÂ report astounding results.
This is a lengthy, complicated read, but if you care to dive in, that paper attempts to explain the synergy between caffeine and Uridine. Having read it multiple times and still having trouble extracting the simplistic explanation of the synergy (maybe I need some more Uridine? 🙂 ), suffice it to say that there does strongly seem to be one, and it likely has to do with adenosine receptors, the same receptors the caffeine molecule binds to.
What I HAVE proven, over and over again, is that co-administering caffeine with Uridine amplifies the effects of Uridine in the user. For some people, this might make them a bit anxious. For others, it’ll be just the kick in the pants they need to be productive.
Final notes and cycling
First, I want to make clear that I firmly believe in cycling everything from caffeine, to Uridine, to Alpha GPC. For various reasons (downregulation, creativity depletion, liver health), cycling is a great idea. And for some nootropics, Uridine included in my book, they work on the brain in a way that makes permanently positive changes. As I mentioned earlier, I really feel like my baseline is optimized from taking Uridine.
In stints where I’m cycling off of it and the Cortex stacks, I notice my brain works better than my baseline before I started taking Uridine. These days, I alternate between various Uridine included stacks, and simple stacks of ALCAR, caffeine, and Alpha GPC. I still fuss with Racetams, but to a lesser extent than I use to when I was gung-ho racetam. I think they’re great, just not an everyday thing for me.
But on the overall, Uridine is the most powerful nootropic I’ve ever touched. The most impressive too. And I’ve been taking nootropics on and off for 6 years. I’ve tried everything from the Afinils, to the hardcore Racetams like Phenylpiracetam, to obscure herbs like Vacha and Shankhpushpi.Â And nothing compares to Uridine in the wide range of effects it has on the brain, its remarkable reparative actions, and the subjective feel of the nootropic.
Thanks for reading, and PLEASE feel free to correct anything I’ve written here if I’m not understanding something correctly, or if you have something to add. That applies to all the articles here on Cortex.