What if we told you that there’s a part of our body that can significantly improve our memory retention, relieve depression, and enhance our brain function? Uridine, or Uridine Monophosphate, is a part of our RNA that has known effects on improving our retention power and strengthening our brain process.
This component is responsible for positively affecting our health in many ways. Let’s dive deeper and unravel the Uridine benefits thread by thread.
Uridine – What is it?
Before we discuss the benefits associated with Uridine, let’s understand it in a broader manner.
Deoxyribonucleic acid, or better known as DNA, is a hereditary material that’s found in all organisms. It has a double helix shape that looks like two intertwined ladders and is a complex molecule present in our cell structure that stores all the necessary information related to our genes and heritage.
DNA has a sibling material called RNA, or ribonucleic acid, that translates and carries all the information stored in our DNA. DNA and RNA together are the building blocks of life and determine everything that an organism is made of.
Uridine is an essential component of the nucleus of RNA. It’s one of the nucleotides that contain the nucleic acid of the RNA. Uridine is also one of the components responsible for breaking down sugar in our bodies and converting them into energy.
This is one of the primary reasons behind the exceptional ability of Uridine to improve brain and cognitive functions.
Where is Uridine Commonly Found?
Uridine is a non-essential component hidden in most commonly consumed foods and beverages including beetroot, regular baker’s yeast, beer, sugarcane extract, barley, and tomatoes.
If you regularly consume any of the above-mentioned foods or beverages, the Uridine level in your body mostly remains constant. However, the full amount that you consume does not make it all the way up to the brain.
When consumed in the form of food and drinks, Uridine goes through a lengthy process of digestion, and what reaches your bloodstream, and subsequently your brain, is a very tiny portion of what you ingest
Therefore, it’s mostly taken as a supplement that helps in rapid release and full absorption. Additionally, taking Uridine supplements also ensures that the monophosphate portion of the Uridine is also absorbed by the system.
How Does Uridine Work?
Uridine is a part of the UTP structure, which is responsible for supplying energy to a certain metabolic reaction in our body. It’s similar to the ATP structure, which is a molecule responsible for converting glucose into energy and supplying it to various parts of the body.
When taken as a supplement, Uridine Monophosphate gets broken down into simpler entities in our gastrointestinal tract and liver. From there it gets absorbed into our bloodstream, crossing the brain-blood barrier.
Thereafter, it reaches the brain where it stimulates the growth of neurites and facilitates connection with other neurons, thus providing a boost to our brain function.
We live in a world where people are constantly looking at newer and natural ways of becoming better, faster, and healthier. Uridine checks all these boxes.
Researchers praise the diverse benefits of Uridine that affect both the body and mind. This component is already present in our bodies. We’re only looking at ways of enhancing its absorption and increasing its effectiveness.
In layman’s terms, Uridine acts as a catalyst to help neurons in our brain interact with each other in a smoother and more effective manner that enhances brain functionality. It also goes a step further by ensuring that the dendritic spines or the ‘back’ remains in proper shape so it can retain and store information effectively.
Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Depression and pediatric bipolar disorder are two issues that are on the rise and require immediate treatment. In a study conducted on seven depressed individuals with bipolar disorder, it was revealed that Uridine has anti-depressive elements that help in managing these diseases to a considerable extent.
It did that by improving the mitochondrial function of the brain which is underdeveloped in the brains of individuals with bipolar.
Nerve pain has a tendency to quickly take a complex route and become more severe with time. Uridine, when taken in combination with Vitamin B12 and folic acid, was proven beneficial for reducing nerve pain in several individuals.
Another effective combination is Follic Acid, Uridine, and Cytidine which works in a better way, but with mild side effects. You can also go for Folic Acid and Uridine alone without the addition of Cytidine.
Uridine has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and inflammation in nerves and has shown potential as a long-term solution for people suffering from nerve pain and damage.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “sleeping like a baby.” A baby usually sleeps very well after being fed. The reason being, Uridine is an important element in breastmilk.
In a study conducted with 30 infants with a sleep disorder, it was discovered that a cereal enriched with Uridine-5′-Phosphate, Tryptophan, and Adenosine-5′-Phosphate considerably improved their sleep quality.
There are fewer studies that indicate how well it works for adults. However, Uridine Phosphate seems to be helpful in the treatment of sleep disorders and insomnia.
Improves Mood and Alertness
Uridine impacts the production of dopamine (or the feel-good hormone) that instantly boosts your mood. Having good and steady levels of dopamine is known to aid in enhancing alertness and focus.
Additionally, Uridine helps with warding off stress, keeping the harmful effects of cortisol to a minimum.
Some lung diseases can be contracted over time while some are genetic, like Cystic Fibrosis, wherein the lungs produce sticky mucus that makes it difficult to breathe.
Uridine, accompanied with the drug amiloride, worked wonders for 14 patients who were suffering from this genetic disease.
It cleared the mucus and made breathing a lot easier and less painful. In a similar way, Uridine reduces scarring and inflammation in patients with mild bronchitis.
Side Effects of Uridine
Uridine is a naturally-occurring substance making it less likely to cause side effects. While there are a host of Uridine benefits, there are few reservations associated with the usage that warrant mentioning.
We also have to consider the fact that the studies into the supplementation and benefits of Uridine are relatively new and a huge chunk of information is still unavailable to us. Therefore, its usage should be accompanied by an awareness of some potential warning signs.
For instance, in one of the clinical trials, Uridine caused vivid dreams, indigestion, and nausea. These were considered mild, but presented a disadvantage to the use of drugs containing Uridine.
Some of the health risks that may be associated with high doses of Uridine are listed below:
Uridine supplements activate P2Y2 receptors that boost improvement in autoimmune disorders. However, it might lead to the unintended growth of cancer cells.
Another way Uridine can possibly lead to an increased risk of cancer is when it imbibes uracil nucleotide into DNA, instead of thymine.
It was revealed in one of the clinical trials that people with Type 2 diabetes have a higher level of Uridine present compared to healthy people.
This high concentration of Uridine was directly correlated to high levels of insulin and c-peptides.
Low Bone Density
Our bone development naturally stops after the age of 25. However, for someone with high levels of Uridine, which may be a result of Uridine supplementation, this process might start earlier.
While there are tons of options available for you to choose from, there’s always a corresponding list of things that you need to know before finally getting your hands on the supplements that suit you best.
This is why it’s always recommended to consult a physician before taking any drug or supplement that can possibly lead to some mild to harsh side effects.
That being said, we have a list of recommended Uridine supplements that you can help you if you’re looking for options:
- Double Wood Supplements (300mg): These are widely used across the United States, with known effects on enhancing synaptic connections and improving brain functionality. They are third-party tested and perfect for someone who’s just beginning to take nootropics. Additionally, they’re gluten-free and Non-GMO.
- Nootropics Depot Uridine Monophosphate Capsules (250mg): Known to increase brain and production of phosphatidylcholine plasticity, Nootropic Depot pulls through as one of the most highly recommended brands. One advantage of going with this brand is it follows strict testing procedures and has little to no side-effects.
- Longlifenutri Uridine Capsules (300 mg): These supplements are a 100% vegetarian formula, which makes them mild, yet effective, supplements to start with. This option also comes with a money-back guarantee if you don’t feel any difference. The quantity is 120 capsules, which is double what you get in any of the above-mentioned brands.
As a nootropic, Uridine has a tendency of working well with other nootropics such as Lion’s Mane, a kind of mushroom. The combination is said to help relieve depression and boost memory. It also works on the central nervous system, calming you and relieving your anxiety.
Since this is a supplement, it does come with its own set of molecular formulas that might not mix well with other vitamins and acids. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to ask your doctor before beginning any sort of supplement regimen.
That being said, Uridine benefits do exist and statistics supporting the multiple benefits it provides for mental and physical health do exist. The cherry on top is the fact that it has mild to no side effects when taken in the appropriate doses.
- Teather, L. A., & Wurtman, R. J. (2005). Dietary CDP-choline supplementation prevents memory impairment caused by impoverished environmental conditions in rats.Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), 12(1), 39–43. https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.83905
- Kondo, D. G., Sung, Y. H., Hellem, T. L., Delmastro, K. K., Jeong, E. K., Kim, N., Shi, X., & Renshaw, P. F. (2011). Open-label Uridine for treatment of depressed adolescents with bipolar disorder.Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology, 21(2), 171–175. https://doi.org/10.1089/cap.2010.0054
- Negrão L, Nunes P; Portuguese Group for the Study of Peripheral Neuropathy. Uridine monophosphate, folic acid and vitamin B12 in patients with symptomatic peripheral entrapment neuropathies. Pain Manag. 2016;6(1):25-9. doi: 10.2217/pmt.15.60. Epub 2015 Dec 17. PMID: 26679082.
- Goldberg, H., Mibielli, M. A., Nunes, C. P., Goldberg, S. W., Buchman, L., Mezitis, S. G., Rzetelna, H., Oliveira, L., Geller, M., & Wajnsztajn, F. (2017). A double-blind, randomized, comparative study of the use of a combination of Uridine triphosphate trisodium, cytidine monophosphate disodium, and hydroxocobalamin, versus isolated treatment with hydroxocobalamin, in patients presenting with compressive neuralgias.Journal of pain research, 10, 397–404. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S123045
- Cubero J, Chanclón B, Sánchez S, Rivero M, Rodríguez AB, Barriga C. Improving the quality of infant sleep through the inclusion at supper of cereals enriched with tryptophan, adenosine-5′-phosphate, and Uridine-5′-phosphate. Nutr Neurosci. 2009 Dec;12(6):272-80. Doi: 10.1179/147683009X423490. PMID: 19925721.
- Bennett WD, Olivier KN, Zeman KL, Hohneker KW, Boucher RC, Knowles MR. Effect of Uridine 5′-triphosphate plus amiloride on mucociliary clearance in adult cystic fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 Jun;153(6 Pt 1):1796-801. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.153.6.8665037. PMID: 8665037.
- Li N, Zhou XT. Human chromosome hot points. IV. Uridine-induced hot-point breaks at 3p14 and 16q23-24 and increased expression of fragile site Xq27 in folate-free medium. Hum Genet. 1985;71(4):363-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00388465. PMID: 4077052.
- Yamamoto T, Inokuchi T, Ka T, Yamamoto A, Takahashi S, Tsutsumi Z, Tamada D, Okuda C, Moriwaki Y. Relationship between plasma Uridine and insulin resistance in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Nucleosides Nucleotides Nucleic Acids. 2010 Jun;29(4-6):504-8. doi: 10.1080/15257771003740986. PMID: 20544544.
The article is an explanation given by the author based on current research and contains links and references from medical sites. Please consult a practicing doctor before taking any kind of medicine or supplement.