Uridine monophosphate is a very popular supplement, used for its cognition-enhancing properties. It’s included in many nootropic blends and a lot of experienced smart drug users include uridine in their stacks.
This interesting nootropic is known to increase dopamine and acetylcholine levels in the brain. These neurotransmitters are known to play a crucial role in memory, learning, motivation, and focus, among other things.
Improved ability to learn
So, what is uridine monophosphate? We’re gonna look at the benefits of supplementing with uridine, potential side effects, where to buy, and dosage. First, though, let’s take a look at what exactly uridine is.
What Is Uridine?
Uridine is a nucleotide that’s naturally present in the human body.1 It can be found in a number of foods, including sugarcane, tomatoes, yeast, broccoli, and beer.2 Yup, that’s right: beer. It actually contains high levels or uridine.
DNA and RNA, the building blocks of life, are made up of nucleosides. In RNA, one of those nucleosides is uridine (the others being adenosine, thymidine, cytidine, and guanosine).3 It can be found all throughout the body and in the brain.
Our bodies are capable of creating some uridine and we get some from food, too. However, very little of it actually makes it to our brains.4 That’s where uridine monophosphate comes in.
Uridine monophosphate is a form of uridine that can cross the blood-brain barrier.5 It has been shown to be involved in a number of different brain functions. Uridine increases acetylcholine levels6 and is known to affect dopamine release.7 These neurotransmitters are known to play an important role in memory, learning, motivation, focus, libido, and pleasure.
Uridine Monophosphate Benefits
Uridine monophosphate has a number of benefits which make it a great addition to any nootropic stack or taken by itself. Let’s look at some of those benefits now.
Improved Memory & Learning
Supplementing with uridine monophosphate can improve memory. It has been shown to aid in the growth of new synapses in the brain8, increase acetylcholine levels6, and increase signaling between neurons.7
Several animal studies have shown that uridine can improve learning and memory. One study conducted on gerbils showed that uridine monophosphate improved memory and ability to learn.9
Another animal study, this one conducted on rats, showed similar improvement in memory.10 These rats were tested 48 hours after being given uridine monophosphate and their memory retention was significantly improved.
These studies confirm what nootropic users already know. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of case reports around the internet of people’s experiences with uridine. Many users report substantial improvements in memory and learning.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is known to play a role in mood, pleasure, motivation, arousal, libido, reward, and anxiety.12 By altering the way dopamine works in certain parts of the brain, uridine is able to improve mood, increase motivation, and affect other aspects of cognitive functioning.
Uridine monophosphate users have reported an increase in several dopamine-related areas. In addition to improved mood, uridine users report increased motivation, better focus, and increased feelings of well-being.
Another potential uridine benefit is that can help to reduce anxiety. Some uridine monophosphate users report a reduction in anxiety after they started supplementation.
There hasn’t been much research done to look at uridine’s effect on anxiety. However, one study conducted on rats showed that uridine affects several receptors in the brain known to play a role in anxiety.13 While not conclusive, this study supports the claim that uridine can reduce anxiety in some people.
Proper sleep is necessary for optimal brain function. Even partial sleep deprivation (not getting enough quality sleep) impairs cognitive and motor function, and can seriously affect your mood.14
Another uridine benefit that users report is improved sleep. There have been several studies done that support this claim.
One study conducted on rats showed that supplementing with uridine increased slow wave sleep and paradoxical sleep.15 Another animal study showed that supplementing with uridine caused a mild but long-lasting increase in sleep.16
Uridine Side Effects
Uridine monophosphate seems to be very well-tolerated by most people. We couldn’t find any cases of anyone having serious side effects from taking uridine.
That being said, some minor side effects are possible but unlikely. Some people that take uridine experience upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Taking it with food usually eliminates these side effects.
Uridine Monophosphate Dosage
A standard uridine monophosphate dosage has not yet been established. However, most users find that a dosage of anywhere from 500-1,000 mg is effective.
One study that explored uridine as a treatment for bipolar disorder in teenagers used a dosage of 500 mg twice a day.17 The participants in the study reported an improvement in mood and no serious side effects at that dosage.
Uridine can be taken with or without food. To avoid experiencing nausea and upset stomach, it’s usually suggested that it be taken with food.
Some nootropic users like to take sublingual uridine. Sublingual administration is when you let a substance dissolve under the tongue. This route of administration seems to be just as effective as taking it orally and requires a much-lower dosage. Since sublingual uridine hasn’t been studied, there’s no way to know what an effective dosage would be. For this reason, only experienced nootropic users should use sublingual uridine.
As you can see, uridine monophosphate has a number of nootropic benefits. Improved mood, memory, learning, and sleep are all commonly reported among uridine users. And these benefits come with few, if any, side effects.
You can experience these uridine benefits by adding it to your stack or taking it by itself. Uridine stacks well with most other nootropics.
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2Yamamoto, T., Moriwaki, Y., Takahashi, S., Tsutsumi, Z., Ka, T., Fukuchi, M., & Hada, T. (2002). Effect of beer on the plasma concentrations of uridine and purine bases. Metabolism, 51(10):1317-23.
4Dobolyi, A., Juhasz, G., Kovacs, Z., & Kardos, J. (2011). Uridine function in the central nervous system. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 11:1058-67.
5Cansev, M., Watkins, C.J., van der Beek, E.M., & Wurtman, R.J. (2005). Oral uridine-5′-monophosphate (UMP) increases brain CDP-choline levels in gerbils. Brain Research, 1058(1-2):101-108.
6Wang, L, Albrecht, M.A., & Wurtman, R.J. (2007). Dietary supplementation with uridine-5′-monophosphate (UMP), a membrane phosphatide precursor, increases acetylcholine level and release in striatum of aged rat. Brain Research, 1133(1):42-48.
7Wang, L., Pooler, A.M., Albrecht, M.A., & Wurtman, R.J. (2005). Dietary uridine-5′-monophosphate supplementation increases potassium-evoked dopamine release and promotes neurite outgrowth in aged rats. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, 27(1):137-45.
8Wurtman, R.J., Cansev, M., Sakamoto, T., & Ulus, I.H. (2009). Use of phosphatide precursors to promote synaptogenesis. Annual Review of Nutrition, 29:59-87.
9Holguin, S., Martinez, J., Chow, C., & Wurtman, R. (2008). Dietary uridine enhances the improvement in learning and memory produced by administering DHA to gerbils. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, 22(11):3938-46.
10Ott, T., Grecksch, G., & Matthies, H. (1978). Retention improvement by topical application of uridine monophosphate into different brain areas. Medical Biology, 56(3):133-137.
11Myers, C.S., Napolitano, M., Fisher, H., & Wagner, G.C. (1993). Uridine and stimulant-induced motor activity. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 204(1):49-53.
13Karkishchenko, N.N., Khaitin, M.I., & Simkina, IuN. (1991). A pharmacological analysis of the anxiolytic activity of uridine. Farmakol Toksikol., 54(1):16-18.
14Pilcher, J. & Huffcutt, A. (1996). Effects of sleep deprivation on performance: a meta-analysis. Sleep, 19(4):318-326.
15Honda, K., Komoda, Y., Nishida, S., Nagasaki, H., Higashi, A., Uchizono, K., & Inoue, S. (1984). Uridine as an active component of sleep-promoting substance: its effects on nocturnal sleep in rats. Neuroscience Research, 1(4):243-252.
16Inoue, S., Honda, K., Komoda, Y., Uchizono, K., Ueno, R., & Hayaishi, O. (1984). Differential sleep-promoting effects of five sleep substances nocturnally infused in unrestrained rats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., 81(19):6240-4.
17Kondo, D.G., Sung, Y-H., Hellem, T.L., Delmastro, K.K., et al. (2011). Open-label uridine for treatment of depressed adolescents with bipolar disorder. Journal of Childhood Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 21(2):171-5.