Uridine is a naturally occurring compound found in many foods and is also available as a dietary supplement. It acts as an important building block for the formation of RNA (ribonucleic acid), which helps to regulate cellular processes in the body.

Uridine is a chemical that plays a crucial role in a variety of activities that take place within the body. Multiple physiological and mental functions benefit from its use. Recent studies have highlighted uridine’s role in keeping our bodies and minds in tip-top shape.

It has been used to treat several neurological disorders, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It is also used to help treat age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

In this article, let’s explore Uridine’s potential benefits, side effects, and dosage and see if it’s right for you.

Sources of Uridine

Uridine is found naturally in several foods, such as the following:

  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Breast milk for babies
  • Organ meats, such as liver and kidney
  • Fish
  • Oats
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Egg yolks
  • Broccoli
  • Beer

Some research has suggested that we can’t get any uridine from our diets. It is possible to extract and use the resulting product as a dietary supplement. With your doctor’s approval, consider taking uridine supplements if you need to up your intake. [1]

Uridine Uses and Benefits

Uridine is a crucial chemical that plays a role in several critical physiologic functions in the human body. Some of the uridine’s most notable benefits are the following.

1. Mental Health and Cognition

Uridine has several potential benefits for mental health and cognition. Uridine is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and is involved in the upkeep of brain tissue and the regulation of acetylcholine levels. These two processes are critically important to the overall cognitive function of the body.

CDP-choline is one of the brain’s most notable memory enhancers. The brain uses uridine to produce that enhancer. Additionally, uridine is required for the synthesis of additional phospholipids. Phospholipids are essential components of brain tissue, and supplementing with uridine will help keep them synthesized. These are the primary components of our nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. [2]

Uridine’s ability to increase the production of these phospholipids aids in maintaining healthy and robust brain tissue, which in turn protects our brains and improves brain function.

You may have heard that Uridine works best with a choline source like Alpha GPC and DHA-rich fish oil. This is a typical practice intended to help increase the phospholipid synthesis-enhancing benefits of uridine. It is possible that taking a supplement containing uridine, a supplement containing DHA fish oil, and a supplement containing choline together might greatly improve general cognitive health. [3]

2. Depression & Bipolar Disorder

Uridine regulates several brain functions. Therefore, it’s not surprising that it can also impact mental health. Membrane phospholipids may be changed in patients with bipolar illness, but according to one study, uridine can help restore their normal structure. [4]

Mitochondrial dysfunction is another hallmark of the bipolar brain, and it’s a major contributor to the manic and depressed episodes that characterize the disorder. Preliminary studies have shown that uridine can improve mitochondrial activity and cell membrane health, which may be one way it helps treat depression and bipolar disorder. [5]

However, there is not enough data to support the use of uridine to treat depression. Even while early research on uridine’s anti-depressant properties has been encouraging, more studies are needed to confirm these findings.

3. Nerve Pain & Damage

Another significant advantage of uridine is that it may help manage nerve discomfort and damage. Taking uridine, folic acid, and vitamin B12 together for two months has decreased pain severity, characterization, and patient reporting of accompanying symptoms. Therefore, uridine might be a useful tool in the fight against nerve discomfort, particularly for those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. [6]

Another study found that Uridine mitigated the patient’s elevated blood sugar levels and long-term nerve damage. [7] Thus, human research indicates that uridine is quite helpful in restoring nerve health and alleviating nerve pain caused by various conditions.

4. Lung Health

Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disorder that causes the lungs to become damaged, producing a thick, persistent mucus that makes breathing difficult.

According to research, combining uridine triphosphate with the medication amiloride helped patients breathe easier and remove their mucus. UTP and amiloride did little to alleviate symptoms on their own, but when combined, they nearly completely reversed lung damage. [8]

Animal and human cell cultures were treated with uridine and other medicines, and the results revealed that the combination cleared mucus and reduced inflammation and scarring. [9, 10, 11, 12, 13]

The results are promising, but the evidence to support this usage of uridine is insufficient due to the small size of the clinical studies. Verifying their findings will require more studies on bigger populations.

Uridine Dangers

You should avoid taking uridine if you have certain medical conditions.

Cancer

Several scientific investigations have found that uridine may stimulate receptors that promote the spread of cancer cells, especially in patients with pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers. [14]

Diabetes

One investigation using human cells found that uridine boosted insulin production, while another revealed that uridine might be a detrimental influence on diabetic people, suggesting that the existing research on uridine and diabetes is inconclusive. [15]

Advanced Heart Disease

Uridine can increase blood flow and reduce the severity of heart attack symptoms. However, it also causes cardiac scarring, according to animal studies. Indirectly, this might increase the thickness of the heart valves. Because of this, it is not recommended for people with severe heart problems. [16]

Bone Fracture

Anyone who is healing from a bone fracture should wait to use uridine supplements until they have completed their recovery, as it may inhibit new bone formation. [17]

Uridine Dosage: How to Take Uridine 

Standard daily dosages of Uridine range from 300 mg to 600 mg. When taken at doses of 500 mg to 1000 mg daily, Uridine monophosphate has been shown to improve cognition.

Taking it with a choline supplement is suggested to get a more consistent dosing. Uridine’s effectiveness increases when combined with other supplements, including vitamin B12, citicoline, and DHA. Also, adding foods high in uridine to your diet will give you a leg up on taking advantage of the supplements.

The Food and Drug Administration has not given its stamp of approval to any supplements for any condition, and the rules that govern their production, at best, only ensure that they are made to a certain quality. It’s important to see your doctor before beginning to use any supplements.

Uridine Side Effects

No serious adverse effects have been reported in studies using uridine. However, extremely high dosages of uridine might result in diarrhea and fever. In addition, some individuals have claimed that consuming a lot of coffee while taking uridine may cause irritability.

To minimize the potential for negative reactions, it’s best to begin uridine treatment at the lowest effective dose and gradually increase it.

Bottom Line: Uridine Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosages

Although more research is needed to confirm the health benefits of uridine, it appears to play a crucial role in many important processes in the body. Because of its potential implications for brain and heart health and other areas, further study of uridine is warranted. As always, speak with your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References and Fact Checking

  • Gasser T, Moyer JD, Handschumacher RE. Novel single-pass exchange of circulating uridine in rat liver. Science. 1981 Aug 14;213(4509):777-8. doi: 10.1126/science.7256279. PMID: 7256279.
  • Agarwal N, Sung YH, Jensen JE, daCunha G, Harper D, Olson D, Renshaw PF. Short-term administration of uridine increases brain membrane phospholipid precursors in healthy adults: a 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy study at 4T. Bipolar Disord. 2010 Dec;12(8):825-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2010.00884.x. PMID: 21176029; PMCID: PMC3020593.
  • Wurtman RJ, Cansev M, Ulus IH. Synapse formation is enhanced by oral administration of uridine and DHA, the circulating precursors of brain phosphatides. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009 Mar;13(3):189-97. doi: 10.1007/s12603-009-0056-3. PMID: 19262950.
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  • Gallai V, Mazzotta G, Montesi S, Sarchielli P, Del Gatto F. Effects of uridine in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy: an electrophysiological study. Acta Neurol Scand. 1992 Jul;86(1):3-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1992.tb08045.x. PMID: 1325728.
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Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.