Uridine Monophosphate Ingredient Guide
What Is It? Should You Use It?
Now, you probably won’t have heard a great deal about UMP.
That is simply because it is rarely found in the formulas of the most popular nootropics today.
Uridine Monophosphate has never been commonly used, even by nootropic enthusiasts as a standalone supplement. It is still rarely seen, although more people do use it as part of their own, custom-made stack than ever before.
Put it simply, Uridine Monophosphate (UMP) is a rarely used cognitive enhancer.
Yet that does not mean that it is any less of an effective cognitive enhancer than, say, Alpha GPC or Huperzine A.
In fact, a mounting body of evidence suggests that UMP might be an immensely effective nootropic substance if used correctly.
More nootropic stacks are appearing on the market which use UMP as a primary ingredient.
There is a growing number of people on the major nootropic forums who report using UMP and getting a great deal from it.
As a result, many of you are probably wondering what this ingredient is all about.
Unfortunately though, there aren’t many articles out there providing an in-depth, detailed, thorough analysis of this compound. There are even fewer that are impartial. Almost none offer practical advice for how to utilize this ingredient, or how you might get similar benefits using more readily-available substances.
So, we decided to do a full ingredient guide on Uridine Monophosphate to help you understand this substance a little better.
What is this little-known substance exactly?
Where does it come from? Is it natural or synthetic?
Does it affect cognition? How so?
Who is it useful for?
How should you use it to get the main benefits?
Are there any side effect risks associated with use of Uridine Monophosphate?
Can you get the same benefits from other, more common-place substances?
Are other substances more effective?
We try to answer all of these questions in the article below. This is not meant to be a completely exhaustive guide to UMP and all of its potential uses. We are going to look at the supposed nootropic benefits, the evidence supporting them, and a comparison between UMP and other nootropic substances. Ideally, we think this article will serve as a basis for your own further research,
If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments section below.
What Is Uridine Monophosphate?
Uridine monophosphate is a nucleotide that binds to other molecules to form RNA; the nucleic acid responsible for gene coding and expression.
Uridine is one of the 5 standard nucleosides that go to make up nucleic acids.
Nucleic acids are biopolymers absolutely necessary for all forms of life that we know of.
They form both ribonucleic acid (RNA), and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). We don’t need to explain to you what these acids are or how crucial they are for human life.
So, a pretty important compound then, as far as things go.
We do consume Uridine in one form or another in our natural diet.
Funnily enough, the foodstuff that is naturally highest in Uridine is beer.
Uridine is also found in enormous amounts in breast milk, but we aren’t considering that a natural part of most people’s diet (since everyone reading this is above breast-feeding age – we hope anyway!).
Smaller amounts are found in some vegetables, as well as in livers.
However, the amount we consume from our diet is generally pretty small. Very little UMP that we consume is absorbed by the body; the vast majority of it seems to get digested and excreted.
Is It A Nootropic?
While the method of action remains unclear, several studies have shown that uridine monophosphate supplementation can lead to significant improvements in memory function and learning ability.
Much of this evidence relies on animals studies, but the benefits are, in theory, translatable.
In one study, published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, found that adult gerbils fed a number of compounds experienced clear improvements in their ability to learn, remember, and focus.
The researchers concluded: “These data show that oral administration to gerbils of three compounds normally present in the circulation—UMP, DHA, and choline—can significantly improve cognitive performance.”
The subjects were found to be able to navigate a maze much faster after supplementation. We can infer from this that the subject rodents had better short-term, working memory and an increased ability to apply that memory practically.
The presence of DHA and choline – two well-known and hugely important dietary factors for cognitive performance – bears discussing. DHA is one of the main structural components of the brain. As much as half of a neuron’s plasma membrane is composed of DHA.
It isn’t surprising then that a diet deficient in DHA leads to impaired mental performance.
However, the presence of DHA and choline alone cannot explain the improvements exhibited by the animals in the study. The results actually seem to suggest that DHA is made much more effective by the presence of UMP. As the researchers themselves state: “this to our knowledge is the first study to demonstrate that co-administration of UMP further enhances the effects of DHA”.
Uridine seems to have some powerful effects on mood and subjective well-being too.
While many people do not consider this a nootropic benefit, having a positive subjective outlook is extremely important for your productivity, your cognitive function, not to mention your long-term health.
At least one study has found that Uridine supplementation can have a positive effect on people suffering with bipolar disorder.
Take a look at this report of a clinical trial.
The researchers here took a group of adolescents with reported depressive symptoms. They recorded their well-being according to various tests, including the Children’s Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R).
The researchers found the following: “The mean CDRS-R raw score at study entry was 65.6. The mean CDRS-R score for participants completing 6 weeks of treatment with uridine was 27.2.”
The researchers here noted that more trials were needed, with more participants and a longer period of observation. They recommended that Uridine not be considered for clinical use, at least until many more trials have been done. However, the results here are very interesting for anyone looking for some kind of anxiolytic to add to their current daily stack.
Slowing Mental Decline?
Perhaps the most promising property of UMP is its seeming ability to help slow the onset of cognitive decline, or perhaps to mitigate its onset entirely for a period of time.
In one commonly-cited study, researchers observed that UMP administration led to an increase in phosphatides of over 20% in under a month. A 20% increase in one month!
More interestingly, this increase was down to taking UMP alone.
When researchers combined DHA, UMP and choline, phosphatide levels actually rose by an enormous 45%.
As many of you will know, phosphatides are the major constituents of synaptic membranes. The more phosphatides that are available to the brain, the more frequently synaptogenesis can occur (synaptogenesis is the formation of synapses between neurons in the central nervous system).
If you are interested in maximizing your brain’s long term health and performance potential, then ensuring that it has all of the raw materials it need to perform proper maintenance is a vital step.
By boosting phosphotide levels so aggressively, stacking UMP with DHA and choline may help maintain synapse proliferation and long-term synapse health.
Degradation of synapses no doubt contributes in some way to cognitive decline.
Not being able to properly maintain your synapses will certainly hold you back from reaching your full potential as far as mental performance goes.
As far as nootropic ingredients go, then, this stuff seems pretty good.
How Good Is UMP Compared To Other Nootropics?
Now that we’ve looked at what Uridine Monophosphate is and what it can potentially do to your cognitive functioning, we can start to look at how it might fit in to someone’s stack.
Is there any reason why you should use UMP?
Are there better options for achieving the same end goals?
Let’s take a look at the key benefits one might expect from using UMP:
- Increase in synapse proliferation
- Decrease in some depressive symptoms
- Boost choline levels in the brain
- Improved mood
- Better working memory
- Higher phosphotide levels meaning better long-term brain health
That is a very nice list of benefits.
Certainly anyone looking for a good all-rounder to add to their stack will look at this with great excitement.
But we need to ask ourselves; is this really so impressive?
Does UMP do these things particularly well?
For sure, these benefits can all be achieved by using other, much more commonplace substances.
UMP may well boost phosphatide presence in the brain, but this can be achieved much more effectively through supplementation of straight-up phosphatidylserine.
When supplementing with PS, you will be able to gauge how availability in the brain will increase much more accurately.
We aren’t certain that we have enough data on UMP to properly predict how much PS you should be taking. After all, as we pointed out at the start, most of the trials conducted here used animals; rats and gerbils to be exact.
Perhaps future trials looking at human subjects will uncover huge variability in phosphatide levels post-supplementation.
They may uncover a difference in how humans and gerbils process UMP; things like PS may be unaffected.
Yet we KNOW that PS supplementation leads to higher levels in the brain, which in turn supports long term brain health and, of course, functionality.
Why not stick with what you know?
Things like short term memory can be greatly increased through the use of such things as Alpha-GPC, Citicoline, or Choline Bitartrate.
Long-term memory can be reliably increased by supplementing with Bacopa monnieri on a daily basis.
These substances all have a lot more scientific data behind them than UMP.
Importantly, they have all been specifically studied in human trials, not just on rats.
More data means more reliability, more predictable results, and greater peace of mind.
As amazing as UMP seems, we think much of what it can achieve needs to be thought of as potential rather than concrete fact.
A combination of Bacopa monnieri, Phosphatidylserine, and CDP-Choline can do everything UMP can do.
The difference is, we KNOW that this stack can do it in humans, whereas we THINK UMP can.
When using a stack like this, we can also tweak the doses around. UMP seems like it can do all of the benefits listed above, but perhaps not all at the same time, nor across all users.
Until we see a long-term, human trial showing that all the promised benefits of UMP occur in all users and to the same degree, we’re forced to consider these possibilities.
Dangers Of Uridine Monophosphate Use
If you’ve come this far and you’re still considering using UMP, then you probably have one key question left on your mind:
Is Uridine Monophosphate safe?
How can I protect myself from side effects?
How do I use UMP safely?
Well, fortunately, uridine monophosphate appears to be relatively safe for the vast majority of users.
That is to say that it seems to cause people little bother, judging by the user reviews posted on forums.
Chemically, it looks pretty benign to us so long as we are talking about sensible doses.
What constitutes a sensible dose?
Well, it seems that the majority of users consume somewhere between 100mg and 300mg, so that range can be thought to be relatively safe for most people.
Side effects are reported to be mild, generally speaking. They are very uncommon at doses around 150mg. Obviously, the higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience side effects.
However, that is not to say that UMP is absolutely safe for all users.
Nor are we saying that we think it is comparatively safer than other ingredients that do similar things.
Remember, the majority of studies looking at UMP have used small animals as their subjects. Very few trials have been done on humans to date.
If you have an underlying condition that may be exacerbated by UMP, then you should avoid taking it altogether.