Phosphatidylserine is an important chemical with widespread functions in the body. It’s part of the cell structure and is key in the maintenance of cellular function, especially in the brain.
In other words, it’s a key building block for the billions of cells in your brain.
So it goes without saying, Phosphatidylserine (PS) is important.
How Is Phosphatidylserine Produced?
PS is produced by the body, but we actually get the majority of our intake from food. However when we’re not getting enough from our diet, taking PS in the form of a supplement is another option.
That’s All Well And Good… But I’m Still Not Entirely Sure What Phosphatidylserine Actually Is… Can You Explain?
Basically, PS is a compound that’s similar to a dietary fat which is highly prevalent in human neural tissue.
It is non-stimulatory and is a form of nootropic, and therefore may support cognitive function. PS supplementation in older individuals seems to improve both cognitive capacity and memory.
It’s good to take with fatty acids since the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA work together to provide building blocks for healthy cell membranes.
PS is critical to the maintenance of all cellular activity, especially in the brain.
Continue reading this article to discover all the other benefits PS can offer.
Phosphatidylserine Benefit #1: May Improve Cognitive Function
In one study, it was shown that taking 400mg of PS (in the form of a supplement) increased the speed of mathematical calculations. It also significantly reduced the number of errors and increased the total amount of correct calculations.
In another study, 494 elderly patients with severe cognitive decline (aged between 65 and 93) took either PS or a placebo over a six month period.
What were the results?
Yep - you guessed it. Significant improvements in cognitive parameters (and behavioral parameters) were observed in patients who had received PS compared to those who had taken the placebo.
And it’s not just these studies that indicate PS can improve cognitive function. 131 participants completed another study which showed PS may improve cognitive performance.
Phosphatidylserine Benefit #2: May Improve Memory
Have you ever complained about having a poor memory? As we age, many of us do.
But in a study of 78 people aged between 50 and 69, it was shown that supplementation of PS could improve the memory function of the elderly with memory complaints.
And in another study, 149 patients who met the criteria for age-associated memory impairment, were given either a PS formulation or a placebo.
After 12 weeks, the patients who were treated with the PS formulation improved relative to the patients taking the placebo on performance tests related to memory tasks of daily life.
And it’s not just the elderly who may see memory function improve with PS supplementation...
Another study was done on children between the ages of 4 and 14, to see if supplementation of PS could improve symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It’s important to note that none of the children in this study had received any drug treatment related to ADHD in the past.
The 36 participants were randomized into two groups. One group took a placebo. The other took a PS supplement.
As it turned out, the group taking the supplement saw significant improvements in ADHD symptoms and short-term auditory memory.
No significant differences were observed in the children taking the placebo.
Phosphatidylserine Benefit #3: May Improve Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. It can take away a person’s ability to think clearly. Everyday tasks become a challenge and people might not even remember who they are.
And while it’s important to mention that PS is not a cure, some research suggests it may improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease for some people.
The hereditary form of Alzheimer’s is associated with the accumulation of amyloid-beta in the brain, which is a small piece of a larger protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP). But a study showed that PS may prevent this accumulation, which could help prevent or slow the progression of the disease.
In another study, 51 patients who met clinical criteria for probable Alzheimer’s disease were studied. Patients were treated for 12 weeks with a formulation of PS or a placebo.
What were the results?
Well, those patients who were given PS improved on several cognitive measures compared to patients taking a placebo.
Though we must reiterate, this is not a cure. But it may improve symptoms for some people.
Phosphatidylserine Benefit #4: Reduces Symptoms of Depression
It seems that more and more people are experiencing symptoms of depression these days.
But could PS reduce these symptoms? According to one study, it may be able to.
And another study indicated that PS may be effective for late-life depression. This same study also found that omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA may also be effective.
Phosphatidylserine Benefit #5: Aids Athletic Performance
Do you wish you could exercise for longer without getting as tired?
Well, according to a study, supplementing PS might be able to improve exercise capacity in men.
And it’s not just athletic performance that PS might be able to aid. It may also be able to help with mobility, as you’ll see in benefit #6, below…
Phosphatidylserine Benefit #6: May Help With Mobility
A supplement which contained PS (as well as omega-3 fatty acids, gingko biloba and B Vitamins) was given to older women for a period of 6 months. The women taking this multi-nutrient supplement experienced an improvement in their mobility.
Phosphatidylserine Benefit #7: Can Reduce Stress
Cortisol is a steroid hormone which regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and immune response. Plus it also plays a vital role in helping the body respond to stress.
If your stress levels are high, then your body will produce more cortisol. High levels of cortisol over a prolonged period of time can result in negative consequences, such as rapid weight gain, easily bruised skin, muscle weakness, and many other health problems that you will want to avoid.
But following a stress test in a clinical trial with 80 people, PS supplementation reduced cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH, which controls cortisol release). It’s worth noting, however, that this effect was only seen with the 400mg dose and not with the higher dosages.
Additionally, a 400mg PS/400mg phosphatidic acid complex normalized ACTH and cortisol levels in chronically stressed people (this effect was not seen in people who were only experiencing low levels of stress).
This same effect was also shown to take place in another clinical trial, but this time subjects were taking a PS and an omega-3 supplement.
Risks and Side Effects
PS is considered safe when taken in appropriate dosages via the mouth.
A dosage of 600 mg per day (spread out over three doses of 200 mg) for 12 weeks was safe and well-tolerated in a clinical trial with 120 adults.
In another study, one hundred and fifty children took 150 mg per day of PS enriched with omega-3 fatty acids for a total of 30 weeks.
The study concluded that a 150 mg dose was well tolerated by the children over this 30 week time period, without any negative effect on body weight or growth.
Possible side effects you could experience from taking PS (especially when you take doses greater than 300 mg) include insomnia and stomach upset.
You should not take PS if you take any type of blood thinner. Plus you should also exercise caution if you combine it with natural blood-thinning supplements such as ginkgo biloba.
How To Increase Levels Naturally
Before we reveal how to increase your levels of PS naturally, you should first understand that there are a few things which are known to decrease PS levels.
These are aging, stress, modern food production and modern diets.
WHAT THIS MEANS: The older we get, the more we might need to focus on ensuring we’re getting enough PS through diet and supplementation.
So how can you obtain the benefits that PS has to offer with food?
Well, the highest dietary source is soy lecithin, which is derived from soybeans.
Cow brain is the next highest source...But I do NOT recommend this due to the risk of mad cow disease (and who wants to eat brains anyway?!).
Tuna, chicken and white beans are all excellent alternatives.
Phosphatidylserine is a key building block for the billions of cells in your brain.
Studies suggest it can improve cognitive function and memory, and may also address symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease for some people. (Though it’s important to mention it is NOT a cure.)
PS is considered safe when taken in appropriate dosages via the mouth.
While you should aim to get enough PS naturally through food sources, it may get harder to do so as we age due to the fact that aging is one of the few things known to decrease PS levels.
Therefore, you may want to take a supplement that contains phosphatidylserine, such as Memoxcel from ASR.
Click HERE to find out more about Memoxcel.
Precautions: If you have a chronic medical condition or if you’re trying to conceive, are pregnant, breastfeeding, under the age of 18 or taking other medications, speak with your doctor before taking phosphatidylserine.
Talk to your health care provider before combining phosphatidylserine with any other medications or supplements, especially blood thinners, anti-inflammatory drugs, performance-enhancing drugs or supplements, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, anticholinergic drugs, and cholinergic medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions.
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