Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid made up of amino acids and fatty acids. It plays an integral role in the development of healthy cell membranes.Phospholipids are an important type of lipid that is a predominant component of all cell membrane structures in the body and protects the cells. Phosphatidylserine is crucial for maintaining optimal cellular function, particularly in the brain. It’s also important in the formation of bone matrix, repair of cells and hormonal secretion by the adrenal glands.

The Traditional Benefits of Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine has traditionally been used as a cognitive and stress support agent due to the importance it has in proper brain function.

What is Phosphatidylserine Used For?

Phosphatidylserine may have numerous benefits to the mind and body, including the following: Helps Improve Effects of Alzheimer's Disease, Reduces Memory Loss, Helps Remedy Effects of Depression, Helps Reduce Negative Effects of ADHD

Benefits of Phosphatidylserine

Whether consumed through specific types of foods or through supplement forms, phosphatidylserine offers the body a number of benefits and may be effective in dealing with the following ailments. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that involves the gradual decline in cognitive function and memory. Those afflicted with the disease inevitably end up forgetting who they are, and they are no longer able to control many basic bodily functions. Studies have shown that phosphatidylserine supplements may be effective in improving brain cell communication and reducing the levels of brain chemicals that hinder memory. Some people who regularly take phosphatidylserine may see an improvement in their symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia; though, it seems to be most effective in those who are in the early stages of the disease and are suffering less severe symptoms. One particular study showed that Alzheimer’s patients who took 300 mg of phosphatidylserine daily over an 8-week period experienced more noticeable improvement in their overall well-being compared to study participants who took a placebo. Memory LossOne of the biggest effects of phosphatidylserine is its ability to combat cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. As people age, their cognitive abilities gradually decline, but supplementing with phosphatidylserine may be able to slow down this process of cognitive decline.Studies suggest that phosphatidylserine can help to not only improve memory and cognitive function, but also in mood and behavior as well. One particular study found that phosphatidylserine was able to foster significant improvements in cognitive and behavioral function in study participants.DepressionA deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to an increased incidence of depression. Those who suffer from depression are likely to be deficient in both omega-3s and phosphatidylserine.Research suggests that those who suffer from depression can combat their symptoms by supplementing with phosphatidylserine, which may help to positively impact the levels of brain neurotransmitters that are related to mood. In turn, this may help reduce the severity of depression and its symptoms.One particular study showed that elderly women with depression were able to significantly reduce the severity of their depression when they took 300 mg of phosphatidylserine daily for one month.ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition that affects a person's ability to focus. It negatively impacts brain development and activity that affects attention, self-control and the ability to control movement. ADHD is among the more common neurodevelopment disorders in childhood; though it affects adults as well.While there are pharmaceutical medications that have been developed and administered to combat ADHD, phosphatidylserine supplementation may be an effective natural source to reduce the negative symptoms associated with the condition.More specifically, studies have shown that phosphatidylserine may be effective at boosting memory and cognition function, increasing mental focus and elevating the mood.

Considerations When Supplementing with Phoshpatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine has been shown to be relatively safe for people when taken at the appropriate dose. That said, there may be certain minor side effects that phosphatidylserine supplementation may cause, including stomach upset and sleep issues(8). Anyone who may be considering taking phosphatidylserine should consult with a doctor first. Furthermore, certain individuals may not be suitable candidates for this supplement — including women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding — as there is not enough data to show its safety in these cases. As already mentioned, the body is already capable of producing its own phosphatidylserine. That said, there may be times when there is simply not enough production of the phospholipid. In this case, it may be necessary to supplement it by eating specific types of foods or taking a phosphatidylserine nutritional supplement on a daily basis in order to avoid deficiency.

Recommended Daily Allowance of Phosphatidylserine

The recommended daily dose of phosphatidylserine is between 100- 500 mg a day. On average, it should be safe to take approximately 100 mg three times daily.

Who is at Risk for a Phosphatidylserine Deficiency?

Unfortunately, the level of phosphatidylserine decreases with age, which is why it's more common for the elderly to suffer from some level of memory loss or cognitive dysfunction compared to younger individuals. Those who are already suffering from depression, ADHD or dementia are at greater risk of suffering from a phosphatidylserine deficiency than others. There are plenty of phosphatidylserine-rich foods that people can obtain this phospholipid from, including the following: Chicken, Beef, Veal, Turkey, Animal organs, such as liver, brain and heart, Cod, Tuna, Cow and sheep milk, Rice, Carrots, and Potatoes.

Citations and Sources

1. Glade M, Smith K. Phosphatidylserine and the human brain. Nutrition. 2015;31(6):781-786. [PubMed] 2. Kim H, Huang B, Spector A. Phosphatidylserine in the Brain: Metabolism and Function. Prog Lipid Res. 2014;0:1-18. [PMC] 3. Engel R, Satzger W, Günther W, et al. Double-blind cross-over study of phosphatidylserine vs. placebo in patients with early dementia of the Alzheimer type. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1992;2(2):149-155. [PubMed] 4. Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, Fiori M, Crepaldi G. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration. Aging (Milano). 1993;5(2):123-133. [PubMed] 5. Messamore E, McNamara R. Detection and treatment of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in psychiatric practice: Rationale and implementation. Lipids Health Dis. 2016;15:25. [PMC] 6. Maggioni M, Picotti G, Bondiolotti G, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine therapy in geriatric patients with depressive disorders. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1990;81(3):265-270. [PubMed] 7. Hirayama S, Terasawa K, Rabeler R, et al. The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014;27 Suppl 2:284-291. [PubMed] 8. Jorissen B, Brouns F, Van B, Riedel W. Safety of soy-derived phosphatidylserine in elderly people. Nutr Neurosci. 2002;5(5):337-343. [PubMed] 9. Kingsley M. Effects of phosphatidylserine supplementation on exercising humans. Sports Med. 2006;36(8):657-669. [PubMed]

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