Phosphatidylserine (PS), a ubiquitous, endogenously oc-curring phospholipid, is the major acidic phospholipid in the brain. PS and other phospholipids make up the basic structural compo-nents of the cell membrane. These membrane phospholipids play an important role in cell-to-cell communication and transfer of biochemical messages into the cell, which trigger cellular responses. The proper functioning of these processes is of ultimate impor-tance, especially in the central nervous system. It is theorized that PS enhances cellular metabolism and communication by influenc-ing the fluidity of cell membranes.Oral supplementation of PS has been shown to affect neuronal membranes, cell metabolism, and specific neurotransmitter systems, including acetylcholine, norepi-nephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Numerous clinical trials have established that PS exerts significant benefit for cognition, especially those functions that tend to decline with age, including memory, learning,vocabulary skills and concentration.
What Is Phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid that contains both amino acids and fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA work synergistically with PS to provide the building blocks for healthy cell membranes. The human body can make phosphatidylserine, but it obtains most of what it requires from foods.
Phospholipids, which surround all of our cells, are essential molecules that provide cellular structure and protection. A phospholipid molecule is constructed from four components: fatty acids, a platform to which the fatty acids are attached, a phosphate and an alcohol attached to the phosphate. Phospholipids line up and arrange themselves into two parallel layers known as a phospholipid bilayer. This is the layer that makes up your cell membranes and is critical to each of your cell’s ability to function.
Phosphatidylserine is critical to the maintenance of all cellular function, especially in the brain. Research also shows that it’s important to:
·Bone matrix formation
·Cell repair and removal by the immune system
·Hormone secretion by the adrenal glands
Phosphatidylserine is a chemical. The body can make phosphatidylserine, but gets most of what it needs from foods. Phosphatidylserine supplements were once made from cow brains, but now are commonly manufactured from cabbage or soy. The switch was triggered by a concern that products made from animal sources might cause infections such as mad cow disease.
Health Benefits of Phosphatidylserine
1)Phosphatidylserine Improves Memory
Phosphatidylserine supplementation increased the speed of calculations done in short-term memory by 20% in a group of healthy adult volunteers .
Children with ADHD also saw in improvement in short-term memory after supplementing phosphatidylserine .
Senior citizens who supplemented phosphatidylserine had a lower incidence of short-term memory complaints following supplementation .
2) Phosphatidylserine Improves Stress Response
Supplementing phosphatidylserine lowered the release of cortisol, the hormone which is associated with many of the negative effects of stress .
Studies also found that subjective responses to stress, measured in a survey known as the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), were improved with the supplementation of phosphatidylserine .
3) Phosphatidylserine Aids Athletic Performance
Phosphatidylserine may also increase the time that it takes for people who are exercising to become tired . This could help athletes gain more of the positive effects of exercising by exercising more.
While exercise brings a huge number of benefits, it can also cause a temporary increase of stress hormones . Phosphatidylserine measurably reduced the negative hormonal response to exercise in multiple studies, which could be beneficial to athletes .
One study also found a correlation with increased performance in subjective athletic ability in trained golfers following supplementation .
4) Phosphatidylserine Helps Relieve ADHD Symptoms in Children
Phosphatidylserine supplementation significantly improved short-term auditory memory in children with ADHD .
Phosphatidylserine combined with DHA also helped improve the memory and behavioral symptoms of ADHD in children more than DHA alone . More research may be needed to see if the same efficacy is seen in adults.
5) Phosphatidylserine Helps Prevent and Treat Alzheimer’s Disease
The hereditary form of Alzheimer’s is associated with an accumulation of a chemical waste substance called amyloid beta in the brain. Studies have shown that phosphatidylserine prevents amyloid beta from accumulating in the brain, which could help prevent or slow the progression of the disease .
Alzheimer’s Disease causes the brain to use glucose less efficiently . Phosphatidylserine supplementation improved glucose metabolism in brains affected by this condition .
6) Phosphatidylserine Aids Recovery From Injury
Due to the many roles that it plays as an integral part of cell structure, there is evidence that phosphatidylserine may aid recovery from physical injury.
Phosphatidylserine may contribute to recovery from reduced blood flow.
Due to phospatidylserine’s integral role in cell membranes, researchers have suggested that phosphatidylserine could aid in recovery after situations resulting in impaired blood flow, such as heart disease .
Phosphatidylserine also aids in the formation of bones from minerals in the body, and researchers have suggested potential applications for phosphatidylserine as a bone repairing molecule for use in recovery from surgery.
A standard dose of phosphatidylserine (PS) is 100mg, taken 3 times a day to total 300mg daily. This dose seems to be effective as a daily preventative against cognitive decline, and 100mg once daily may provide some degree of benefit (but may be lesser than 300mg).
Studies in children and adolescents for the purpose of attention improvement tend to use 200mg, and a dose of 200-400mg has been used in adult non-elderly humans with success. Animal evidence tends to use a dose correlating to 550mg as well.
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