Phosphatidylserine (PS)
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is classified as a phospholipid. Phospholipids are fats that are found in every cell of the human body. Phosphatidylserine can be found in very high concentrations in the brain, where it is responsible for keeping cell membranes fluid, flexible, and ready to process essential nutrients. PS is also a very important support chemical for nerve tissue. As a support to the nervous system, PS aids proper release and reception of neurotransmitters in the brain. PS helps to ensure that memory-related pathways function smoothly.

Some research shows that when PS levels naturally decrease with increasing age, so too does the ability to learn, remember, and stay alert. Depression may also develop as a result of age-related phosphatidylserine insufficiency. PS supplements have been proposed as a partial solution to such developments. Rapidly absorbed into the brain, these supplements may compensate for low PS levels and thus prevent or even reverse age-related declines in brain function. PS actually appears in numerous foods, including rice and green leafy vegetables, but only in small amounts. Commercially prepared supplements offer a concentrated source.

Up until a few years ago, phosphatidylserine supplements were manufactured from animal sources, specifically from cows' brains. But because of concerns about the potential for cross-species infection (mad cow disease), supplements are now derived from a plant source, soy lecithin.

Studies indicate that phosphatidylserine supplements may help to revitalize age-impaired brain function. However, there is no solid research evidence to indicate that adding PS supplements to the diet in this way will make any difference. Specifically, phosphatidylserine may help to:

arw Lessen age-related decline in brain functioning.

arw Slow brain function decline in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

arw Combat depression.

arw Increase ability to handle stress.
What is Phosphatidyl Serine (PS)?

Phosphatidylserine (abbreviated Ptd-L-Ser or PS) is a phospholipid component, usually kept on the inner-leaflet (the cytosolic side) of cell membranes by an enzyme called flippase. It increases the rate of protein synthesis during periods normally marked by muscle breakdown and can aid in memory function.

Where is it Found?
The Body - phosphatidylserine can be produced in the body. Within the body, higher concentrations of phosphatidylserine are found within the internal organs.
The brain, liver and kidney have relatively high concentrations of phosphatidylserine.

Food Sources of Phosphatidylserine - phosphatidylserine can also be obtained externally from dietary sources. PS can be found in meat, but is most abundant in the brain and in innards such as liver and kidney. Only small amounts of PS can be found in dairy products or in vegetables, with the exception of white beans.Oily fish such as mackerel and tuna are rich sources of phosphatidylserine; specifically soybean oil, is the primary dietary source for PS, followed by wheat gluten and peanuts.more limited concentrations of phosphatidylserine can be found in dairy products, rice and root vegetables like carrot, beet, potatoes.

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Benefits / Uses
Phosphatidylserine is a naturally-occurring molecule important for brain function. Although the body can make its own phosphatidylserine, most of the nutrient is obtained through the diet. Phosphatidylserine is also available in supplement form. Phosphatidylserine supplements are sometimes claimed to be beneficial for the following conditions:

arw Age-related cognitive decline (problems in mental functioning, such as memory loss)

arw Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia

arw Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

arw Depression.

Phosphatidylserine is also used for improving mental functioning in young people and improving athletic performance.

Most people take in about 130 mg of phosphatidylserine through their diet. For improvement in mental functions, phosphatidylserine is given in 100 mg doses two to three times daily. Athletes taking phosphatidylserine to build muscle might take 800 mg a day. The total amount of phosphatidylserine in the body is about 60 grams, 30 grams of which is in the brain.

Possible Side-Effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions
Phosphatidylserine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people. It’s been used in research studies for up to six months. Phosphatidylserine use can, however, cause side effects including insomnia and stomach upset, particularly at doses over 300 mg. There is some concern that products made from animal sources could transmit diseases, such as mad cow disease. To date, there aren't any known cases of humans getting animal diseases from phosphatidylserine supplements, but look for supplements made from plants to be on the safe side.

Special Precautions & Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of phosphatidylserine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Be on the safe side and avoid use.
Phosphatidylserine can also cause the throat to swell, another allergic reaction.
A feeling of being out of breath or outright breathing difficulty can occur while using phosphatidylserine. If this occurs stop use immediately.
Rashes and/or itching can occur with the use of phosphatidylserine. This allergic reaction symbolizes an inability for the body to handle the medicine properly.

Possible Interactions
Some drying medications are called anticholinergic drugs. Phosphatidylserine might increase chemicals that can decrease the effects of these drying medications.

Some drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines) and for depression (antidepressants).
Medications for Alzheimer's disease (Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors) interacts with phosphatidylserine. It might increase a chemical in the body called acetylcholine. Medications for Alzheimer's disease called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors also increase the chemical acetylcholine. Taking phosphatidylserine along with medications for Alzheimer's disease might increase effects and side-effects of medications for Alzheimer's disease.

Some acetylcholinesterase medications include donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Reminyl, Razadyne)
Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs) interacts with phosphatidylserine.

Research Studies / References


arw Blokland A, Honig W, Brouns F, Jolles J (October 1999). "Cognition-enhancing properties of subchronic phosphatidylserine (PS) treatment in middle-aged rats: comparison of bovine cortex PS with egg PS and soybean PS". Nutrition 15 (10): 778-83. doi:10.1016/S0899-9007(99)00157-4. PMID 10501292.

arw Crook, T. H.; R. M. Klatz (ed) (1998). Treatment of Age-Related Cognitive Decline: Effects of Phosphatidylserine in Anti-Aging Medical Therapeutics. 2. Chicago: Health Quest Publications. pp. 20-29.

arw Jorissen BL, Brouns F, Van Boxtel MP, Ponds RW, Verhey FR, Jolles J, Riedel WJ. (2001). "The influence of soy-derived phosphatidylserine on cognition in age-associated memory impairment.". Nutritional Neuroscience 4 (2): 121-34. PMID 11842880.

arw Jäger R, Purpura M, Kingsley M (7 2007). "Phospholipids and sports performance". Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 4: 5. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-5. PMID 17908342.

arw Starks MA, Starks SL, Kingsley M, Purpura M, Jäger R (7 2008). "The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise". Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 5: 11. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-11. PMID 18662395.

arw Jäger R, Purpura M, Geiss KR, Weiß M, Baumeister J, Amatulli F, Schröder L, Herwegen H. (12 2007). "The effect of phosphatidylserine on golf performance". Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 4 (1): 23. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-23. PMID 18053194.

arw Hirayama S, Masuda Y, Rabeler R (September/October 2006).
e"Effect of phosphatidylserine administration on symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children". Agro Food 17 (5): 32-36.

arw Vaisman N, Kaysar N, Zaruk-Adasha Y, Pelled D, Brichon G, Zwingelstein G, Bodennec J (2008). "Correlation between changes in blood fatty acid composition and visual sustained attention p rformance in children with inattention: effect of dietary n-3 fatty acids containing phospholipids.". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 87 (5): 1170-1180. PMID 18469236.

arw Jorissen BL, Brouns F, Van Boxtel MP, Riedel WJ (October 2002). "Safety of soy-derived phosphatidylserine in elderly people". Nutr Neurosci 5 (5): 337-343. doi:10.1080/1028415021000033802. PMID 12385596.

arw Hoffmann PR, Kench JA, Vondracek A, et al. (February 2005). "Interaction between phosphatidylserine and the phosphatidylserine receptor inhibits immune responses in vivo". J. Immunol. 174 (3): 1393-404. PMID 15661897.



Carr DJ, Guarcello V, Blalock JE (September 1992). "Phosphatidylserine suppresses antigen-specific IgM production by mice orally administered sheep red blood cells". Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 200 (4): 548-54. PMID 1508948.

arw Souci SW, Fachmann E, Kraut H (2008). Food Composition and Nutrition Tables. Medpharm Scientific Publishers Stuttgart.