Have you ever heard of phosphatidylserine?
Sure, it’s a mouthful word that you don’t come across every day, but surprisingly, it’s essential in the day-to-day metabolic processes of the body. This amino acid derivative is the key building block of human brain cells. It helps control what goes in and out of the cells.
But, despite the fact that the human body can produce its own phosphatidylserine, much of it comes from the food we eat.
Unfortunately, most of the foods rich in this vital compound are rare in the modern day diet. As such, supplements are administered to help boost phosphatidylserine (PS) levels in the body.
Here are some of the huge advantages of PS:
1. Combats Depression
Cortisol is a stress-causing hormone in the brain. When it’s produced in high amounts, it increases the stress levels. Phosphatidylserine helps keep the cortisol levels down, thereby, reducing the physical and mental effects of stress.
Also, PS helps increase the levels of important neurotransmitters that affect your moods and how well you can handle stress. This is because serotonin and dopamine – neurotransmitters responsible for keeping you happy and motivated respectively – are increased by PS.
2. Slows Down Age-Related Cognitive Decline
PS is proven to improve cognitive functions in seniors. When administered to elderly patients, there were notable improvements in their memory, behavior, and depressive symptoms.
PS levels naturally decrease with age. Thus, PS supplements are a huge benefit to seniors. When taken for longer periods, the supplements can also improve their mobility.
Besides seniors, PS can also be used by students to enhance their memory and concentration to improve their mental performance.
3. Reduces Symptoms of ADHD
Attention Disorder Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition prevalent in children, but can also continue to adulthood. When phosphatidylserine is administered to ADHD patients, they report enhanced mental focus and behavior.
These findings led to the development of Vayarin – a medical supplement prescribed for children with ADHD. It consists of Omega-3 fatty acids in addition to phosphatidylserine.
4. Increases Athletic Performance
If you’re looking to achieve a healthy body by hitting the gym or doing any other vigorous exercise, you may want to have some PS supplements in your gym pack.
In addition to reducing post-exercise stress caused by secretion of cortisol, PS helps improve physical performance by reducing tiredness. Thus, increase the amount of time you can exercise.
With PS supplements, you’ll have reduced muscle soreness after long hours of exercising.
5. Slows Down Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Since PS supplements help increase brain chemicals associated with memory and cell communication, they can be used to fight Alzheimer’s diseases which affect patients’ cognitive functions.
Although it’s not a cure, PS supplements significantly improve the condition of patients with less severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The supplements can also be used by patients suffering from dementia since the disease has similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Treats Parkison’s Disease Symptoms
Parkison’s disease affects the brain cells resulting in loss of intentional movements, such as walking. As such, it makes sense that PS – with its ability to promote proper brain function – can be used to treat Parkison’s disease.
The disease may also cause a reduction in the PS levels of your body, hence, the increasing need to take PS supplements.
7. Promotes Healthy Brain Cells
Since the human brain cell membrane is made of phosphatidylserine, prescribed PS supplements act as nourishment to these cells, promoting their healthy functioning.
Your brain’s ability to repair damaged brain cells as well as create new ones is enhanced by phosphatidylserine. PS also increases brain cells fluidity, enabling them to adapt and respond effectively to stressors.
8. Enhances Intake of Other Supplements
Phosphatidylserine works to improve the absorption of supplements that are less absorbed into the body. For instance, curcumin an active compound found in turmeric supplements, helps boosts the production of dopamine and serotonin that are responsible for motivation and happiness.
However, much of curcumin passes through the intestines without being absorbed. When taken together with PS supplements, curcumin absorption increases significantly. PS also works well with other nutrients such as fish oil and Ginkgo biloba.
The Best Sources of Phosphatidylserine
Now that you’re familiar with Phosphatidylserine benefits, it’s important to know the best sources of PS supplements
In most cases, PS can be found in two main sources:
Natural sources of PS include foods such as sheep’s milk, chicken heart, beef, and Atlantic herring. Cow’s brain used to be a good source, but due to fears of Mad Cow disease, it’s no longer recommended.
Check out this guide to find out more about other PS sources.
Supplements contain higher amounts of PS, compared to some natural PS sources. They are available in different forms including powder, capsules, and tablets.
The supplements are readily available at your local health center and even on online stores. It’s advised that you buy from reputable brands to avoid intoxication.
As for the dosage, there’s no clinically approved dose. However, most physicians recommend no more than 400mg of PS per day.
What About Side Effects?
Phosphatidylserine is safe when taken in the right amounts and can be used for a long period without major side effects.
However, when overdosed it can cause insomnia and stomach upsets.
It’s worth noting that, if you take blood-thinning and/or anti-inflammatory drugs, you’re not supposed to take PS supplements. This also applies to patients on medications that increase acetylcholine.
Nursing and expectant mothers should also avoid taking PS supplements.
Ask Your Doctor About Phosphatidylserine
The best way to ensure you enjoy the health benefits of phosphatidylserine is to consult your doctor. They’ll recommend whether or not the supplements are good for you and even offer other alternative options.
Are you concerned about your mental health? Check out this guide to help you understand more about mental illnesses.