3 Reasons Why Phosphatidylserine Supplements Are Highly Recommended

Krista H January 17, 2019

Although the benefits associated with phosphatidylserine are vast, the majority of people have never heard of this fatty substance. Considering phosphatidylserine protects nerve cells and supports the transmission of signals in the brain, these are just some of the reasons why you should ensure that you get enough on a daily basis.

Although naturally found in certain foods, such as beef liver and egg yolks, many people require supplementation. If you are interested in a phosphatidylserine supplement, here’s what you need to know.

What Role Does Phosphatidylserine Play within the Human Body?

Technically speaking, phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid. Being an essential component of human cells, more specifically the cell membrane, PS plays a key role in many cellular functions.

More specifically, evidence has continued to pile, highlighting the importance of PS in regards to mental function. Although your body does produce enough PS to ensure that specific needs are met, in order to obtain a therapeutic dose, supplementation is often required.

With its ability to support optimal brain function, PS is particularly important for the aging population. After all, if the brain cannot communicate effectively within itself, this can lead to mental decline. It has also shown to support athletes, enhancing muscle responses and overall performance levels.

So, Why Should I Take a Phosphatidylserine Supplement If My Body Makes It?

As mentioned, your body can make phosphatidylserine — so why is supplementation necessary?

Well, although PS is naturally present in the body, the majority is sourced from the foods you eat. With that being said, the levels present in everyday foods are typically low. Since PS is a universal building block for cell membranes, you want to ensure that your body has access to optimal levels consistently.

While one of the richest sources is cow brain, the majority of the population is not interested in this food source, especially in relation to possible disease and contamination. Outside of organ meats, egg yolks are another source, which isn’t ideal for those who are vegan. Although found in soy, cabbage, and white beans, these sources aren’t typically enough.

With its ability to produce such a wide range of beneficial effects, especially in terms of the brain, a quality supplement can act as a natural brain-booster.

3 Reasons to Consider a Phosphatidylserine Supplement

If you’re wondering whether or not you’re currently getting enough PS, be sure to check out our previous post — Are You Getting Enough Phosphatidylserine?

Whether you believe you’re getting the recommended amount or not, enhancing your intake can lead to positive effects in relation to your health and overall quality of life.

If you need three reasons why this dietary supplement, here’s what you should know about the available research and associated benefits.

1. Phosphatidylserine Has Been Shown to Combat Mental and Physical Stress

Phosphatidylserine supplements have been shown to help combat stress, as it can naturally lower cortisol levels. As you’re likely aware, cortisol is what’s often referred to as the core stress hormone — which is produced in the adrenal cortex.

Whether stress is mental or physical, an increase in cortisol leads to your “fight or flight” response. This triggers everything from an increased heart rate to greater mental alertness. Although beneficial in the short term, prolonged feelings of stress can wreak havoc on your immune system and overall health.

Shown to reduce concentrations of both cortisol and ACTH (another stress-related hormone), phosphatidylserine supplements may support your body’s ability to better modulate the physiological changes associated with stress.

In this study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it was found that PS offered effective supplementation when aiming to combat exercise-induced stress. In turn, this intervention may prevent the physiological deterioration associated with too much exercise.

Overall, it was concluded that PS prevents muscle soreness, speeds up recovery, and improves well-being. The same is true in relation to mental stress, as PS has been shown to improve the process of coping with increased levels of mental stress.

This leads us to reason number two — particularly those who suffer from mood disorders.

Creepy blurred photo of a person's face and a furry hood

2. Phosphatidylserine may help combat mood disorders

Depression is the leading cause of disability among American adults ages 15 to 44.3. In fact, more than 16.1 million Americans live with major depressive disorder, which significantly impacts their quality of life and overall well-being.

Although the cause of one’s depression is often complex, studies have shown that depressed patients tend to showcase compromised blood flow to key regions of the brain, in addition to neurotransmitter abnormalities.

That is why researchers often recommend a combination of PS and omega-3 in regards to supplementation. In this key study, published in Mental Illness, it was found that this combination may be an effective solution for late-life depression.

It is also believed that PS stimulates specific neurotransmitters which regulate mood. These include both dopamine and serotonin. This has also sparked interest among researchers interested in generalized anxiety disorder. Shown to decrease corticotropin-releasing hormone and cortisol levels, PS may offer support as part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.

In that sense, PS is also ideal for those suffering from chronic stress. This is particularly true in regards to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPAA). This was shown in a 2014 study, as 400 mg of PS normalized the hyper-responsivity of the HPAA.

 

Phosphatidylserine May Decline with Age, Impacting Cognition

Since PS is characterized as a brain-specific nutrient, researchers believe that a decline in PS may relate to age-related cognitive impairment. However, the benefits of PS are not restricted to the aging population. As mentioned above, PS can support younger adults in regards to stress coping and in children, PS has been shown to help those living with ADHD.

In fact, this study, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, found that PS supplementation significantly improved symptoms of ADHD and short-term auditory memory while reducing the impact of symptoms such as inattention and impulsivity. The supplement itself (200 mg daily) was given to children aged 4-14 years old and showed no adverse effects.

Related: The Concise Guide to Vitamin B5: Why You Need It and Where to Find It

When it comes to phosphatidylserine’s ability to protect the aging population from cognitive decline, supplementation has even been shown to support those living with Alzheimer’s. This was highlighted in one study, published in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders. After three weeks of supplementation (500 mg of PS per day), the participants experienced a 14.8 percent increase in their global metabolic rate, further supporting cognitive performance.

Other studies have also shown that doses of 100 mg, three times daily can have a positive impact on those living with Alzheimer’s disease. More specifically, this supplement tends to pair well with resveratrol and curcumin, especially in regards to the hippocampus — an area of the brain that’s associated with memory and learning.

How to Take Phosphatidylserine

As stated by University Health News Daily, the recommended dose is between 200 and 800 mg daily. However, for the majority of conditions, 200 to 400 mg daily is typically sufficient. They recommend that you take 200 mg to start and increase the dose gradually.

Like any new supplement, it’s imperative that you know what you’re taking and what you hope to achieve. This is especially critical if you are currently on any medication, as supplements can interfere with their mechanisms of action. Whether you would like to boost mental performance or as an athlete, blunt the effects of cortisol following strenuous exercise, there are quality supplements available.

If you are on-the-hunt for a more well-rounded supplement in regards to your physical and mental health, a quality multi-vitamin can help you achieve various health-related goals and support optimal well-being.

At the end of the day, form matters, dose matters, and quality matters. Please refer to our approach to better understand the level of research and transparency that’s required when developing a supplement that delivers.

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Krista H
Krista H
Krista majored in psychology and neuroscience, focusing on degenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. As she continued her research, she began to study the complex relationship between lifestyle variables and neurological health, including the impact these variables have on mood disorders and general wellness. She currently specializes in all aspects of neurological and physiological health, especially in relation to nutrition.
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