What it is
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid essential for proper and healthy brain function. Cellular membranes are build of two layers, an inner layer exposed to the inside of a cell, and an outer layer exposed to the environment of the cell. PS is located mainly in the inner leaflet of cell membranes where it is involved in a number of cellular activities related to enzymatic functions and the transfer of signals from and to the cell (signal transduction).
While in most tissues PS in not a major constituent of cell membranes (no more than 3% in most tissues), human brain and other neuronal cell membranes are highly enriched with PS (up to 18%). Nerve cells depend on healthy membrane function for normal neuro-transmitter metabolism and nerve signal transmission.
Elevated PS levels in neuronal tissues ensures adequate structure and proper functioning of these important cells. Maintaining brain PS levels has been associated with normal and efficient signal transduction processes, efficient glucose metabolism and other biological pathways, which are crucial to the maintenance of normal and healthy cognitive and mental functions.
What it does
- Activation of signal molecules such as Akt.
Activity of Akt within neurons is mediated through PS and its activation promotes the survival of neurons. Human have the same number of neurons in their brains from their birth till adulthood - so keeping the neurons in good health is of UTMOST importance.
- Activation of cellular enzymes such as protein kinase C (PKC).
Activation of PKC is known to be PS dependent and its activity is essential for cognitive processes such as memory and learning (information storage processes).
- Reduction of cortisol levels
Administration of PS may counteract stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans.
- Influence on synaptic plasticity.
- Effect on brain waves (intensity and frequencies)
- Improvement of glucose utilization
Glucose is the preferred energy substrate for nerve cells and an indicator of brain activity.
More functions include:
- May improve symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
- Aids the slowdown of age-related cognitive decline
- Combats depression
- Improves Parkinson's disease
- Treats ADHD
- Boosts Athletic performance
100mg PS per day is the minimally proven effective daily dose
For more immediate results, 4 weeks of 200mg/day supplementation followed by 100mg/day supplementation may be recommended.
Studies testing the effect of PS supplementation in children used doses of 100-200mg PS per day, for periods up to 2 months. In these studies, intake of PS was shown to reduce inattention, reduce restlessness, improve memory and learning, and improve mood and behaviour. Consumption was shown to be safe and no adverse events were reported.
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IF YOU GET TOO LITTLE:
IF YOU GET TOO MUCH:
PS in considered safe when taken in the appropriate dosages. Possible side effects of PS especially at doses over 300mg/day include insomnia and upset stomach.
You should not take phosphatidylserine if you take any type of blood thinner.
Use caution when combining it with natural blood thinning supplements like ginkgo biloba.