Phosphatidylserine, or PS for short, is a member of a class of chemical compounds known as phospholipids. PS is an essential component in all our cells; specifically, it is a major component of the cell membrane. The cell membrane is a kind of "skin" that surrounds living cells. Besides keeping cells intact, this membrane performs vital functions such as moving nutrients into cells and pumping waste products out of them. PS plays an important role in many of these functions.
Good evidence suggests that PS can help declining mental function and depression in the elderly, and it is widely used for this purpose in Italy, Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe. PS has also been marketed as a "brain booster" for people of all ages, said to sharpen memory and increase thinking ability. However, the evidence to support this use is incomplete and inconsistent.
Your body makes all the PS it needs. However, the only way to get a therapeutic dosage of PS is to take a supplement.
PS was originally manufactured from the brains of cows, and all the studies described here used this form. However, because animal brain cells can harbor viruses, that form is no longer available. Most PS today is made from soybeans or other plant sources.
For the purpose of improving mental function, PS is usually taken in dosages of 100 mg two to three times daily. After maximum effect is achieved, the dosage can reportedly be reduced to 100 mg daily without losing benefit. PS can be taken with or without meals.
When taking PS for sports purposes, athletes sometimes take as much as 800 mg daily.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Phosphatidylserine?
Alzheimer's Disease and Other Forms of Dementia
Overall, the evidence for animal-source PS in dementia is fairly strong. Double-blind studies involving a total of more than 1,000 people suggest that phosphatidylserine is an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Keep in mind, too, that Alzheimer's disease and other types of severe age-related mental impairment are too serious to treat on your own with PS or any other supplement. In some cases, the symptoms of these diseases could be confused with symptoms of other serious conditions. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have a severe age-related mental impairment, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
Prescription blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin) , heparin , aspirin , pentoxifylline (Trental) , clopidogrel (Plavix) , or ticlopidine (Ticlid) : Do not use phosphatidylserine except on a physician's advice.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -