Phosphatidylserine is a greasy substance known as a phospholipid.
Every single cell in your body produces phosphatidylserine. The phospholipid helps protect and cover cells from attackers. Your blood cells use it to clot properly if you’re injured, and your brain uses it to make it easier to send messages between neurons.
You can find phosphatidylserine in some foods — such as soybeans, egg yolks, and liver. It’s also available as a supplement in powder and capsule forms. Eating phosphatidylserine may offer health benefits, particularly for your brain.
The vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in phosphatidylserine provide some important health benefits. Phosphatidylserine is known to act as an antioxidant, helping reduce the effects of dangerous free radicals on your body. This can help reduce your risk of developing conditions like diabetes and cancer.
Consuming phosphatidylserine can lead to several health benefits:
Large amounts of phosphatidylserine — up to 800 milligrams daily — may be linked to better recovery after heavy exercise.
Studies suggest that supplementing your diet with large amounts of phosphatidylserine can help decrease muscle soreness and reduce the amount of stress hormones your body releases during and after physical activity. This can result in a more pleasant exercise experience.
Phosphatidylserine may help reduce inflammation symptoms of several chronic conditions. Chronic inflammation is linked to many potential health problems — such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Studies suggest that getting enough phosphatidylserine to your diet can help reduce markers of chronic inflammation, lowering your risk of negative health effects. However, the topic would benefit from further research that includes human subjects.
Because of phosphatidylserine’s important role in brain signaling, it isn’t surprising that some studies show the nutrient improving memory.
In people with mild symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, diet supplementation with phosphatidylserine improved memory and cognitive abilities. However, it does appear that these effects wear off after supplementation stops. It may be important to continue taking phosphatidylserine to reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Early studies suggest that phosphatidylserine may help reduce depression, especially in people over the age of 65. This phospholipid is theorized to help the brain regulate mood, and it’s known that phosphatidylserine levels tend to drop as people get older.
One study found that regular supplementation of phosphatidylserine helps reduce symptoms of depression in nearly half of all subjects.
It appears that this phospholipid helps reduce impulsive and hyperactive behavior in children with ADHD. Phosphatidylserine supplements may also improve mood. While more studies need to be done on the subject, early trials are promising.
Although phosphatidylserine offers many health benefits and supplements your body’s overall function, consuming phosphatidylserine does carry some risk.
Mild Side Effects
Some people experience an upset stomach, bloating, or insomnia. However, these symptoms are mild and generally go away after supplementing your diet with phosphatidylserine for a few weeks.
Because of the role phosphatidylserine plays in blood-clotting, consuming more of it may thin your blood. People taking warfarin or any anti-inflammatory medication should consult their doctor before adding phosphatidylserine supplements to their diet.
Amounts and Dosage
According to one study, the human body can absorb between 300 and 800 milligrams of phosphatidylserine per day. Taking more than that will not lead to further absorption into the body — the excess will be processed and flushed out.
The average American diet involves about 130 milligrams of phosphatidylserine per day, so supplementing your diet with an additional 200 milligrams should bring you up to the absorption threshold. Dosages of up to 200 milligrams three times daily are generally safe.