Health Benefits of Phosphatidylserine

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

Health Benefits

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:

Reduced Muscle Fatigue and Soreness

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.

Reduced Inflammation

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.

Improved Memory

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.

Depression Ma nagement

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.

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One study found that regular supplementation of phosphatidylserine helps reduce symptoms of depression in nearly half of all subjects.

Reduced Symptoms of Childhood ADHD

When combined with omega-3 fatty acids, phosphatidylserine may help reduce symptoms of a ttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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.

Health Risks

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.

Blood-Thinning

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.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 06, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publishing: “Understanding acute and chronic inflammation.”

Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition: “Soybean-Derived Phosphatidylserine Improves Memory Function of the Elderly Japanese Subjects with Memory Complaints.”

Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics: “The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention‐deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled clinical trial.”

Mental Illness: “The Effects of Phosphatidylserine and Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Containing Supplement on Late Life Depression.”

Nutrition: “Phosphatidylserine and the human brain.”

Nutritional Neuroscience: “Safety of Soy-derived Phosphatidylserine in Elderly People.”

Nutrition Research: “Phosphatidylserine inhibits inflammatory responses in interleukin-1β-stimulated fibroblast-like synoviocytes and alleviates carrageenan-induced arthritis in rat.”

Progress in Lipid Research: “Phosphatidylserine in the Brain: Metabolism and Function.”

Sports Medicine: “Effects of Phosphatidylserine Supplementation on Exercising Humans.”

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