PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE Overview Information
Phosphatidylserine is a chemical. The body can make phosphatidylserine, but gets most of what it needs from foods. Phosphatidylserine supplements were once made from cow brains, but now are commonly manufactured from cabbage or soy. The switch was triggered by a concern that products made from animal sources might cause infections such as mad cow disease.
Phosphatidylserine is most commonly used for improving mental function, especially in the elderly.
How does it work?
Phosphatidylserine is an important chemical with widespread functions in the body. It is part of the cell structure and is key in the maintenance of cellular function, especially in the brain.
Possibly Effective for:
- Age-related mental decline. Phosphatidylserine seems to improve attention, language skills, and memory in aging people with declining thinking skills. Most research has used phosphatidylserine from cow brains. But most phosphatidylserine supplements are now made from soy or cabbage. It is not as well known whether these newer products made from plants have the same benefit. But there is early evidence that plant-derived phosphatidylserine also improves memory in people with age-related memory loss. Also, some research shows that taking a product containing plant-derived phosphatidylserine enriched with the fatty acid DHA helps improve memory and attention in older women complaining of memory loss. The product seems to work best in people with less severe symptoms.
- Alzheimer's disease. Taking phosphatidylserine can improve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease after 6-12 weeks of treatment. It seems to work best in people with less severe symptoms. But phosphatidylserine might become less effective over time. After 16 weeks of treatment, progression of Alzheimer's disease seems to overcome any benefit provided by phosphatidylserine.
Most research has used phosphatidylserine from cow brains. But most phosphatidylserine supplements are now made from soy or cabbage. Researchers do not yet know how phosphatidylserine made from these plant sources compares with phosphatidylserine made from cow brains in terms of effectiveness for Alzheimer's disease.
- Improving athletic performance. Taking phosphatidylserine for 6 weeks before playing golf might improve how well a golfer tees off. But it doesn't seem to reduce stress or heart rate during golf competition. Other research shows that taking phosphatidylserine with caffeine and vitamins might improve mood and reduce feelings of tiredness after exercising. But these improvements are likely to be small, and it's not clear if the benefit is from phosphatidylserine or other ingredients.
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Research shows that taking plant-derived phosphatidylserine helps improve attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity in children and teens with ADHD.
- Stress brought on by exercise. Some research suggests that athletes taking phosphatidylserine during strenuous training might feel better overall and have less muscle soreness. However, other research shows conflicting results.
- Depression. There is some early evidence that phosphatidylserine might improve depression in older people.
- Sore muscles caused by exercise. Some research shows that taking phosphatidylserine during strenuous training might help reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
- Improving thinking ability.
- Other conditions.
PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE Side Effects & Safety
Phosphatidylserine is POSSIBLY SAFE most adults and children when taken by mouth appropriately. It has been used in safely in clinical research for up to 6 months in adults and up to 4 months in children.
Phosphatidylserine can cause side effects including insomnia and stomach upset, particularly at doses over 300 mg.
There is some concern that products made from animal sources could transmit diseases, such as mad cow disease. To date, there are not any known cases of humans getting animal diseases from phosphatidylserine supplements. But look for supplements made from plants to be on the safe side.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking phosphatidylserine if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Be on the safe side and avoid use.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs) interacts with PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE
Some drying medications are called anticholinergic drugs. Phosphatidylserine might increase chemicals that can decrease the effects of these drying medications.
Some drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines) and for depression (antidepressants).
- Medications for Alzheimer's disease (Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors) interacts with PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE
Phosphatidylserine might increase a chemical in the body called acetylcholine. Medications for Alzheimer's disease called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors also increase the chemical acetylcholine. Taking phosphatidylserine along with medications for Alzheimer's disease might increase effects and side effects of medications for Alzheimer's disease.
Some acetylcholinesterase medications include donepezil (Aricept), tacrine (Cognex), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Reminyl, Razadyne).
- Various medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions (Cholinergic drugs) interacts with PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE
Phosphatidylserine might increase a chemical in the body called acetylcholine. This chemical is similar to some medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions. Taking phosphatidylserine with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.
Some of these medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions include pilocarpine (Pilocar and others), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For age-related mental decline: 100 mg of phosphatidylserine from cow brains or plant sources has been taken three times daily for up to 6 months. Also 1-3 capsules of a specific product (Vayacog, Enzymotec Ltd.) containing phosphatidylserine (PS) enriched with the fatty acid DHA have been taken daily for 15 weeks.
- For Alzheimer's disease: 300-400 mg of phosphatidylserine has been taken daily in divided doses.