Phosphatidylserine is part of the cell structure in the body. The body can make phosphatidylserine, but most of what it needs comes from foods. It can also be taken as a supplement. These supplements were once made from cow brain. Now they are commonly made from cabbage or soy.
Phosphatidylserine is used for Alzheimer disease and normal age-related decline in memory and thinking skills. It is also used for athletic performance, ADHD, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age. Taking phosphatidylserine that is made from cow brain by mouth seems to improve attention, language skills, and memory in aging people with declining thinking skills. But most phosphatidylserine supplements are now made from soy or cabbage. It's not clear if these supplements have the same effects.
- Alzheimer disease. Taking phosphatidylserine that is made from cow brain by mouth can improve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer disease after 6-12 weeks of treatment. But it might become less effective over time. Most phosphatidylserine supplements are now made from soy or cabbage. It's not clear if these supplements have the same effects.
There's some concern that products made from animal sources can transmit diseases, such as mad cow disease. To date, there aren't any cases of humans getting animal diseases from phosphatidylserine supplements. But stay on the safe side and look for supplements made from plants.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Children: Phosphatidylserine is possibly safe when taken by mouth for up to 4 months in children 4-18 years of age.
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.
Be cautious with this combination
Most phosphatidylserine supplements used to be made from cow brain. This raised concerns about transmitting animal disease, such as mad cow disease, to humans. There aren't any cases of this happening, but most products now come from soy and cabbage. Stay on the safe side and stick with these plant-based products.
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
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