BC-PS, Bovine Cortex Phosphatidylserine, Bovine Phosphatidylserine, Fosfatidilserina, LECI-PS, Lecithin Phosphatidylserine, Phosphatidylsérine, Phosphatidylsérine Bovine, Phosphatidylsérine de Soya, Phosphatidyl Serine, PS, PtdSer, Soy-PS, Soy Phosphatidylserine.
Overview InformationPhosphatidylserine is a chemical that is present in the human body. The body can make phosphatidylserine, but most of what it needs comes from foods. Phosphatidylserine can also be taken as a supplement. These supplements were once made from cow brains. Now they are commonly made from cabbage or soy.
Phosphatidylserine is used for Alzheimer disease, dementia, decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age, athletic performance, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
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.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age. 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. There is limited research showing that plant-derived phosphatidylserine also improves memory in people with age-related memory loss. Taking phosphatidylserine might also reduce a person's risk for a decline in memory and thinking skills with age. But research is limited and unclear.
- Alzheimer disease. Taking phosphatidylserine can improve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer 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 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 disease.
Insufficient Evidence for
- 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.
- Dementia. Taking phosphatidylserine might reduce the risk of developing dementia in older people. But research is limited and unclear.
- Depression. There is some early evidence that phosphatidylserine might improve depression in older people.
- Muscle soreness caused by exercise. Some research shows that taking phosphatidylserine during strenuous training might help reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
- Improving thinking ability.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Phosphatidylserine is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken appropriately for up to 3 months. Phosphatidylserine can cause side effects such as 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 no known cases of humans getting animal diseases from phosphatidylserine supplements. But stay on the safe side and look for supplements made from plants.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if phosphatidylserine is safe to use when pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Phosphatidylserine is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 4 months in children 4-18 years of age.
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 decline in memory and thinking skills that occurs normally with age: 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 disease: 300-400 mg of phosphatidylserine has been taken daily in divided doses.
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- Schreiber S, Kampf-Sherf O, Gorfine M, et al. An open trial of plant-source derived phosphatydilserine for treatment of age-related cognitive decline. Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci 2000;37:302-7. View abstract.
- Vakhapova V, Cohen T, Richter Y, Herzog Y, Kam Y, Korczyn AD. Phosphatidylserine containing omega-3 Fatty acids may improve memory abilities in nondemented elderly individuals with memory complaints: results from an open-label extension study. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2014;38(1-2):39-45. View abstract.
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- Kidd, P. M. Phosphatidylserine; Membrane nutrient for memory. A clinical and mechanistic assessment. Altern Med Rev 1996;1:70-84.
- Monteverde, A., Gnemmi, P., Rossi, F., Monteverde, A., and Finali, G. C. Selegiline in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer-type dementia. Clin.Ther 1990;12(4):315-322. View abstract.
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- Palmieri, G., Palmieri, R., Inzoli, MR Lombardi G., Sottini, C., Tavolato, B., and Giometto, B. Double-blind controlled trial of phosphatidylserine in patients with senile mental deterioration. Clin Trials J 1987;24:73-83.
- Pepping, J. Phosphatidylserine. Am J Health Syst.Pharm. 10-15-1999;56(20):2038, 2043-2038, 2044. View abstract.
- Ransmayr, G., Plorer, S., Gerstenbrand, F., and Bauer, G. Double-blind placebocontrolled trial of phosphatidylserine in elderly patients with arteriosclerotic encephalopathy. Clin Trials J 1987;24:62-72.
- Rosadini, G., Sannita, W. G., Nobili, F., and Cenacchi, T. Phosphatidylserine: quantitative EEG effects in healthy volunteers. Neuropsychobiology 1990;24(1):42-48. View abstract.
- Starks, M. A., Starks, S. L., Kingsley, M., Purpura, M., and Jager, R. The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise. J Int Soc.Sports Nutr 2008;5:11. View abstract.
- Vakhapova, V., Cohen, T., Richter, Y., Herzog, Y., and Korczyn, A. D. Phosphatidylserine containing omega-3 fatty acids may improve memory abilities in non-demented elderly with memory complaints: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Dement.Geriatr Cogn Disord 2010;29(5):467-474. View abstract.
- Villardita, J. C., Grioli, S., Salmeri, G., Nicoletti, F., and Pennisi, G. Multicenter clinical trial of brain phosphatidylserine in elderly patiens with intellectual deterioration. Clin Trials J 1987;24:84-93.
- Amaducci L. Phosphatidylserine in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease: results of a multicenter study. Psychopharmacol Bull 1988;24:130-4.
- Benton D, Donohoe RT, Sillance B, Nabb S. The influence of phosphatidylserine supplementation on mood and heart rate when faced with an acute stressor. Nutr Neurosci 2001;4:169-78. View abstract.
- Blokland A, Honig W, Brouns F, Jolles J. Cognition-enhancing properties of subchronic phosphatidylserine (PS) treatment in middle-aged rats: comparison of bovine cortex PS with egg PS and soybean PS. Nutrition 1999;15:778-83. View abstract.
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- Crook T, Petrie W, Wells C, Massari DC. Effects of phosphatidylserine in Alzheimer's disease. Psychopharmacol Bull 1992;28:61-6. View abstract.
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- Engel RR, Satzger W, Gunther W, et al. Double-blind cross-over study of phosphatidylserine vs. placebo in patients with early dementia of the Alzheimer type. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 1992;2:149-55. View abstract.
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- FDA. Qualified Health Claim: Final Decision Letter - Phosphatidylserine and Cognitive Dysfunction and Dementia. May 2003. Available at: https://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20171114183737/https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm072999.htm. Accessed on March 18, 2020.
- Funfgeld EW, Baggen M, Nedwidek P, et al. Double-blind study with phosphatidylserine (PS) in parkinsonian patients with senile dementia of Alzheimer's type (SDAT). Prog Clin Biol Res 1989;317:1235-46. View abstract.
- Heiss WD, Kessler J, Mielke R, et al. Long-term effects of phosphatidylserine, pyritinol, and cognitive training in Alzheimer's disease. A neuropsychological, EEG, and PET investigation. Dementia 1994;5:88-98. View abstract.
- Hirayama S, Terasawa K, Rabeler R, et al. The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014;27 Suppl 2:284-91. View abstract.
- Kidd PM. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children: rationale for its integrative management. Altern Med Rev 2000;5:402-28. View abstract.
- Kidd PM. Phosphatidylserine; Membrane nutrient for memory. A clinical and mechanistic assessment. Altern Med Rev 1996;1:70-84.
- Kim HY, Akbar M, Lau A, et al. Inhibition of neuronal apoptosis by docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3). Role of phosphatidylserine in antiapoptotic effect. J Biol Chem 2000;275:35215-23.. View abstract.
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- Mallat Z, Benamer H, Hugel B, et al. Elevated levels of shed membrane microparticles with procoagulant potential in the peripheral circulating blood of patients with acute coronary syndromes. Circulation 2000;101:841-3.. View abstract.
- Monastra G, Cross AH, Bruni A, et al. Phosphatidylserine, a putative inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor, prevents autoimmune demyelination. Neurology 1993;43:153-63.. View abstract.
- Monteleone P, Beinat L, Tanzillo C, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine on the neuroendocrine response to physical stress in humans. Neuroendocrinology 1990;52:243-8.. View abstract.
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