Nootropics are known as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers. They are drugs, supplements, or other substances that are designed to improve cognitive function, particularly memory, creativity, or motivation, and healthy individuals. What are some of the benefits of nootropics? We found out with Phosphatidylserine.
Though this is a chemical the body can make naturally and get from a variety of food sources, many Western diets are lacking in the appropriate amount. That’s why several companies produce supplements. without looking into any particular supplement; we wanted to know more about how the substance itself works and how it may be beneficial to your overall health and wellness routine.
Our research team is spent hours going through countless studies, customer reviews, research, and other articles, to learn more about phosphatidylserine and how it compares to other nootropics available on the market today. We summarize and condensed our findings to help make it easier for you to decide if you want to include this product in your daily routine.
What is Phosphatidylserine?
This is a chemical that the body can make. It, however, gets most of what it needs from food. Phosphatidylserine supplements were ones made from cow brains, but are now commonly made from cabbage or soy. The switch was a result of the concern that products made from animal sources may cause infection.
Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance known as a phospholipid. It covers and protects the cells in your brain and helps carry messages between them. This chemical plays an important role in keeping your memory in mind sharp. Animal studies suggest that with age, the level of this substance decreases in the brain. It is most commonly used to try to prevent mental decline with age. It is also used to try to boost brain power.
According to the Annual Review of Biophysics, research shows that this chemical is critical to the maintenance of all cellular function but especially in the brain. It’s important to bone matrix formation, cell repair, and removal by the immune system, coordination of the heartbeat, adrenal gland hormone secretion, testicular function and more.
How Did Phosphatidylserine Start?
Because this chemical is a phospholipid that the body manufacturers to take care of the brain, there is no official start for this product. Many companies have created supplements, so there is no shortage of options to choose from on the market.
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
Phosphatidylserine claims to be able to keep your memory sharp with age. Several studies suggest that it may increase brain power as people who took the food, concentration, and short-term memory tests.
They showed that they could better recall names and object, but more research is needed to confirm these results. Science has suggested that phosphatidylserine may also be helpful in the treatment of muscle soreness and stress and athletes who overtrain. However, more research is needed before it can be recommended as a treatment for these conditions.
Phosphatidylserine is the ingredient. You can get it naturally in small amounts in most foods but slightly more in white beans. It is in high concentration in soy.
Does Phosphatidylserine Work?
Studies show it to be a promising treatment for an age-related mental decline, but additional research needs to be completed before it can be a concrete solution.
In a 1991 study published in Neurology, “We treated 149 patients meeting criteria for age‐associated memory impairment (AAMI) for 12 weeks with a formulation of phosphatidylserine (100 mg BC‐PS tid) or placebo. Patients treated with the drug improved relative to those treated with placebo on performance tests related to learning and memory tasks of daily life.
Analysis of clinical subgroups suggested that persons within the sample who performed at a relatively low level before treatment were most likely to respond to BC‐PS. Within this subgroup, there was an improvement on both computerized and standard neuropsychological performance tests, and also on clinical global ratings of improvement.”
On the other hand, results do seem to be mixed, hence the need for further studies and research. A 2001 study in Nutritional Neuroscience showed, “Subjects were 120 elderly (>57 years) of both sexes who fulfilled the more stringent criteria for age-associated memory impairment (AAMI); some also fulfilled the criteria for the age-associated cognitive decline. Subjects were allocated at random to one of the three treatment groups: placebo, 300 mg S-PS daily, or 600 mg S-PS daily. Assessments were carried out at baseline, after 6 and 12 weeks of treatment, and after a wash-out period of 3 weeks.
Tests of learning and memory, choice reaction time, planning and attentional functions were administered at each assessment. Delayed recall and recognition of a previously learned word list comprised the primary outcome measures.
No significant differences were found in any of the outcome variables between the treatment groups. There were also no significant interactions between treatment and ‘severity of memory complaints’.
In conclusion, a daily supplement of S-PS does not affect memory or other cognitive functions in older individuals with memory complaints.”
And a study published in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders shows, “The results indicate that PS-DHA may improve cognitive performance in non-demented elderly with memory complaints. Post-hoc analysis of subgroups suggests that participants with higher baseline cognitive status were most likely to respond to PS-DHA. The results of this exploratory study should be followed up by additional studies aimed at confirming the present tentative conclusions.” In this study, it appears as though the fatty acid DHA was attached to the phosphatidylserine before it was administered to the patients in the study. This may affect the results, compared to using just phosphatidylserine.
Next, we can take a look at how phosphatidylserine affects stamina with exercise. We found a patent application from Chemi Nutra LLC dated in 2007 that showed methods of using phosphatidylserine and salts thereof to increase testosterone levels.
An interesting part of the patent application reads, “PS supplementation with 600 mg per day for ten days increases the testosterone levels. These findings suggest that PS is an effective supplement for combating exercise-induced stress. PS supplementation promotes a desirable hormonal balance for athletes and might attenuate the physiological deterioration that accompanies overtraining and overstretching.”
Phosphatidylserine Benefits and Results
The main benefit seems to be an increase in mental sharpness and memory. Studies show it can boost concentration and memory recall, which is an important part of battling mental decline with age.
Some studies indicate it may help boost athletic performance and stamina as well, but additional research is needed before it can definitively be considered a treatment for any condition. At this time, the results seem to be mixed at best. There are many variables to consider, such as dose and frequency of use.
Details on Phosphatidylserine and Weight Loss
Phosphatidylserine is not an appetite suppressant or a fat burner. However, it may have an indirect effect on weight loss if it does, in fact, increase your stamina and athletic ability, according to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. This, however, will only work if you are including exercise as part of your overall weight loss plan. If you are focusing primarily on your diet, you are less likely to see any weight loss benefit from using this supplement.
How to Take Phosphatidylserine
Exactly how you take phosphatidylserine will depend on which supplement you choose to use. We advise that you follow the directions on the supplement bottle. If you do not follow those directions, we advise you to follow the directions given to you by your doctor or another health-care professional.
As a general rule, you should not exceed more than 600 mg a day. You should stop taking it after ten days to give your body a break and then you can restart it within a week or two.
There are no studies about the long-term safety of using this supplement for more than ten days at a time. To reduce your risk of bothersome side effects, you may want to start with a 300 mg dose and work your way up to 600 mg gradually.
Potential Phosphatidylserine Side Effects
Many people can use the soy-derived supplement without experiencing side effects. Though the research is still in preliminary stages, it is likely safe to take up to 600 mg per day for no more than ten days. Side effects are more common at doses of 300 mg and above.
These side effects may include trouble sleeping, stomach upset and gas. However optimal doses of phosphatidylserine have yet to be established for any condition. Because quality and active ingredients in supplements can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer, it makes it difficult to establish a standard dose.
Phosphatidylserine may affect how certain medications work in your body. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking this supplement if you also take any blood thinner or have any blood clotting problems.
You should also discuss the supplement if you were taking any anti-inflammatory medications used for pain, or headaches. If you are using any performance-enhancing drug or supplement that is designed to increase your athletic performance or stamina, You may experience issues with the supplement.
Phosphatidylserine Product Warnings
Always tell your doctor about any supplements you were taking, including herbal supplements purchased without a prescription. This way your doctor can check any potential side effects or interactions with prescription medications you may be taking.
Any Phosphatidylserine Lawsuits?
At this time, there does not appear to be any lawsuits against any manufacturer of this supplement. Should this change in the future, we will update this article with the most relevant and timely information as it becomes available.
Rather than seeking phosphatidylserine in supplement form, you can increase your dietary intake. It is commonly found in Meat and Fish. Small amounts can be found in dairy products or any vegetables though more can be found in white beans and soy lecithin.
Other than a cow’s brain, the most concentrated food sources include: chicken heart, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic Herring, eel, pig spleen, pig kidney, tuna, chicken leg with the skin, chicken liver, soft-shell clam, chicken breast with the skin, mullet, veal, beef, pork, pig liver, turkey leg without the skin of the bone, turkey breast without the skin, crayfish, cuttlefish, cod, anchovy, whole grain barley, and trout. Very small amounts can be found in whole milk, carrots, unpolished rice, and potatoes.
Phosphatidylserine Pricing Information
Pricing will vary heavily based on the merchant you choose to purchase the product from, and the brand you choose to use. Certain brands will provide higher dosages which may also affect pricing.
A quick search on Amazon revealed products ranging from $11.73 all the way to $46 depending on brand, dosage, and quantity.
“I think this works well in boosting my brain’s ability to focus and think. I do notice a difference.”
“Difficult to determine, but my mood has been good overall. Not a dramatic result.”
“Gave me a huuuuuge headache and felt exhausted the day after. Tried several times – the same. On a positive note, I slept like dead.”
The Bottom Line on Phosphatidylserine
Phosphatidylserine is one of many nootropic substances people are considering using to boost mental performance, as well as athletic performance. While the research certainly looks promising, there are quite a bit of mixed results out there. It will take more research with consistently positive results to determine the ideal dosage to get the desired effects. Though it is a nootropic substance, it will not help with weight loss because it is not a fat burner or an appetite suppressant.
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