What Is Phosphatidyl Serine Complex, and What’s It Used For?
In many places, ‘phosphatidyl serine’ is written as one word – phosphatidylserine (fos-fuh-tie-dul-SER-een) – which would make it a real brain teaser in a spelling bee. It also happens to be the name of a nutritional supplement best known for its support in cognitive health. In other words, it is good for your brain. A mere coincidence?
How Does Phosphatidyl Serine Work?
Phosphatidyl serine (PS) is derived from an amino acid that naturally occurs in human neural tissue and plays a vital role in the brain’s cellular function, per articles.mercola.com. Food sources of phosphatidylserine PS are scarce, but it can be readily found in supplements, such as those manufactured and distributed by Wonder Labs. At one time they were sourced from cow’s brains, but in present day they are typically derived from plant sources such as soy lecithin or cabbage, per mayoclinic.org.
Furthermore, PS is a nutrient that is both hydrophilic (attracted to water) and hydrophobic (repelled by water), such that phospholipids (fat molecules attached to phosphates, of which PS is one) can arrange themselves into a cellular structure found in abundance in the brain. There they work to help keep cells intact while enhancing mental focus, memory, and mood, with the added potential to help with ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease, per selfhacked.com.
Phosphatidyl Serine’s Reported Health Benefits
If you’ve never taken phosphatidylserine supplements before, or even if you have already started, you should discuss its use with your physician for medical advice before going forward. Here are some possible ways in which PS can aid in your health, and notice that it’s not all in your head (pun intended):
- Enhanced cognitive function. Several clinical trials cited at selfhacked.com found that a PS supplementation of 400 milligrams allowed the 18 subjects to perform math problems quicker and with fewer errors; three other trials utilizing a dosage of 300 milligrams improved cognitive function in general.
- Boost memory. Supplementation of 200-300 milligrams of PS enhanced memory for a total of more than 250 people spread over three clinical trials, per selfhacked.com. Similarly, PS combined with other substances such as phosphatidic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and ginkgo biloba extract all improved memory and/or mood more effectively than any of those other substances did alone.
- Manage stress. It is believed that PS can reduce levels of cortisol – ‘the stress hormone’ – and keep it under wraps, such as during periods of, well, stress. Along those lines, it can also improve your sleep, per articles.mercola.com.
- Improving athletic performance. No, it’s not a steroid, although PS has shown some promise in the area of athletics through its apparent ability to lengthen the time that a person can exercise before becoming tired. It can also help in the recovery from physical injury as well as rebound from decreased blood flow.
- Enhance mobility. PS combined with omega-3s, ginkgo biloba, and B vitamins administered to older women over a period of six months showed overall improved mobility in the 27 female subjects, per selfhacked.com.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Also per selfhacked.com, the hereditary type of Alzheimer’s has been linked to the buildup of amyloid beta within the brain. Research suggests that PS can curtail this buildup, giving rise to the possibility that it can at least slow the progression of the disease and memory loss.