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Why Supplement With Phosphatidylserine - Everything You Need To Know

Why Supplement With Phosphatidylserine - Everything You Need To Know

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid and an amino acid derivative that the body produces naturally. PS is necessary for the healthy functioning of nerve cells and helps boost cognitive function by keeping the brain cell membranes healthy. [1] While PS is found in all cell membranes, it is predominantly concentrated in high levels in the brain cell membranes.[2]

It acts as a coating on the neurons and keeps the brain cell membranes permeable, which is a prerequisite for long-term brain health. [3]

How does Phosphatidylserine [PS] Help the Brain?

Here are some ways in which PS is useful to the brain… 

  1. PS helps in brain detoxification by acting as an early tracer of apoptosis (a natural process of programmed cell death that is required for growth) [4] and thereby helps in the production of various neurotransmitters of the brain. [5]

    By sending a transmitting a chemical signal to the brain, it helps the brain to dispose of degraded cells before they turn toxic. [6]

  2. PS helps to enhance the brain glucose metabolism that is required for boosting cognition and mental performance. [7]

  3. PS diminishes the spikes in the stress-related hormone and thereby helps to counter the over-activation of the HPA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal) Axis. [8] [9] 

How is Phosphatidylserine Sourced?

Though our body can produce Phosphatidylserine (PS) naturally, it still gets most of the PS from food. Some of the food items rich in PS include:

  • Tuna
  • Atlantic mackerel and Atlantic herring
  • Pig’s spleen and kidney
  • Chicken leg with skin (without bone)
  • Chicken liver
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey breast
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Unpolished rice

… and so on, to name a few. 

The Major Problem: Age-Related Decline of PS

Like all other phospholipids, Phosphatidylserine (PS) undergoes a constant age-related natural decline. [11] Low PS levels due to aging may give rise to brain degeneration, and the brain cells may become abnormal and not work as intended. [12]

The Good News: PS Supplements come to the Rescue

The good news here is that one can restore the PS levels in the brain by consuming authentic PS Supplements.

Phosphatidylserine (PS) supplements were conventionally a derivative of the bovine cortex (BC-PS); however, the possibility of transmitting certain infectious diseases like mad cow’s disease led to the sourcing of other alternative derivatives like soy. 

Though there are a few other derivatives like sunflower lecithin or cabbage, the PS derived from soy (S-PS) has been well established as a safe alternative. [13]

Furthermore, for vegetarians, only a small amount of Phosphatidylserine is obtained from dairy products and vegetables with the exception being soy lecithin, which has the right amount of PS.

Hence with soy-derived PS being established as a safer alternative, it makes more sense (more so if one is a vegetarian) to go in for soy lecithin-derived Phosphatidylserine supplements like that PRIME MIND (soy lecithin derived Phosphatidylserine of 150 mg per serving), along with the benefit of Lion's Mane Mushroom.

Benefits of Phosphatidylserine as a Nootropic Supplement

Phosphatidylserine (PS) supplements provide a host of benefits to the human body, both mental and physical.

1. Reduces Mental Stress 

PS and moods are interlinked due to the relationship of PS with cortisol. Cortisol, the stress hormone, plays a vital role in the body's response to stress. PS plays a vital role in reducing cortisol, thereby positively optimizing the mood and stress levels. 

A study on the influence of PS on mental stress and heart rate when solving a complicated arithmetic problem established that taking a 300mg PS supplement per day made the subjects less stressed and encouraged a better mood. [14]

2. Promotes Exercise Endurance and Muscle Soreness Recovery

Not only does PS help to cope with mental stress, but it also aids in managing physical stress. Studies have shown that taking Phosphatidylserine when undergoing vigorous training may help alleviate muscle soreness post-exercise.

During the initial training stages, the overtrained muscles become sore. This is coupled with the increase in resting heart rate and fall in testosterone levels. While the body usually aligns after a few days of rest, continuous training results in an imbalanced anabolic-catabolic ratio and leads to a decrease in performance, injury, depression, and lower immunity. [15] 

Oral supplementation of soy-derived PS (S-PS) has been shown to enhance recovery by preventing soreness of the muscle and promoting overall well-being by accentuating the circulating cortisol concentrations. 

A short term supplementation of 750 mg of S-PS for ten days has established an increased capacity for high-intensity exercises like that of high-intensity cycling, [16] training with weights and intermittent endurance running. [17] 

PS not only diminishes the cortisol response level to exercise-induced stress but also increases the testosterone-cortisol ratio. [18] 

Studies have suggested that PS partly neutralizes the stress-induced stimulation of the HPA Axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is our body’s central stress response system). [19]

These factors make Phosphatidylserine (PS) an effective supplement for tackling stress related to exercise in addition to preventing muscle soreness and promoting endurance, thereby making PS a favorite supplement among athletes. 

3. Improves Cognitive Functions in Alzheimer’s

PS has been proven to enhance the memory as well as cognitive function among Alzheimer’s patients (AD) and is hence being viewed as a potential treatment for the disorder. [20] 

Studies have proven that the BC-PS that is purified from the bovine brain can positively influence AD-related factors like changes in the cellular membrane and dendritic spine loss that is common in the AD brain. [21] 

Hence, PS is being considered as an effective therapy for early stages of Alzheimer's. [22] 

4. Enhances Athletic Performances in Golf

Studies have shown that consumption of Phosphatidylserine for six weeks before playing golf has improved as to how a golfer tees off. [23]

A randomized study to evaluate the benefits of PS supplementation on golf performance was performed on healthy young golfers with handicaps of 15-40. The study showed that six weeks of PS supplementation significantly increased the number of good ball flights during tee off that can lead to better golf scores. [24]

Certain studies have also shown that PS supplementation, when combined with caffeine and other vitamins, helps to enhance the mood and alleviate fatigue post-exercise. However, there is no substantial evidence to prove the same. 

5. Helps to tackle Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Studies have shown that plant-derived PS supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids have helped to better the ADHD symptoms like impulse control disorder, and hyperactivity among children and teens. [25], [26] 

6. Enhances Cognition among Elderly in cases of Age-Related Brain Fog

As far as the role of PS in Memory is concerned, PS improves the production of Acetylcholine and thereby helps to boost memory. This, in turn, aids better learning.

A study conducted on 149 individuals in the age group of 50-75 years with age-associated cognitive impairment showed that a daily PS supplementation with 100 mg enabled the subjects to perform better on cognitive testing linked to learning and memory. [27]

A study conducted among elderly Japanese patients with memory complaints showed that soybean-derived Phosphatidylserine helped to enhance memory. [28]

Yet another research shows that consumption of plant-derived PS enriched with DHA fatty acid supports to attention and memory in older women suffering from memory loss. [29]

Combination of Phosphatidylserine with Other Supplements

Phosphatidylserine helps to enhance the efficacy of other brain-boosting supplements like Curcumin. Curcumin is an extract from Turmeric and aids in increasing the blood flow to the brain, in addition to enhancing the production of Serotonin and Dopamine. However, Curcumin is difficult to be absorbed by the body. [30] Taking PS supplement increases the bioavailability of Curcumin (meaning the body absorbs more of it). [31] 

PS also works well when combined with other nutrients like fish oil and Ginkgo biloba. [32] 

Given the active role of PS in the regeneration of brain cells and brain plasticity, and its ability to stack with other nootropics, PS can very well be said to be the fundamental element of any brain nutrition nootropic that not only enhances mental health but boosts physical endurance as well.

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