Phosphatidylserine (PS) is classified as a phospholipid. Phospholipids are fats that are found in every cell of the human body.
Phosphatidylserine can be found in very high concentrations in the brain, where it is responsible for keeping cell membranes fluid, flexible, and ready to process essential nutrients.
PS is also a very important support chemical for nerve tissue. As a support to the nervous system, PS aids proper release and reception of neurotransmitters in the brain. PS helps to ensure that memory-related pathways function smoothly.
Some research shows that when PS levels naturally decrease with increasing age, so too does the ability to learn, remember, and stay alert. Depression may also develop as a result of age-related phosphatidylserine insufficiency. PS supplements have been proposed as a partial solution to such developments.
Rapidly absorbed into the brain, these supplements may compensate for low PS levels and thus prevent or even reverse age-related declines in brain function. PS actually appears in numerous foods, including rice and green leafy vegetables, but only in small amounts. Commercially prepared supplements offer a concentrated source.
Up until a few years ago, phosphatidylserine supplements were manufactured from animal sources, specifically from cows' brains. But because of concerns about the potential for cross-species infection (mad cow disease), supplements are now derived from a plant source, soy lecithin.
Health Benefits and Indications:
Studies indicate that phosphatidylserine supplements may help to revitalize age-impaired brain function. However, there is no solid research evidence to indicate that adding PS supplements to the diet in this way will make any difference.
Specifically, phosphatidylserine may help to:
Lessen age-related decline in brain functioning.
Slow brain function decline in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
Increase ability to handle stress.