Phosphatidylserine (PS) belongs to a special category of fat-soluble substances called phospholipids, which are essential components of cell membranes. PS is found in high concentrations in the brain.
PS is found in only trace amounts in a typical diet. Very small amounts are present in lecithin. The body manufactures PS from phospholipid building blocks. PS research has used material derived from a bovine source. Currently, PS that is commercially available is derived from soy.
Phosphatidylserine has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
|Science Ratings||Health Concerns|
Athletic performance (to enhance enurance in young active men)
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.
PS is not an essential nutrient, and therefore dietary deficiencies do not occur. Adults age 50 and older, especially those with age-related cognitive decline, may not synthesize enough PS, and appear most likely to benefit from supplemental PS.
Positive effects on mental function have been achieved using 200–500 mg per day of bovine PS; most studies used 300 mg per day. Preliminary animal research shows that the soy-derived PS does have effects on brain function similar to effects from the bovine source. 1 2 3
No significant side effects associated with PS have been reported.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with phosphatidylserine.
1. Furushiro M, Suzuki S, Shishido Y, et al. Effects of oral administration of soybean lecithin transphosphatidylated phosphatidylserine on impaired learning of passive avoidance in mice. Jpn J Pharmacol 1997;75:447–50.
2. Sakai M, Yamatoya H, Kudo S. Pharmacological effects of phosphatidylserine enzymatically synthesized from soybean lecithin on brain functions in rodents. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1996;42:47–54.
3. Blokland A, Honig W, Brouns F, et al. 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.
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The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.