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Phosphatidylserine is a nutrient essential to the brain's structure and function.
Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance produced in the body that covers and protects nerve cells (especially within the brain) and helps transmits messages between them.
As an essential component of cell membranes, phosphatidylserine is thought to have a key role in keeping your memory sharp as you get older. (Studies in animals suggest that levels decline with age.)
Phosphatidylserine is found naturally in certain foods and is also sold in dietary supplement form.
Phosphatidylserine supplements are touted as a natural remedy for a variety of health conditions, including:
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Alzheimer's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
In addition, phosphatidylserine supplements are purported to preserve memory, promote healthy sleep, improve mood, and enhance exercise performance.
A handful of studies have explored the health effects of phosphatidylserine supplements, however, most of the studies are small and dated. Here's a look at some key findings:
1) Exercise Capacity and Muscle Soreness
Phosphatidylserine supplements may help boost exercise capacity and improve athletic performance, according to a 2006 report published in Sports Medicine. In their analysis of the available research on the use of phosphatidylserine supplements among people who exercised, the report's authors also found that phosphatidylserine may help decrease muscle soreness and protect against the increase in levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) that often occurs as a result of overtraining.
Phosphatidylserine is often taken to try to slow age-related memory loss. In a 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 78 elderly people with mild cognitive impairment were assigned to six months of treatment with phosphatidylserine supplements, or a placebo. In tests performed at the end of the six-month period, participants with relatively low memory scores at the start of the study were found to have experienced a significant improvement in memory.
Phosphatidylserine is thought to play a role in helping to regulate mood. In a 2015 study published inMental Illness, for instance, people over the age of 65 with major depression took a supplement containing phosphatidylserine and the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA three times daily for 12 weeks. At the study's end, scores on a depression scale had improved. More research is needed from large-scale, well-designed clinical studies before phosphatidylserine can be recommended.
Using phosphatidylserine in combination with omega-3 fatty acids may aid in the treatment of ADHD in children, suggests a 2012 study published in European Psychiatry. For the study, 200 children with ADHD were assigned to 15 weeks of treatment with either a placebo or a supplement containing phosphatidylserine and omega-3 fatty acids.
Study results revealed that participants treated with the combination of phosphatidylserine and omega-3 fatty acids experienced a significantly greater reduction in hyperactive/impulsive behavior and a greater improvement in mood (compared to those given the placebo).
Disclaimers: *This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.