Health & Wellness

5 Phosphatidylserine Health Benefits

If you’re looking for a supplement to not only boost your memory and focus but also support overall brain health, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to discuss the fatty acid phosphatidylserine.

Phosphatidylserine has been shown to support many different functions in your brain. And the best part? It’s readily available at most health food and vitamin stores.

So, keep reading to learn more about this amazing phospholipid and how you can best use it to support your health.

 

What is Phosphatidylserine?

Phosphatidylserine is fatty substance known to support numerous brain functions—from memory and focus to problem solving and language skills!

But you may be surprised to learn that it isn’t just a supplement. This fatty acid is actually produced in your body and is present in many of your body’s cells. In fact, it’s required in order to have healthy nerve cell membranes and myelin (a layer that insulates your nerves). [1]

The presence of this fatty substance is especially important in your brain and spinal cord, as it aids in brain function and supports the transmission of messages between your brain’s nerve cells.

In fact, phosphatidylserine accounts for up to 15 percent of all phospholipids in your cerebral cortex! [2]

Now that you know a little more about what it is and how it supports overall brain function, let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits you can get from taking it in supplement form.

 

Phosphatidylserine - Dr. Pingel

 

5 Phosphatidylserine Health Benefits

Here are five incredible health benefits you should know about.

1. Supports the body’s stress response

First, let’s talk about how this fatty acid helps to support your body’s stress response. As you may recall, anytime you encounter a stressful event, your adrenal glands produce the hormone cortisol.

If you’re under chronic stress, your adrenal glands are constantly misusing cortisol to help your body handle that stressor. But, after a while, your adrenal glands become fatigued.

This process is known as adrenal fatigue, and it can result in some major health concerns, from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and thyroid issues to insomnia and even cancer!

But studies have shown that taking phosphatidylserine can actually help fight this process.

According to one study, people who took phosphatidylserine supplements experienced lower cortisol spikes in response to stress. Specifically, in this instance, it was exercise-induced stress. [3]

Meanwhile, another study revealed that when young adults with neuroticism took phosphatidylserine each day for a month, they reported feeling less stressed and having a better mood. [4]

2. Helps improve memory

One of the great benefits of phosphatidylserine is that it helps to improve memory.

According to one study, 78 seniors diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment took either phosphatidylserine or a placebo for six months. [5]

At the end of the study period, researchers found that those who took phosphatidylserine experienced significantly increased memory scores compared to their initial scores.

Specifically, the improvements were in relation to their delayed verbal recall and regaining the level of memory they had before the earliest stage of dementia.

As a result, the researchers surmised that taking phosphatidylserine could improve memory function in seniors with memory complaints.

And just in case you’re curious, the reason why phosphatidylserine improves memory function is due to its calming impact. Remember, when you’re “running from a bear,” you miss details and tend to forget more as a result.

By downregulating your cortisol stressor with phosphatidylserine, you could help return your brain to normal function and remember more. Interesting, right?

3. May improve attention span

Another benefit of taking phosphatidylserine appears to be its impact on limited attention span.

According to a 2012 study, taking a phosphatidylserine supplement improved both ADHD symptoms and memory in children.

Researchers provided 36 children ages between the ages of 4 and 14 with either a 200-mg phosphatidylserine supplement or a placebo for two months.

They noticed that those who received the phosphatidylserine showed significant improvements in short-term auditory memory, inattention, and impulsivity. [6]

So, what does this mean? Basically, sometimes when we believe people need a stimulant (i.e., medication) to help focus, what’s really needed is to calming impact to help regain focus. It all connects to that cortisol stressor we discussed above!

4. Fights depression

One of the great and far-reaching benefits of phosphatidylserine is its positive impact on depression.

Many studies have shown that taking phosphatidylserine can have an antidepressant effect. [7] And according to a 2015 study, this supplement may offer great benefit to those suffering from late-life depression.

In the study, researchers followed 18 seniors with major depression who had unsuccessfully been treated with antidepressants for six months.

Amazingly, they found that participants achieved significant improvement in their depression after only 12 weeks of taking phosphatidylserine and omega-3 fatty acids. [8] As a result, the researchers stated that this combination of supplements may prove very useful for those suffering from late-life depression.

5. Helps fight Alzheimer’s disease

Finally, one of the most exciting areas of study for phosphatidylserine is in relation to its impact on the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Interestingly, studies have shown that abnormal levels of phosphatidylserine have been found in people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. [9]

And other studies have shown significant promise in the use of phosphatidylserine in the fight against this neurological disease.

In fact, a 2015 study investigated the effect of phosphatidylserine on the memory of both people and rats known to have Alzheimer’s disease. The researcher recruited 57 Alzheimer’s patients and divided them into two groups: 25 in the control group and 32 in the supplemental group.

Those in the supplemental group took 300 mg of phosphatidylserine daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, vocabulary and picture matching scores were significantly greater in the group who took the supplement.

Similar appropriate assessments also showed cognitive improvement in the rats. As a result, the researchers stated that phosphatidylserine improved memory and improved hippocampal inflammation injury in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. [10]

 

As you can see, phosphatidylserine is an amazing fatty acid that your body requires to function properly. If you think you could benefit from using it, speak with your doctor about incorporating it into your health regimen.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Phosphatidylserine is a fatty acid that’s produced in your body and is present in many of your body’s cells. In fact, it’s required in order to have healthy nerve cell membranes and myelin.
  • It accounts for up to 15 percent of all phospholipids in your cerebral cortex.
  • Some of the top health benefits of this fatty acid include: supporting the body’s stress response, improving memory, improving attention span, fighting depression, and fighting Alzheimer’s disease.

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