Scores of research studies since the 1980s have pointed to an important role for the “brain cell nutrient” phosphatidyl serine (pronounced fos-fa-tie-dil see-reen) as a dietary supplement in support of brain functions such as memory and mental sharpness.
What is phosphatidyl serine (PS)? It is made naturally by the body, is most concentrated in the brain, and works in the cell’s energy-producing mitrochondia to support cell function, the integrity of the cell membrane, and inter-cell communication. It is a basic component of cell membranes, which – in nerves and the brain especially – generate and relay electrical currents from cell to cell. This activity tends to fall off starting in middle age.
Why supplementation? PS production in the body is complex and requires significant expenditures of energy; and though PS is found in some plant and animal foods, the amounts than can be derived from the common human diet are miniscule. When taken as a supplement, however, PS is quickly drawn up into the blood, and from there into the liver and the brain, where it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
What’s the source of PS supplements? Once generally derived from the brains of cattle, for safety supplemental PS products now sold domestically are derived from soy.
The FDA recognizes two health claims for PS supplementation, based on its own rigorous review of key clinical studies: It may reduce the risk of both cognitive dysfunction and dementia in the elderly.
The exhaustive study of PS over the past 20 years has produced “unequivocal” evidence that “dietary supplementation with PS can alleviate, ameliorate, and sometimes reverse age-related decline of memory, learning, concentration, word skills, and mood,” writes international expert Parris M. Kidd, PhD, in an overview of the literature. * And all with an excellent safety record.
One of the largest trials of PS supplementation, conducted in Italy, ** followed 494 elderly participants over a six-month period. The subjects in this double-blind, placebo controlled study received either 300 mg of PS or a placebo (fake dose) each day. The study concluded that the individuals who took PS performed significantly better on measures of both behavior and mental function than the placebo group.
* “Phosphatidyl Serine and Aging,” by Parris M. Kidd, in the ImmuneSupport.com database at http://www.immunesupport.com/news/96jan004.htm; and Phosphatidylserine (PS): A Remarkable Cell Nutrient, Parris M. Kidd, Third Edition April 1998, Lucas Meyer, Inc.
** “Cognitive decline in the elderly: A double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration,” by T. Cenacchi, et al., Aging (Milano), 1993.
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure any condition, illness, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.