Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid that acts like a biological detergent, keeping fatty substances soluble and cell membranes fluid. It also increases glucose metabolism in the brain, as well as the number of neurotransmitter receptor sites.1 The increased number of receptor sites may explain why the memory-enhancing effects of phosphatidylserine last for up to a month even after the supplement is discontinued.
Treating age-related memory loss
Researcher Thomas Crook and his colleagues studied 149 individuals who suffered from age-associated memory impairment. These people had no overt illnesses, but showed signs of memory loss that normally occurs with aging. Those who took phosphatidylserine showed improvement in memory and learning. As with many other smart-drug studies, the people who functioned the worst in the beginning were the most likely to improve. The researchers concluded that “the compound may be a promising candidate for treating memory loss in later life." 2
Treating Alzheimer’s Disease, senility, and depression
In a study at the University of Milan, Italy, 10 elderly women with depressive disorders were given placebos for 15 days, then 300 mg of phosphatidylserine for 30 days. Phosphatidylserine alleviated depression and improved memory and general behavior. No adverse effects were noted in any of the patients.3 Other studies have found similar, positive results. Phosphatidylserine has also proved effective in treating early and mild Alzheimer’s disease4 and senility. 5
The importance of DHA
The human brain is rich in long- chain omega 3 fatty acids. DHA, the major omega 3 fatty acid found in the brain, is highly enriched in neuronal cells. There is a growing body of evidence to support the essential role of DHA in neuronal functions. Studies have shown various neurological diseases to be associated with a deficient DHA status, implying the influence of this fatty acid in neuronal function. 6 The problem, however, lies in the fact that it is difficult to get DHA into the brain.
The unbeatable combination PS-DHA
In order for DHA to exert its full cognitive and mental benefits, it must be delivered to the brain and cross the blood brain barrier. The combination of phosphatidylserine and DHA (PS-DHA) has been designed to do just that. Phosphatidylserine acts as delivery platform, enabling improved bioavailability of DHA to the brain.7
Furthermore, PS-DHA provides the brain with the exact building block it requires, saving the body energy usually needed to biosynthesize it.
PS-DHA supplementation just might be the natural solution for preventing cognitive dysfunction. If you are concerned about your long-term brain health and protecting yourself from Alzheimer’s or age-related dementia, you should consider PS-DHA supplementation.
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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.
Klinkhammer P, Szelies B and Heiss WD. Effect of phosphatidylserine on cerebral glucose metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease. Dimentia (Switzerland) 1(4): 197-201, 1990.
Crook TH, Tinklenberg J, Yesavage J, Petrie W, Wells C, Nunzi MG and Masari DC. Effects of phosphatidylserine in age-associated memory impairment. Neurology 41 (5) : 644-9, May 1991.
Maggioni M, Picotti GB, Bondiolotti, GP, Paneral A, Cenacchi T, Nobile P and Brambilla F. Effects of phosphatidylserine therapy in geriatric patients with depressive disorders. Acta Psychiatr Scand81(3): 265-70, March 1990.
Engel, RR, Satzger W, Gunther W, Kathmann N, Bove D, Gerke S, Munch U and Hippius H. Double-blind cross-over study of phosphatidylserine vs. placebo in patients with early dementia of the Alzheimer type. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol (Netherlands) 2(2): 149-55, June 1992.
Dean W, Morgenthaler J, Fowkes SW. Smart Drugs II: The Next Generation, Petaluma, CA 1993, pp. 77-80.
Horrocks L, Yeo YK. Health benefits of docosahexanoic acid (DHA).Pharmacological Res 1999: 40 ; 211-225.
MozziR, Buratta S, Goracci G. Metabolism and functions of phosphatidylserine in mammalian brain. Neurochem Res. 2003 Feb;28(2):195-214.