Our memory plays games pretty much to all of us! Whether we are very tired, years come by, or too much reading and obligations have stressed us out; we often feel that our memory deceives us! What can we do and how a substance called phosphatidylserine – yes you read well- can help us?
Phosphatidylserine: What is it?
Phosphatidylserine is a substance essential for brain cell membrane function. It is all over the body but has a higher concentration in the brain. For this reason, it is very important for healthy brain function. Our body can synthesize it, but we mainly take it from food. Its use seems to help in mental function and improves memory, especially in the elderly.
Why is it so important?
Phosphatidylserine is vital for the cell membrane to function properly in brain cells. Cell membrane surrounds cell and its basic properties include:
- It allows nutrients and oxygen to enter brain cells
- It prevents toxins from entering them
- It helps in the synthesis of neurotransmitters
- It contributes to “communicating” with the immune system
When phospholipids are reduced in cell membranes, they can become dense, stiff and dysfunctional. This can lead to various brain problems such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Mild Cognitive Impairment
- Age-associated Memory Impairment
How does it work?
Phosphatidyl serine increases the fluidity of cell membranes that have started to destroy, thereby facilitating communication between brain cells. It also passes easily from the blood to the brain, binds to neurotransmitters, and allows brain to metabolize glucose more easily and to perform its functions more quickly.
What does research say?
Up until now, studies on phosphatidylserine show that it appears to improve concentration, language skills and memory in elderly people with relative problems. Better results are found to people with less serious problems.
There are also studies showing that taking phosphatidylserine supplements enriched with fatty acid DHA has helped improve memory in elderly women who have complained about their memory.
Regarding Alzheimer’s, studies so far have shown that taking phosphatidylserine for 12 weeks has improved several early signs of the disease, but at the end of this time it became less effective. However, it is a very promising start for further research.
Therefore, the brain needs phosphatidylserine to function properly. Its use seems to enhance cognitive function in many ways, especially in memory. Although it has been used primarily for age-related memory loss, it is likely to help brain function in all ages.
Dose and contraindications
So far, phosphatidylserine has been safely used in studies in adults for 6 months and in children for 4 months. Usually the dose ranges from 100 to 300 mg. A larger dose than 300 mg can cause insomnia and stomach upsets.
Attention should be paid to the origin of phosphatidylserine, as most of the former preparations were of animal origin.Now though, the majority contain phosphatidylserine from plants such as soy or cabbage.
Taking phosphatidylserine interacts with medication for Alzheimer’s, glaucoma, but also cholinergic and anticholinergic drugs.
So, if your memory begins to fade, you can choose phosphatidylserine to help you! You will find it in foods such as soya lecithin, mackerel, herring, eel and tuna and in a larger dose in a dietary supplement.