Phosphatidylserine, or PS, is a phospholipid that is essential to your brain cells. It contains both amino and fatty acids, such as DHA, that are part of the cell structure and key in the maintenance of cellular function, especially in the brain.
Actually, PS is universally present in living things from the most simple to the most complex. It is present in every one of our cells. PS has many known functions throughout all of our tissues and organs, but is most important as the key building block for the billions of cells that make up our brain.
PS increases communication between cells in your brain and enables your brain cells to metabolize glucose and to release and bind with neurotransmitters, which is important to learning, memory and other cognitive functions.
Research demonstrates that PS restores the brain's supply and output of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter so important to memory, It also stimulates the brain to produce dopamine, a brain chemical that is often low in those with depression and ADD/ADHD.
Clinical studies have also shown that PS seems to improve attention, language skills, and memory in aging people with declining thinking skills, and there is developing evidence PS improves memory in people with age-associated memory loss.
PS has also shown some promise in improving symptoms of Alzheimer's disease after 6-12 weeks of treatment, especially in those with less severe symptoms. In fact, he FDA allows the following health claims for PS:
(1) Consumption of phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly.
(2) Consumption of phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly.
PS can be obtained from some foods, but is mainly found in organ meats (liver, kidneys) and some seafood. The body can make PS itself, but cannot produce it in sufficient amounts when under stress, when aged, or when lacking in the necessary enzymes and metabolic cofactors.
Stress actually increases the demand for PS and depletes your levels of it at the same time. And while aging increases the brain's need for PS, it also is when the body's digestion and metabolism becomes less efficient, making it harder for the body to take in PS.
But PS, derived from soy or cabbage, can also be taken as a supplement to increase the available amounts on a regular basis. It is part of the Memory & Mental Support formula, along with additional nutrients for brain health such as ginkgo, rosemary, B vitamins, antioxidants, vinpocetine, huperzine A, and alpha-lipoic acid.