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Home > Health Category Library > Phosphatidylserine



Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a naturally occurring nutrient and an essential component of human cell membranes. It is one of compounds within a group known as phospholipids. PS studies in the last two decades support benefits to cognitive functions following the consumption of PS in the form of dietary supplements.


PS is thought have an important role in the body’s neurotransmitter function and is believed to support numerous membrane functions in nerve cells. Oral supplementation of PS is rapidly absorbed and reaches the brain where it is taken up by the cell membranes


One capsule (100 mg PS), three times a day with meals. Taking too close to bedtime may delay falling asleep.

One formulation contains 545 mg of Phosphatidylserine.

Supplemental Uses

Alzheimer’s disease:
Phosphatidylserine has been found to be effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Controlled studies have found that it helps improve mental functioning when 300 mg daily is used for three to twelve weeks (1,2). While PS is not a cure, it may reduce symptoms in the short term and slow the progression of the disease (3). Its therapeutic effect is not only beneficial to Alzheimer’s patients, but also to individuals with memory loss caused by other types of conditions (e.g. multiple small Strokes, old age).

Preliminary research shows that PS may be effective for treating Depression (4). In one trial, women given 300 mg PS experienced much less depression than those given placebo. The effect was still seen after forty-five days of therapy. PS may have an effect on the neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood.

Phosphatidylserine can be used to treat the following:

Impaired memory and learning (5,6)
Loss of nerve connections (synapses) in the brain
Impairment of various higher mental activities
Neurotransmitter production and release
Repair of damaged brain cell membranes


Phosphatidylserine has a long history of safe use in foods and dietary supplements. However, excessive doses may cause nausea, lower uric acid and liver SGPT levels without adverse clinical effect (11).

In the absence of reproductive studies it is not recommended for use when pregnant or nursing without supervision by health care practitioner.

Interactions and Contra-Indications

There are no known drug interactions or contra-indications for phosphatidylserine.


1. Delwaide PJ, Gyselynck-Mambourg AM, Hurlet A, et al. Double-blind randomized controlled study of phosphatidylserine in senile demented patients. Acta Neurol Scand 1986;73:136-40.
2. Engel RR, Satzger W, Gunther W, et al. Double-blind cross-over study of phosphatidylserine vs. placebo in patients with early dementia of the Alzheimer type. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 1992;2:149-55.
3. Heiss WD, Kessler J, Mielke R, et al. Long-term effects of phosphatidylserine, pyritinol, and cognitive training in Alzheimer’s disease. A neuropsychological, EEG, and PET investigation. Dementia 1994;5:88-98.
4. Maggioni M, Picotti GB, Bondiolotti GP, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine therapy in geriatric patients with depressive disorders. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1990;81:265-70.
5. Crook, T. H., et al., 1991. "Effects of phosphatidylserine in age-associated memory impairment." Neurol. 41: 644-649.
6. Gindin, J., et al: 1995. "The effect of plant phosphatidylserine on age-associated memory impairment and mood in the functioning elderly." Geriatric Institute for Education and Research, and Department of Geriatrics, Kaplan Hospital, Rehovot, Israel.
7. Allegro, L., V. Favaretto, and G. Ziliotto, 1987. "Oral phosphatidylserine in elderly subjects with cognitive deterioration-an open study. " Clin. Trials J. 24: 104-108.
8. Caffarra, P., and V. Santamaria, 1987. "The effects of phosphatidylserine in subjects with mild cognitive decline. An open trial. " Clin. Trials J. 24: 109-114.
9. Cenacchi, B., et al., 1993. "Cognitive decline in the elderly: A double-blind, placebocontrolled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration." Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 5: 123-133.
10. Crook, T. H., et al., 1992. "Effects of phosphatidylserine in Alzheimer's Disease." Psychopharmacol. Bull. 28: 61-66.
11. Cenacchi, B., C. Baggio, and E. Palin, 1987. "Human tolerability of oral phosphatidylserine assessed through laboratory examinations. " Clin. Trials J. 24: 125130.

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