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
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.
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
Phosphatidylserine can be
used to treat the following:
Impaired memory and learning
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
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.