What Is Phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an integral component of every cell in your body and is classified as a phospholipid [foss-foe-lip-id]. It is a phosphate based molecule which contains glycerol, serine, and some variable fatty acid components (the “lipid” part of the name). We have as much as 60 grams (2.5 ounces) of it in our bodies, and it easily passes through the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB).
What does it do?
One of its most important functions is to aid in cell-death. Between 20 and 70 billion of our cells die every day (depending on how big we are), and are replaced by brand new ones. That process is called Apoptosis [app-oh-toe-sis] and it’s perfectly healthy and necessary.
PS also helps us to stop bleeding when we are cut, and signals other cells to begin repairs. All-around, it’s a pretty useful chemical.
Why is it important?
It has some additional functions. Phosphatidylserine is vital for healthy and functional nerve cell membranes and the myelin sheath that surrounds them. Think of it as the electrical wiring system for your body and the insulation for those wires.
Also, when we are stressed (like running from a bear, or trying to swim to shore when our boat sinks) our adrenal glands go to work and release a substance called cortisol which complements epinephrine (aka adrenaline) and helps us endure long enough to do all we need to do an emergency.
Cortisol helps us think faster, perform better, and be hyper-alert. Unfortunately if there’s too much of it in our systems, we get anxious and twitchy; our minds race and can’t seem to calm down; good quality, sustained, healthy sleep becomes difficult, if not impossible.
Phosphatidylserine for Sleep
If we’re constantly stressed, our cortisol levels remain high, and the phosphatidylserine, which is responsible for dulling the effect of cortisol, drops below normal levels. Numerous studies have clearly demonstrated a relationship between supplementing with PS and better sleep patterns, improved cognitive function, and improved memory.
As our brains age structural deterioration takes place; when combined with certain biochemical changes it results in reduced communication within the various parts of our brains. It has been shown that oral supplements of Phosphatidylserine in doses of 100–800 mg per day are tolerated very well by most people, and are absorbed very efficiently. It quickly crosses the BBB and then slows, halts, or even reverses these chemical changes and this deterioration.
Some researchers have noted that in doses over 300 mg, PS can cause insomnia in some people. On the whole, most agree that the health benefits significantly outweigh the minor side effects and PS is rated as nontoxic. People using blood thinners such as heparin should not use PS without close consultation with their physician.
Phosphatidylserine increases the ability to form short term memories (so you remember why you got up and went into the kitchen, or you can remember the phone number you just looked up long enough to finish dialing). It increases the ability to access long-term memory, it enhances the ability to create new memories, and it improves the ability to learn and recall new information.
PS increases focus and the ability to concentrate, it enhances the ability to reason and solve problems. In addition it can improve language skills and improve the motor functions of your limbs including rapid reactions and swift reflexes. It can also mitigate the effect of panic or anxiety attacks by decreasing their severity.
Those of us with trouble sleeping will probably benefit with the use of Phosphatidylserine. Those worried about age-related decreasing brain function should also enjoy its effects. Raising your PS level manages your cortisol levels. That can significantly change your life for the better.
Where to Get Phosphatidylserine
Whether you’re looking for loose powder or premade capsules, both BulkSupplements and Amazon are good reputable online stores. You can use the links below to check out phosphatidylserine from Amazon if you’re looking to use your Prime benefits.