Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a nutrient that supports membrane proteins crucial for homeostasis, maintenance, and specialized cell functions. PS is found most concentrated in the brain, where its relative abundance reflects its involvement in specialized nerve cell functions such as chemical transmitter production and release.

The fundamental contributions of PS to the structure and function of individual nerve cells are expressed in the performance of the brain as a whole. More than 35 human studies conducted over a period of 30 years, together with numerous animal studies, indicate PS supports EEG integration, the HPAA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), and circadian rhythms of hormone release. Some sixteen clinical trials indicate that PS benefits measurable cognitive functions which tend to decline with age; these include memory, learning, vocabulary skills and concentration, as well as mood, alertness, and sociability.

PS is a phospholipid, ubiquitous in membranes and obligatory for all the cells of the body. Present in common foods in small amounts, PS may be a semi-essential nutrient. Although it can be synthesized in the body from precursors, its multistep biosynthesis is energetically costly. Until recently, supplemental PS was available only from bovine brain. Now PS is available as a soy lecithin-based concentrate. With its proven benefits against age-related mental decline, phosphatidylserine might represent a truly safe and effective means for improving the quality of life of the elderly.

PS has been the most studied nutrient for cognitive decline. Very substantial amounts of data are available on PS, and the findings indicate PS is safe to take and highly effective. Intakes in the trials ranged from 200-500mg daily; a reasonable supplementation strategy would be to take 200-300mg per day (in 2 or 3 divided doses, with meals) for the first month, then lower the intake to 100-200mg per day.

However, because of fear of mad cow disease, PS sources from bovine brain are no longer available in the United States. AND, a study has shown that there is no benefit over placebo when using SOY BASED PS. The phosphatidylserine available in the US is not effective for the prevention or treatment of cognitive decline.


Phosphatidylserine can help with the following


Low Adrenal Function / Adrenal Insufficiency

When midnight cortisol levels are elevated, supplementation of an additional nutrient is indicated. High midnight cortisol levels denote stress maladaptation – the loss of the negative feedback inhibition whereby the brain and pituitary gland down-regulate inappropriately elevated cortisol. Supplements of phosphatidylserine have been found to result in reduction of midnight cortisol levels. Incorporation of phosphatidylserine into the membranes of brain cells apparently restores sensitivity to cortisol receptors.

Lab Values  

Elevated Cortisol Levels

Taking 100mg up to three times a day supports and revitalizes nerve cells and has been shown in numerous studies to slow or reverse cognitive losses attributed to aging. PS is found in every cell in the body, but perhaps most significant is its ability to lower the level of stress hormones such as cortisol which damage brain cells and lead to the accumulation of calcified plaques in the brain. Plaques of this type have been observed in Alzheimer’s patients. PS also helps brain cells communicate and improves both memory and the ability to concentrate.



May do some good
Likely to help



Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.


Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.


A fat or lipid containing phosphorus found in high quantities in the brain and very important to the function of cellular membranes and to the nervous system.


(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.


A pharmacologically inactive substance. Often used to compare clinical responses against the effects of pharmacologically active substances in experiments.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.