If you’re looking for the best phosphatidylserine supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Phosphatidylserine Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Phosphatidylserine (PS) Supplements
|#1||Swanson Triple-Strength Phosphatidylserine||More Info|
|#2||Jarrow Formulas Ps-100||More Info|
|#3||Now Foods Soy-free Phosphatidyl Serine||More Info|
|#4||Natural Factors Phosphatidylserine||More Info|
|#5||Puritan’s Pride Neuro-Ps||More Info|
|#6||MRM PS||More Info|
|#7||Life Extension Phosphatidylserine||More Info|
|#8||Thorne Research – Iso-Phos||More Info|
|#9||Pure Encapsulations – PS 100||More Info|
|#10||Designs for Health – PS 150||More Info|
What is Phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is one of the basic building blocks of healthy cell membranes and brain tissue. Your body utilizes PS to build and maintain new brain tissue. PS interacts synergistically with EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids most abundant in seafood.
PS works well with fatty acids because it is a phospholipid, an organic, fat-soluble compound that contains its own fatty acids or derivatives. In addition to fatty acids, PS also contains amino acids. Your brain typically contains the highest concentrations of PS in your body at any given time.
Although your body manufactures small mounts of PS naturally, you also obtain PS in small amounts from the foods you eat, such as:
- Chicken leg, liver and breast
- Beef, pork and veal
- Unpolished rice
- Whole grain barley
- Trout, crayfish, Atlantic cod
PS is a major component of soy lecithin, a food additive that helps to emulsify or lubricate ingredients, improve flavor and improve texture/mouthfeel in prepackaged foods like dry non-dairy creamer and dry cake mix. Lecithin occurs naturally in eggs, and the addition of soy lecithin mimics the smooth, silky texture and rich flavor that eggs impart.
According to the SoyInfo Center, the study of soy lecithin’s therapeutic properties stretches back to the 1930s. As a result of this tradition of research, lecithin and PS supplements began cropping up on shelves in health food stores and pharmacies in the late 1970s. Prior to 1986, most PS supplements came from cows’ brains.
After the discovery and publicizing of Mad Cow’s Disease, the sports supplement industry sought new sources of PS, which led to soybean and sunflower oil as candidates.
Then as now, PS receives attention in the media as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and general memory problems. Most studies corroborating these findings entail PS supplementation in the elderly. The same studies suggest a link between PS supplementation in the elderly and improved memory and cognitive function.
Empirical evidence remains inconclusive, but in 2003 the FDA issued a Final Decision Letter granting manufacturers of PS the right to make qualified health claims, or claims accompanied by disclaimers, about PS.
Owing to limited, preliminary evidence, the FDA did not entirely dispute health claims that PS consumption may reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive dysfunction in the elderly.
However, owing to the same limited, preliminary evidence, the FDA could not entirely exclude these claims. This action attests to a positive link between PS supplementation and enhanced brain function and memory, a health claim the FDA would surely have repudiated if it weren’t completely true.
PS supplements are available in a variety of forms, according to NutriScience, a gloabal supplier of nutritional ingredients. These forms include:
- Bulk liquid
- Bulk powder
- Granules (as lecithin)
New generations of PS supplements are derivatives of either soy or sunflower. The advantage of the latter is its hypoallergenic properties or usefulness to those avoiding soy for any reason.
There are also vegan/vegetarian friendly versions of PS, that is, PS in capsules or softgels made from vegetable-based gelatin. Certified kosher formulations are readily available.
Benefits of Phosphatidylserine
As touched on earlier, some benefits of PS are:
- Support for cognitive functions, such as reasoning, attention, memory and (subsequently) the acquisition of information and knowledge
- Slight reversal of Alzheimer’s symptoms and Parkinson’s Disease symptoms in the elderly
- Reduced risk of developing dementia
PS may enrich healthy brain activity in individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by naturally lowering your body’s main stress hormone, cortisol. The lowering of cortisol alleviates stress related to a decreased attention span and a sheer inability to sit still, concentrate and think clearly.
PS’s ability to lower cholesterol also helps to improve athletic performance, since optimal (low) cortisol levels contribute to healthy fat metabolism, muscle contraction, adrenal responses and better usage of oxygen for the creation of cellular energy.
PS aids in the recovery of overtaxed muscle following strenuous exercise. Recall that physical activity induces the release of cortisol. Cortisol is a major contributor to catabolism, which is the breakdown of muscle for energy in the absence of blood glucose and muscle glycogen.
With cortisol abated, your body remains in an anabolic state (friendly to muscle-building), enabling you to keep your hard-earned gains, recover more quickly and experience less fatigue.
A 2015 study published in the online Open Access journal Mental Illness revealed that PS stacked with omega-3 fatty acids eliminated symptoms of depression among the elderly. PS and omega-3 fatty acids seem to affect levels of neurotransmitters related to mood stabilization.
A few studies indicate that PS slows the encroachment of general age-related mental decline, but the PS in these studies was sourced from bovine brain tissue, which is scarce in over-the-counter forms.
In your body, PS enhances the process of healthy blood clotting. At the site of an injury, your own blood activates PS through collagen and thrombin, an enzyme. Once activated, PS moves from the interior of your cell membranes to the exterior, forming a surface that is conducive to coagulation.
Are There any Side Effects?
There are no known side effects of PS, but safety concerns about PS derived from bovine brain material persist. Bovine-sourced PS is rare to nonexistent on the market, so it isn’t the sort of concern you should bear in mind when shopping for PS supplements. Manufacturers generally disclose sources of PS in any product they offer.
However, the FDA does not require manufacturers to disclose risks of PS supplements. There are no unofficial or official reports of side effects, save the reactions of individuals allergic to soy who find themselves supplementing with soy-based PS or sunflower oil-based PS manufactured in a facility where machinery comes in contact with soy/other allergens.
Notwithstanding possible allergic reactions to soy, both soy and sunflower oil-based lecithin, are Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS). GRAS is an official FDA designation attached to food additives. This designation effectively informs the public about the safety or harm of food additives, substances and chemicals.
How to Take Phosphatidylserine
Feel free to take the standard does to assess tolerance. The standard PS dose is 300 milligrams divided into three servings of 100 milligrams over the course of a day. This is the dose that conveys the benefit of preventing cognitive decline.
To improve attention spans in children and adolescents, shoot for 200 milligrams divided evenly over the day and 200 to 400 milligrams for non-elderly adults. Doses as high as 550 milligrams daily are not uncommon. Dr. Natasha Turner recommends 100 milligrams daily before bed to improve sleep and manage cortisol.
Since PS is fat-soluble, taking it in a fat/oil-based supplement form potentially increases its bioavailability. There is no definitive scientific evidence confirming that dry formulations and water-soluble versions are any less effective.
There are lifestyle benefits to granules and powdered PS supplements. They conveniently allow you to either fill your own capsules or customize blended homemade beverages. Feel free to add lecithin granules and powdered PS to smoothies, pre-workout shakes, post-workout shakes, liquid meal replacements and even diet shakes.
What to Look For in a Good Phosphatidylserine Product
When appraising PS supplements, look for products whose labels fully disclose the dietary source of the PS in the supplement. Try to avoid bovine-sourced PS. Give preference to PS supplements that come highly endorsed by authorities and individuals respected within the medical and sports nutrition industries.
Endorsements from athletes and fitness professionals unaffiliated with the endorsed manufacturer is another plus. Check customer reviews on major e-commerce and sports nutrition websites.
Some PS supplements come in “complexes” or “stacks” containing other brain-boosters and nutrient co-factors. Complexes and stacks are neither more or less effective than PS alone. Nearly every study demonstrating the efficacy of PS as a brain-booster involved PS supplementation alone or, at most, PS stacked with omega-3 fatty acids.
Lastly, look for citations and certifications (like GMP) that confirm a manufacturer’s adherence to best practices and stringent quality assurance in the areas of sourcing raw materials, training staff, packaging and the transporting of its products.