Difficult to pronounce, impossible to live without.
Seriously, this unique nutrient is a major component of literally every cell in your body, and research has shown that supplementing with it can provide a number of interesting benefits.
I’ve spent the better part of the last decade researching supplements and haven’t come across many as intriguing as Phosphatidylserine.
When it comes to supplements, I’m naturally skeptical. If the research is tenuous, I’ll typically pass.
Phosphatidylserine, however, has earned a permanent place in my daily supplement regimen, and in this article, I’m going to tell you why.
We’ll cover everything you need to know about Phosphatidylserine, including:
- What It Is
- How It Works
- How It Can Benefit You
And a whole lot more along the way.
Ready? Cool, let’s dive right in…
What Is Phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine is belongs to group of important molecules called Phospholipids.
Phospholipids are important components of all cell membranes. They provide stability and protection for all of the cells in the human body.
Phosphatidylserine is particularly concentrated in the brain, though, where it is is absolutely critical to cognitive function and brain health in general.
The body is capable of producing Phosphatidylserine, but it’s also present in foods like meat, fish, and soy lechitin.
It is estimated that the average person’s diet yields a little over 100mg of Phosphatidylserine per day. While this may be enough to fulfill it’s normal physiological roles, supplementation is still required to achieve the majority of the benefits associated with PS.
That’s why you’ll find it in various supplements, from nootropics (brain-boosters) to anti-stress and hormonal health formulas.
Just as it plays many roles throughout the body, there are many reasons why you might consider supplementing with Phosphatidylserine.
Why Do People Supplement With Phosphatidylserine?
Some of the more important roles of Phosphatidylserine in the human body include:
- cognitive function
- immune health
- bone formation
- cell repair
- hormone release
So there are a lot of potential reasons why someone might supplement with it.
The most common reasons people supplement with it, though, are to:
- improve cognitive function
- reduce stress and cortisol
Now, let’s talk about some of the primary benefits in a bit more detail.
What Are The Proven Benefits of Phosphatidylserine?
As with any supplement, some of the benefits of Phosphatidylserine are more proven than others.
Phosphatidylserine Helps Manage Stress
Although studies tend to differentiate between mental stress and physical stress, both forms of stress involve the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis.
The HPA axis is a complex set of processes and interactions between three glands–the hypothalamus, pituirtary gland, and adrenal gland–which controls several important physiological functions, including the stress response.
Phosphatidylserine does not slow down or dull brain activity. In fact, as we’ll soon discuss, it may actually enhance cognitive abilities.
Instead, PS appear to interact with stress hormones–namely Cortisol–in such a way that reduces the hormonal impact of stress, either physical stress (like exercise) or ongoing mental stress.
The ability of Phosphatidylserine to blunt exercise-induced cortisol spikes may be of interest to athletes and bodybuilders, but preventing Cortisol levels from getting too high is of interest to anyone who experiences stress regularly.
Cortisol, though vital to our body’s stress response, contributes to the breakdown of muscle tissue. Having elevating Cortisol levels for too long can have numerous negative health impacts.
The impact of Phosphatidylserine on Cortisol is often misinterpreted, however.
It doesn’t actually reduce Cortisol. It normalizes Cortisol.
Supplementing with Phosphatidylserine won’t drop your Cortisol levels to the point that it interferes with normal bodily functions but if you’re stressed out on the regular, PS can help manage it.
Phosphatidylserine Enhances Cognitive Function
In recent years, the number of nootropic supplements with Phophatidylserine as a key component has shot up dramatically.
Perhaps that’s because it’s one of the few natural supplements which has actually been shown to enhance cognitive abilities in healthy, normal people, as opposed to just people with some sort of cognitive impairment.
Researchers aren’t quite sure how exactly Phosphatidylserine works to improve cognitive function, but it has been shown to increase Acetylcholine levels in mice.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which is heavily inolved in cognitive functions such as memory and learning.
Elevated Acetylcholine levels is typically seen as beneficial for brain function in general, so that is often the goal of nootropic supplements and drugs.
Phosphatidylserine may work in part by increasing Acetylcholine levels, but given that it’s a vital component of cell membranes, it also makes sense that the cognitive benefits are in part due to Phosphatidylserine maintaining the health and structural integrity of brain cells.
Whether you suffer from some sort of cognitive dysfunction or just want to optimize your brain performance, Phosphatidylserine is worth supplementing with.
Phosphatidylserine Improves Exercise Capacity
Some of the studies on Phosphatidylserine have investigated the impact it has on exercise, not just in terms of the hormonal response to exercise, but exercise performance as well.
One study found that Phosphatidylserine supplementation (750mg/day) increased endurance by an average of 29% in subjects cycling at 85% intensity.
Another study, this time in runners, noted a similar increase in time to exhaustion.
One study also found a marked improvement in drive accuracy of golfers supplementing with Phosphatidylserine which was attributed to less stress.
Phosphatidylserine has been shown to blunt increases in Cortisol from exercise, but it’s not clear whether that would have any favorable impact on physical performance.
It appears as though Phosphatidylserine may enhance exercise recovery as well.
Phosphatidylserine Helps With ADHD
Due to it’s reputation as a brain-boosting nutrient, Phosphatidylserine has also been investigated as a potential treatment for ADHD.
The research on the whole is actually quite encouraging.
There do appear to be some added benefits with a combination of Fish Oil and Phosphatidylserine, beyond the benefits of either supplement alone.
We’ll talk more about that relationship a little later on…
What Is The Clinically Effective Dosage Of Phosphatidylserine?
Most multi-ingredient nootropic supplements which contain Phosphatidylserine are under-dosed.
Studies have used doses ranging from 200 to 800mg/day, so you should ideally try to stay within that range.
I personally take about 600mg/day, spread out throughout the day in 200mg doses. It’s not crystal clear whether timing has much of an impact, but as a general rule, it makes sense to space it out.
Stacking Phosphatidylserine With Fish Oil For Better Results
Complexation–the binding of Phosphatidylserine to fatty acids–with DHA and EPA from Fish Oil appears to improve to enhance the general benefits.
More studies are definitely needed in this area, but so far the evidence is definitely supports the notion that Phosphatylserine and Fish Oil should be combined.
Does Phosphatidylserine Have Any Side Effects?
Studies have shown Phosphatidylserine to be remarkably well tolerated. There is absolutely no evidence which indicates it’s at all harmful, even at high doses.
In fact, Phosphatidylserine is downright healthy for you!
It’s one of those nutrients that we should probably all be getting more of, but don’t realize we’re missing. It may not be listed on nutrition labels, but it is DEFINITELY an essential nutrient for human health.
My Personal Experience With Phosphatidylserine
As I said earlier, out of the hundreds of supplements I’ve spent time researching and understanding, only a handful have made it into my daily supplement regimen.
Phosphatidylserine is one them.
I definitely don’t suffer from any kind of diagnosed memory impairment or mentally deteriorating condition, but I find that when I take Phosphatidylserine consistently for at least a few weeks, I’m able to think more clearly, learn things, and remember things.
As my business has taken off, and my life has become more hectic and stressful, I’ve also noticed that Phosphatidylserine helps keep my perceived stress levels low.
Generally speaking, I take around 600mg, spread evenly throughout the day. 200mg in the morning, 200mg in the afternoon, and 200mg at night.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of Phosphatidylserine for me, however, is how it impacts my sleep.
Normally, I wake up a few times per night and don’t always get what I would consider to be a good night’s sleep.
When I take Phosphatidylserine throughout the day, however, I sleep like a rock.
Although no studies have investigated the impact of Phosphatidylserine specifically on sleep duration or quality, it makes sense that it would help from a physiological standpoint.
At night time (starting around midnight), Cortisol levels start to increase. In the morning, Cortisol levels are at their highest and then taper off throughout the day until the cycle repeats.
By reducing Cortisol spikes throughout the night, Phosphatidylserine may be able to help you sleep better, wake up less, and ultimately feel well-rested the next day.
That’s certainly been my experience.
Obviously, the higher your Cortisol levels (the more stressed you are), the more of an impact Phosphatidylserine can make on your sleep.
The Best Phosphatidylserine Supplement
Phosphatidylserine can be derived from:
- Cow Brains
- Soy Lechitin
- Sunflower Seeds
Due to concerns over mad cow disease, cow brains aren’t a particularly popular choice, though.
So, when it comes to supplements, you can either use Phosphatidylserine from Soy Lechitin or Phosphatidylserine from Sunflower Seeds.
There’s no real consensus about which one is superior (they’re probably the same), but soy lechitin has been used in more studies so that’s the form I typically suggest.
Unfortunately, due to the complexity involved with deriving Phosphatidylserine and maintaining the stability of the molecule during manufacturing, not all forms of Phosphatidylserine are created equal.
There can be significant differences in terms of quality from one brand to the next.
Some brands use cheap, off-brand Phosphatidylserine from overseas. You should avoid such products.
This is precisely why I decided to come out with my own PS supplement using a patented form of pure, high-quality Phosphatidylserine.
Singular Sport Phosphatidylserine
After doing a ton of research on this unique substance, I realized that very few brands offered a quality product.
So, I did the only thing I could do…I made my own!
Singular Sport Phosphatidylserine contains 200mg of SerinAid per serving and uses absolutely no fillers, dyes, or artificial additives.
What’s more, we Third Party Test each finished batch for purity, potency, and to make sure it’s free of harmful substances such as heavy metals and bacteria.
No other Phosphatidylserine supplement offers this level of quality OR transparency.
The Bottom Line On Phosphatidylserine
Phosphatidylserine is a safe, effective supplement for promoting optimal brain function and managing stress. The effects may be more pronounced in individuals with cognitive problems or chronic stress, but research indicates normal, healthy people can benefit as well.
Just be careful when choosing a Phosphatidylserine supplement. Most of them are low quality and may not provide the benefits you’re looking for.
Go with a standardized, patented form from a brand you can trust and make sure you’re taking a true, clinical dose.