How Can Phosphatidylserine Help?
When aiming to improve brain power, phosphatidylserine supplements can most certainly help. Just as you need to provide your body with key nutrients, your brain is no different. In fact, the addition of key nutrients can make all the difference in terms of your ability to maintain focus and achieve a higher level of cognitive functioning.
Never heard of phosphatidylserine? Well, it’s in your body right now — found within every cell. Approximately half of the total amount, which is approximately 60 grams, is found within your brain. More specifically, your neurons — or nerve cells. Could you benefit from supplementation?
What Is Phosphatidylserine?
As mentioned, phosphatidylserine is naturally found within the human body. It is a negatively charged aminophospholipid — found within a large portion of human fat cells. In terms of supplementation, this nootropic is fairly new, in that it’s only really been available throughout North America since the 1990s.
Although previously obtained from cow brains, current production utilizes soy as the main source. Since our modern food system has changed so drastically, nutrient levels are significantly affected. Based on changes within our diet and overall lifestyles, here’s why you need more phosphatidylserine:
- Stress — We’re exposed to immense amounts of stress on a regular basis. Elevated cortisol levels are known to cause a range of related diseases. When you’re stressed, your body demands more phosphatidylserine, leading to depleted levels.
- Aging — If there’s one thing we can’t control, it’s the aging process. Although everyone benefits from this supplement, it can be especially beneficial for elderly individuals. Research has shown that phosphatidylserine can help prevent brain decay and improve memory impairment.
- Our Diet — As mentioned, our food system has changed, increasing the intake of low-nutrient foods. For those who are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, this deficiency could potentially reduce the amount of available phosphatidylserine in the brain by nearly 30 percent.
How Does It Work?
To truly understand its benefits, let’s discuss more about how phosphatidylserine actually works. The first key piece of information is based on the blood-brain barrier — a filtering mechanism used by the brain as a form of protection. Only certain substances can pass through and, of course, phosphatidylserine is able to do so.
After passing this barrier, phosphatidylserine allows the brain to metabolize glucose more easily. In addition to greater efficiency, this supplement will also enhance communication between brain cells. By increasing the fluidity of cell membranes within neurons, damaged or aging cells improve.
Once these neurons are rejuvenated, they function at a more optimal level. Meaning, they are capable of receiving and sending information at a more rapid rate. In addition to these benefits, phosphatidylserine influences key neurotransmitters, supporting both positive cognition and mood.
Supporting the brain, this supplement will restore key supplies of acetylcholine, essentially boosting cognitive functioning — more specifically, memory. It’s also believed that phosphatidylserine increases available dopamine, which is important for both cognition and mood.
In some cases, individuals who suffer from depression have experienced improved symptoms when taking a daily dose of phosphatidylserine. It’s also believed that when dopamine levels are reduced, symptoms of ADD and ADHD worsen. Being a natural substance, it’s important to look into the potential benefits for a wide range of dopamine-related conditions.
We’ve already discussed the effects of cortisol, which is not only an issue in terms of mental stress — but also physical. Athletes, for instance, often experience a spike in cortisol levels following an intense workout. Whether you’re cycling, running, or lifting, this supplement can help kickstart recovery, preventing muscle soreness.
Benefits of Phosphatidylserine
When taking a new supplement, you’ll be aiming to achieve specific goals. Although phosphatidylserine offers a range of positive effects, its main benefit is its ability to enhance memory and overall cognitive functioning. This is of particular interest to the aging population, however, benefits a range of individuals, regardless of age.
Many users also experience an increase in mental energy, along with enhanced focus and concentration. Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of phosphatidylserine is its ability to promote long-term benefits. This is why it’s believed to be key in terms of slowing down the aging process.
If you have ever suffered from a stroke, head trauma, or suffered from substance abuse, there are generally key areas of the brain that have been affected. By taking phosphatidylserine, you can target associated damage, offering an effective solution in terms of repair.
For those who suffer from anxiety disorders or even ADHD, can experience positive effects when taking this supplement. It’s highly therapeutic, helping individuals who experience a wide range of symptoms. Although these effects are fairly complex, many of the mood-boosting benefits are in relation to dopamine production.
Dopamine, a critical neurotransmitter, is able to promote feelings of well-being and positive mood, all while improving memory and problem solving abilities. From enhancing cognitive functioning and mood to combatting high cortisol levels, phosphatidylserine is often stacked with ginkgo biloba to enhance mental benefits even further.
Do I Need to Be Concerned About Side Effects?
Like any new supplement, understanding the potential side effects is critical. Luckily, most nootropics are made with natural ingredients which work with your body’s natural level of functioning. In this sense, side effects are generally a lot less common and a lot less severe in terms of more potent medications.
Although there are very few concerns regarding phosphatidylserine, there is one key effect to mention. Anyone who is currently taking the pharmaceutical blood thinner known as Heparin should avoid this supplement, as issues with blood clotting may occur. If you’re taking any other medication, please check with your doctor before your first dose.