Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an essential fatty acid. Our bodies produce essential fatty acids from the food that we eat. As we age, the chemical processes in our bodies slow down. They lose efficiency. PS levels begin to decline as we reach middle age. This is exacerbated by lowering levels of other essential fatty acids, folic acid, and vitamin B12.
PS is required for successful neurotransmission. PS deficiency has been noted for various types of mental impairment – Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and Parkinson’s disease. The scarcity of PS in patients with psychological impairment led some investigators to believe that PS supplementation could reverse memory loss if PS levels were brought up to normal levels.
In various studies, PS supplementation has raised levels of PS in our brains. It has boosted nerve chemical activity, stimulated nerve cell growth and lowered levels of stress hormones. In many cases, PS appears to reverse age-related memory loss in clinical studies.
I have looked at several studies with successful outcomes when patients were treated with 100 to 400 milligrams of PS a day for an average of three months. The patients were typically elderly with various degrees of age-related memory loss. I have seen very positive results in my own family with dosages in this range.
Is a deficiency in PS the only cause for age-related memory loss? No. Some studies have shown that hypertension, diabetes, vitamin B12 deficiency, heavy metal poisoning, menopause, multiple medications, depression, lack of mental activity, stress and atherosclerosis have an effect on cognitive impairment. In fact, one study was done by Larrabee & Crook in 1994 estimated that more than half of people over age 60 have some age-related memory impairment.
Age-related memory impairment can be as slight as a perception of memory loss. You say to yourself, “Where did I put my car keys?” Many times, this slight level of perceived memory impairment can be overcome by looking at the location of where you placed your keys, glasses, or other items that you use frequently. Say to your brain, “I left my keys on the counter next to the phone.” This reinforces your brain to remember where you left something.
PS supplementation has been shown to be more effective with lower levels of age-related memory loss. There are few side effects from PS supplementation – nothing more significant than an upset stomach. The longer you had impaired memory problems, the longer it takes to return to normal.
There has been a noticeable change in memory loss in most patients, even if they don’t return to the full memory level. There seems to be a gradual build-up of PS to required levels in your brain. The longer it is taken, the better the results.
Professor Parris Kidd from the Memory Loss Institute has reviewed over 3000 peer-reviewed research papers on PS and found remarkable benefits. PS supplementation has been established as very safe to take. Professor Kidd believes that PS supplementation (phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine) is the single best means for conserving memory and other high brain functions as we age.
Aricept, Exelon, and Razadyne are cholinesterase inhibitors. They are prescribed by doctors to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers believe that preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain fights the onset of Alzheimer’s. The side effects of these drugs are typically nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, dizziness, overall weakness, muscle cramps and more are reported side effects. Another commonly used dementia drug is Namenda. It works to inhibit the stimulation of nerve cells by glutamate.
Retaining proper brain function in later years can be as simple as using your brain more. But, there is a supplement that can help you if you are interested. PS is only one of several factors that influence age-related brain dysfunction. Talk to your physician about taking supplemental PS. Some studies show it is more effective than Aricept and similar drugs. The side effects are significantly less than prescribed medications.