Phosphatidylserine: A Remarkable Brain Cell Nutrient
(Based on an article by Parris M. Kidd, PhD)
Phosphatidylserine is a naturally occurring phospholipid. Phospholipids are a class of lipids (which include glycolipids and cholesterol) that comprise the major components of cell membranes. Phospholipids are lipid compounds that have phosphate 'heads' and fatty acid 'tails' which align themselves in polar opposition to one another to make up the double layer, or bilayer, of a cell membrane. There are two types of phospholipids: phosphoglycerides and sphingomyelin. Phosphoglycerides are formed by the esterification, or bonding that occurs between the carboxyl group of a fatty acid and the hydroxyl groups of a glycerol molecule. Phosphatidyl serine (or PS) is a phosphoglyceride that is formed when a phosphoester linkage is created between the hydroxyl of an alcohol (serine) and cytidine. While phosphatidyl serine is important for the basic maintenance of all cell membranes, it is found in a relatively higher concentration in brain cells.
The predominance of phosphatidyl serine in brain cell membranes points to its role in an assortment of nerve cell functions -- most importantly, neurotransmitter release and synaptic activity. Clinical studies strongly suggest its ability to support and improve brain functions such as mental concentration and memory retention which typically begin to decline with age. The following review is intended as a source of information about Phosphatidyl serine and its potential for improving mental capacity.
There are more than 35 million Americans over the age of 65 according to 2005 U.S. Census figures, and it is very likely that about half of this population will experience a diminished capacity in memory retention and recall as well as the ability to concentrate and focus. This kind of loss can, of course, have a negative impact on everyday activity and productivity, self esteem and self image. Much PS research has been initiated in the hopes of slowing brain deterioration in order to preserve a high level of mental capacity later in life.
To this end, two double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of PS took place in the United States. Both of these multicenter studies were coordinated by T.H. Crook, PhD, in association with the Memory Assessment Clinics (MAC) of Bethesda, Maryland. Subjects were selected on the basis of their degree of measurable losses in memory, judgment, abstract thought as well as changes in personality and behavior. They were then subsequently divided into a treatment group and a placebo group with the treatment group receiving 300 mg of phosphatidyl serine per day (100 mg/3x a day). Treatment group subjects in this first study (Crook et al, 1991) showed significant improvement along the factors of Name-Face Acquisition (learning names and faces), Name-Face Delayed Recall (recall of names and faces) and Delayed Non-Matching (facial recognition). The second study (Crook et al, 1992) was a MAC collaboration with Vanderbilt University and ExPharma, an Italian pharmaceuticals company. Subjects again were chosen based on their degree of measurable losses in memory, judgment, abstract thought as well as changes in personality and behavior. Phosphatidylserine was again administered to a treatment group at 300 mg per day (100 mg/3x a day) for 12 weeks (versus a placebo group), and again statistically significant results were garnered. Improvements were seen along the lines of:
- Recall of names of familiar people or those the subject just met
- Recall of the location of frequently misplaced objects
- Recall of details of events from the previous day
- Recall of details of events that occurred within the past week
- Attention, concentration, focus and mood
Other studies on Phosphatidyl serine and cognitive function conducted in Europe were not double blind, yet produced results consistent with those from the double-blind studies. These include:
- Cognitive loss, mild: improved short-term memory, mood and behavior (Caffara and Santamaria, 1987, open trial);
- Cognitive loss, mild: improved attentive function and social interest (Sinforiani et al, 1987, open trial);
- Cognitive loss, mild-moderate: improved memory and recall, improved socialization and participation (Granata and DiMichele, 1987, open trial);
- Cognitive loss, mild-moderate: improved cognition and behavior (Puca et al, 1987, exploratory open trial);
- Cognitive loss, moderate: global improvement (Allegro et al, 1987, open trial).
As these clinical trials indicate, the presence of more phosphatidyl serine in the brain appears to be beneficial. Findings show improvement of cognitive function along many diverse measures when phosphatidyl serine is part of a dietary supplementation regimen. Since the 1970s, clinical trials testing PS have been shown to alleviate, ameliorate, and in some cases, even reverse age-related decline of memory retention & recall, learning, concentration, language/word skills and mood. There is also evidence that Phosphatidyl serine also improves the body's capacities to cope with stress by restoring internal Circadian rhythms.
With these many demonstrated benefits, it's never too soon to start being proactive about your mental fitness and neurophysiological well being, especially if you have a family history of Alzheimer's or dementia. This is where BrainReload comes in. With a balance of phosphatidyl serine, BrainReload is a targeted brain supplement which makes it more effective than commonplace vitamins for the brain. Make BrainReload part of your regular supplement regimen to maintain attention and recall, and you'll subsequently improve your concentration and daily focus. Order BrainReload today and save when you buy more!
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