One of the nutrients
gaining a reputation as "miraculous" is Phosphatidylserine,
commonly referred to as PS. Once the marketing machine starts
rolling, the hype tends to roll right over the actual value
of a product, and compounds that "might" have been revealed
to have some value are sold as the latest greatest cure-all.
I've devoted a good
portion of my career to battling the misinformation, and rarely
do I relay a supplement as having any curative value beyond
that which is supplied from sensible meals. I've recently
seen PS advertised as a great muscle builder, as a great "smart
pill," as a rejuvenator, and as a cure for learning disabilities.
I feel as if we're on the threshold of marketing run amok,
so allow me to share some of the realities.
is a phospholipid. A "lipid" is a fat, but unlike triglycerides
(three fatty acids attached), phospholipids have two fatty
acids and a sort of a "head" which contains phosphorus. Biochemistry
aside, the reason these unique lipids are so valuable is because
their fatty acid chains are attracted to fats, and their "heads"
are attracted to water. Every cell in your body is surrounded
by a membrane and that membrane must allow water to pass through,
yet protect the unique environment of the water filled cell
by acting as a barrier of sorts. The phosphatidylserine molecule,
when it comes in contact with water, forms a "bilateral structure"
which becomes a layer of the actual cell wall.
(PS) is present in every human cell, but is most abundant
in brain cells. The membrane is the surface of the cell, and
that's where, in the brain, PS interacts with proteins that
conduct the transport of nerve signals. It is highly involved
in neurotransmitter production and release as well as the
activity of the chemical receptor sites.
tests strongly indicate that PS benefits brain physiology.
The exploration of
PS is nothing new (the research history goes back three decades),
but the continued research lends greater credence to its virtue
as a supplement. There are two primary areas of study in which
PS has shown impressive value:
1. The reduction of exercise
induced cortisol production
2. Increased cognition or a decrease
of cognitive deterioration
Scientists have conducted
tests ranging from EEG measurement of brain activity to simple
name-face recognition, or memorization of a list of non-related
words in order to verify that cognition begins a decline in
humans after the age of 40. Of all of the compounds studied,
PS is the single substance best validated to help offset,
reduce, or even reverse cognitive decline.
I've found 49 research
abstracts that show promise, most of them clearly showing
that PS benefits memory, concentration, and alertness. Is
it safe? To date more than 1,000 subjects received PS under
controlled clinical conditions there is absolutey no report
of "side effects" beyond stomach upset or sleeplessness
with high dosages.
There has been some
controversy over which is a better source of PS . . . the
cow or the soybean (unlikely rivals). I'll explain from whence
this controversy emerged. When PS was first isolated for research,
it was extracted from bovine (cow) brain tissue. The early
research used bovine-sourced PS, and the research, as noted,
was impressive. Scientists have since learned to isolate PS
in a valuable form from soy, and with the fear of Mad Cow
Disease making the news on a daily basis, cow based supplements
are far less desirable. Those who earn their livelihoods selling
bovine PS are quick to point out that the early research used
ONLY bovine PS, and that soy-based PS might not be as valuable.
In 1995 a very credible clinical research study, The Effect
of Plant Phosphatidylserine on Age-Associated Memory Impairment
and Mood in the Functioning Elderly conducted at the Geriatric
Institute for Education and Research, and Department of Geriatrics,
Kaplan Hospital in Israel, showed results to be just as significant
with soy based PS than with bovine. This result has been replicated
in continued research over the years between 1995 and 2003.
The great majority of PS sold commercially today is soy-based.
PS also seems to limit
hypothalmic activity to suppress the production of "the
stress hormone," cortisol, which may lead to applications
in anti-aging study from not only a cognitive standpoint,
in the physical realm as well. It may prove to be an aid in
This is not a drug,
and I don't know whether it should be considered miraculous,
but in cases of reduced cognition, it certainly shows promise.
Pages To Explore:
[ Site Menu ] [ Best
You've Ever Been Audio ] [ Programs
Weight Loss ]
designed and operated by
Phil Kaplan's Fitness Associates
3132 Fortune Way, #D-1
Wellington, Florida 33414
Fax (561) 204-2189