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What is Phosphatidylserine?

Phosphatidylserine is a lipid derived from amino acids. It is similar in structure to triglycerides, the form in which fat is stored in the body, but with two different molecules instead of one fatty acid group.

Where Does Phosphatidylserine Come From?

Phosphatidylserine is synthesised in the body as well as being available in some foods, in particular organ meat and white beans. It is found throughout the human body, with the majority being found in the brain. For supplementation it was originally extracted from the brains of cows, however in recent years it is produced through processing of soy lecithin.

Phosphatidylserine Health Benefits

Phosphatidylserine has definite stress reducing benefits. This occurs in otherwise healthy individuals with no stress disorders, as well as those experiencing high levels of stress. It is unknown how Phosphatidylserine exerts these effects, but it appears prolonged supplementation is necessary. During a trial on golfers being supplemented, a 21.6% increase in drive accuracy was noted, most likely due to the decrease in stress and hence improved ability to concentrate.

It also has effects on cognition, especially the decline related to aging. There may also be benefits for memory in healthy individuals when supplemented at higher, but not unfeasibly, doses.

Phosphatidylserine Benefits for Bodybuilding

Phosphatidylserine has demonstrated an ability to increase time to exhaustion in cyclists. This would allow longer and more intense training sessions. It can also attenuate exercise related increases in cortisol; improving recovery and workouts further.

Phosphatidylserine Side Effects, Safety and Negatives

Phosphatidylserine was originally sourced from cow's brains, due to the high concentrations found in their cortex. However, due to the risk of BSE (mad cow disease) it is now extracted from soy lecithin. Although there are no differences in molecular structure of the compound itself, associated molecules must have been exerting some effect since there is a reduction in efficacy of the newer form.

Phosphatidylserine Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing

The optimum dose is 100mg taken 3 times daily. Phosphatidylserine will be absorbed much for effectively if taken with food.

Phosphatidylserine Supplements

Phosphatidylserine can be bought in capsule form. It is also found in some recovery and cell repair products such as BPM Labs Aminomaxxx and Max's Cell Repair, as well as combined health and multivitamin supplements such as Swisse ultivite 50+ and Ultimate Nutrition Vegetable Greens.

Stacking Phosphatidylserine

The effects of Phosphatidylserine may be increased when taken with fish oil. It would stack well with all bodybuilding supplements due to it's ability to attenuate physiological stress; as part of a recovery stack it might work particularly well.

Hellhammer J, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids administered in phosphatidylserine improved certain aspects of high chronic stress in men. Nutr Res. (2012)
Richter Y, et al. The effect of phosphatidylserine-containing omega-3 fatty acids on memory abilities in subjects with subjective memory complaints: a pilot study. Clin Interv Aging. (2010)
Monteleone P, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine on the neuroendocrine response to physical stress in humans. Neuroendocrinology. (1990)
Sakai M, Yamatoya H, Kudo S. Pharmacological effects of phosphatidylserine enzymatically synthesized from soybean lecithin on brain functions in rodents. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). (1996)
Suzuki S, et al. Oral administration of soybean lecithin transphosphatidylated phosphatidylserine improves memory impairment in aged rats. J Nutr. (2001)
Monteleone P, et al. Blunting by chronic phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. (1992)
Parker AG, et al. The effects of IQPLUS Focus on cognitive function, mood and endocrine response before and following acute exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2011)
Kingsley MI, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine on exercise capacity during cycling in active males. Med Sci Sports Exerc. (2006)
Kingsley MI, et al. Phosphatidylserine supplementation and recovery following downhill running. Med Sci Sports Exerc. (2006)

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