~ Phosphatidylserine (PS) - Mental and Cognitive Health

A supplement that has been shown to be useful in combating the deleterious effects of stress is phosphatidylserine. This phospholipid (any of a variety of phosphorous-containing fats) constitutes an essential part of the cellular membrane.

Beginning in the 1990s, studies showed that phosphatidylserine can cut elevated cortisol levels induced by mental and physical stress. In one early study, 800 mg per day given to healthy men significantly blunted the rise in cortisol caused by physical stress.

Another article reported that even small amounts of supplemental phosphatidylserine (50-75 mg administered intravenously) could reduce the amount of cortisol responding to the physical stressors. In that study, eight healthy men had their blood drawn before and after physical stress induced by riding a bicycle ergometer (a stationary bike). While all subjects showed increased cortisol levels, pretreatment with the 50- or 75-mg dose of phosphatidylserine significantly diminished the cortisol response to the physical stressor.

Finally, a study published in 2004 examined phosphatidylserine's effects on endocrine and psychological responses to mental stress, using the Trier Social Stress Test described earlier. This double-blind study followed 40 men and 40 women, aged 20-45, for three weeks. The subjects were given either phosphatidylserine (either 400 or 600 mg daily) or a placebo before taking the Trier Social Stress Test. Phosphatidylserine was effective in blunting the cortisol response to stressors, with those taking 400 mg daily (but not, surprisingly, 600 mg) of phosphatidylserine showing a significantly decreased cortisol response. The authors concluded that phosphatidylserine helped dampen the effects of stress on the pituitary-adrenal axis and may have a role in managing stress-related disorders. Recommended dosage: 300-800 mg per day.


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