PS: Reverse Alzheimer’s and Improve Your Memory With This?
It’s a refrain heard in many horror films, as hungry zombies seek sustenance in the form of this organ.
But maybe those movie monsters were on to something.
See, our brains are rich in a powerful substance that not only helps us survive. It could also protect our memory.
In other words, healthy brains beget healthy brains.
Fortunately, you don’t need to follow a zombie’s diet to enjoy these benefits – this compound is readily available in your health-food store.
You Must Remember This…
Also known as PS, phosphatidylserine is a phosolipid, a molecule that is found within every cell membrane in the body, particularly in the brain. It regulates the way your brain cells work and plays a huge role in cognitive function.
Since its discovery in 1948, there has been a flurry of research into PS, most of which has focused on the way the molecule works within cells.
Investigators have found that it regulates which nutrients enter brain cells, how brain cells dispose of waste, and communication between brain cells, which is called neurotransmitter flow. All of these processes can contribute to healthy brain function because they promote the organ’s ability to form and retain memories.
Researchers have also found that PS may help increase levels of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are typically reduced in people with cognitive decline.
Proponents claim that the supplement can do everything from treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Alzheimer’s disease to improve athletic performance and reduce stress.
But does PS really live up to all that hype?
A Big Brain Booster…
PS may help with some cognitive issues, but not all neurological problems are alike. So its efficacy depends on what specific problems you are coping with.
Where PS really shines in the research is in its ability to improve symptoms in people who are already struggling with cognitive decline.
For example, clinical trials show that PS may improve attention, verbal fluency, and memory in aging people with cognitive deterioration.
In one study, 78 older adults (aged 50 to 69) with mild cognitive impairment took 100 mg to 300 mg a day of PS or a placebo. After 6 months, the researchers found that people who took supplemental PS had better memory and improved verbal recall—an early sign of dementia.1
Another study of nearly 500 elderly people with moderate to severe cognitive decline looked at the effects of 300 mg of PS a day for 6 months. The results: Those who took PS supplements experienced significant improvements in their symptoms, compared to those who took a placebo pill.2
Taking PS may benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease, too: Studies show that 6 to 12 weeks of treatment with supplements have been linked to reduced symptoms.3,4
But PS may not help everyone with a memory disorder.
See, the supplement appears to work best in patients with less severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and may lose its effectiveness after about 16 weeks of treatment5. So far, for reasons that are still unclear, PS doesn’t seem to work in people who have advanced Alzheimer’s disease, although it is a very promising initial treatment for the condition.
PS: There’s More…
Although PS is best studied for its role in age-related cognitive decline, it does show some promise for related problems. People with Parkinson’s disease have had some improvement in dementia when they supplement with PS.6 The supplement also appears to help reduce symptoms of depression in older people, possibly by increasing dopamine and serotonin levels.7 (PS hasn’t yet been studied for its effects on depression in younger adults.)
Our bodies can make small amounts of PS, but we get most of this substance from foods such as soy, cabbage, krill oil, and animal brains. However, you need to supplement for therapeutic doses.
Until relatively recently, PS supplements were made from cow brains. But concerns about mad cow disease have made manufacturers turn to other, safer sources.
Today, most PS products are derived from soy or cabbage. Although bovine-based supplements are better studied, most current research hasn’t found a real difference in effectiveness between them and products made from vegetarian sources.
The recommended dose of PS is 300 mg a day. It typically only causes mild side effects, such as stomach upset and gas.
You should avoid taking PS if you also take an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors (Donepezil, Rivastigmine, Pyridostigmine) or a cholinergic drug (Mytelase, Tensilon, Prostigmine, Mestinoen), as PS might excessively increase acetylcholine levels and potentially cause cholinergic side effects.
PS appears to be a great addition to a memory-protective lifestyle in people with mild cognitive impairment or the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
To help reverse the effects of mild cognitive decline or early Alzheimer’s, make sure to get regular exercise, manage stress, and keep your mind active with crossword puzzles, adult-ed classes, and other approaches to giving your brain a workout. Doing this in addition to taking PS may significantly improve your memory.
With no truly effective Alzheimer’s drugs on the market, this remarkable supplement has proven to make a real difference for people with diagnosed memory problems. I’m excited to see what other benefits research may uncover for PS, too.
And remember, keep an open mind to new ideas, but ALWAYS do your own homework…and combine that with common sense to figure out what’s best for YOU.
1Kato-Kataoka A, Sakai M, Ebina R, et al. Soybean-derived phosphatidylserine improves memory function of the elderly Japanese subjects with memory complaints. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2010 Nov;47(3):246-55.
2Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, et al. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration. Aging (Milano). 1993 Apr;5(2):123-33.
3Engel RR, Satzger W, Günther W, et al. Double-blind cross-over study of phosphatidylserine vs. placebo in patients with early dementia of the Alzheimer type. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1992 Jun;2(2):149-55.
4Crook T, Petrie W, Wells C, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine in Alzheimer’s disease. Psychopharmacol Bull. 1992;28(1):61-6.
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