Phosphatidylserine is a big word, but the function and effects that phosphatidylserine can achieve in the brain are much bigger.  Scientists have discovered that there are two important functions of phosphatidylserine in the brain.  Phosphatidylserine can rejuvenate brain cell membranes, and particularly important, phosphatidylserine can increase acetylcholine in the brain, the neurotransmitter that is important for memory and regaining lost information in an aging brain [Source: Cenacchi, Crook, Schreiber].

Phosphatidylserine can rejuvenate the cell membranes of the brain.  By strengthening and fortifying cell membranes, phosphatidylserine strengthens memory, increases attention span, improves concentration, mood and depression. Phosphatidylserine is recommended for memory lose, declining mental function, depression, improving cognitive function in young people, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder [Source: Maggioni, Schreiber, Delwaide).   Athletes use phosphatidylserine for improving athletic performance by decreasing the stress response and preventing exercise-induced stress [Source: Monteleone, Benton].  In animal research, phosphatidylserine is noted to suppresse demyelination [Source: Yamazaki, Monastra].

Phosphatidylserine is a fat soluable phospholipid found in the lipid layer of cell membranes. It is found in every cell of the body and is particularly vital for proper functioning of brain cells.  Scientist beleive that as the brain ages, the phospholipids of the brain decrease, affecting a decrease in memory and cognitive functions.  This is reflected in the decreasing natural production of phosphatidylserine during mid-life.   Research shows that by supplementing with phosphatidylserine, that some of the ailing natural function of the brain can be restored. 

There are a few foods rich in phosphatidylserine, including soybeans, egg yolks, chicken and beef liver. Unfortunately, even if sufficient quantities of these foods were consumed to supple the needs of the brain and body, normal aging and stress on the gastrointestinal tract impairs the body’s ability to absorb sufficient amounts of phosphatidylserine from food sources .  Therapeutic doses for a failing memory is 100 mg, taken 2-3 times per day [Source: NMCD]. Improvement in memory and cognitive function can be appreciated as early as 6 weeks in those suffering mental impairments [Source: Delwaide].

Early research on phosphatidylserine was conducted using bovine brain cortex.  Because of the fear of disease transmission from diseased animals, phosphatidylserine is now produced from soy or cabbage.  Clinical studies using plant-derived phosphatidylserine, such as with soy or cabbage, substantiate earlier positive findings seen with bovine derived phosphatidylserine [Source: Blokland].

Phosphatidylserine has few side effects. At higher doses, some gastrointestional flatulence or insomnia may occur [Source: NMCD].