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Phosphatidylserine is a natural substance that is produced by human and animal organisms themselves. However, this active substance is also supplied through food. Phosphatidylserine is responsible for many complex processes in the nervous system. Therefore, preparations of it are often used for memory or attention disorders.

With this article we want to help you find the right phosphatidylserine preparation for you. Therefore, we have compared many products in our large phosphatidylserine test 2021 to show you the advantages and disadvantages. We also explain the mode of action and areas of application. This way you can find the best phosphatidylserine preparation for you.




The most important facts

  • Phosphatidylserine belongs to the group of phospholides and is thus a component of all cell membranes in the body. The concentration of the active substance is particularly high in brain and nerve cells. Phosphatidylserine is produced by the body itself on the one hand and supplied through food on the other.
  • Due to the effect of phosphatidylserine on complex processes in the brain and nerve cells, it is used for many symptoms in this area. These include above all learning and concentration disorders, memory disorders and depression. But studies also show an effect on symptoms of ADHD.
  • There are three different dosage forms of phosphatidylserine. These include capsules, powder and ampoules. There are clear differences in availability and price. The dosage also plays a major role in choosing one of these variants.

The Best Phosphatidylserine: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying phosphatidylserine

What is phosphatidylserine?

Phosphatidylserine belongs to the group of phospholipids. The chemical structure of phosphatidylserine is made up of fatty acids, glycerol, phosphate and serine. This makes it an important component of all cell membranes in the body(1).

Although phosphatidylserine is therefore found in all body cells, the accumulation in the area of the central and peripheral nervous system is particularly high. This is also the basis for the effects of phosphatidylserine on ensuring brain and nerve functions.

Phosphatidylserine is produced by the human body itself and absorbed through food. The concentration of the active substance is much higher in animal organisms than in plant organisms.

Fatty foods in particular, such as fish or offal, have a large proportion of it. But plants, such as soy or sunflowers, also contain a small concentration of the substance.

How does phosphatidylserine work?

Phosphatidylserine has many areas of action. On the one hand, it regulates the fluid balance of the cell. In addition, phosphatidylserine also helps the cell with the necessary supply of nutrients. For example, only through this substance is the activation of protein kinase C possible, which has effects on cell growth, blood clotting and the immune system (2).

Phosphatidylserine also releases specific hormones and neurotransmitters. It also has effects on platelets and thus on blood clotting. Finally, phosphatidylserine also binds calcium(3).

Phosphatidylserin-1

Phosphatidylserine is found in every cell and provides them with sufficient nutrition and fluid. It also releases certain hormones and neurotransmitters.
(Image source: 123rf.com / Kon)

What is phosphatidylserine used for?

Due to the diverse effects of phosphatidylserine, it is used in a variety of areas. These include:

  • Learning and concentration ability: Phosphatidylserine is particularly concentrated in nerve cells. Here it also affects cognitive processes by supplying important nutrients and fluids. Clinical studies show that learning and concentration performance is increased as a result(4).
  • Memory disorders: Phosphatidylserine also activates the release of dopamine and acetylcholine from the cerebral cortex. These substances are also responsible for memory. Studies could therefore prove that phosphatidylserine can improve memory performance. This also applies to age-associated memory disorders(5).
  • Depression: In strong stress reactions, phosphatidylserine modulates the release of the hormone cortisol. When used in high doses, the level of adrenocorticotropic hormone also decreases. These two functions lead to an antidepressant effect of phosphatidylserine(6).

Who is phosphatidylserine suitable for?

Phosphatidylserine can have positive effects on different groups of people due to its diverse effects. The effects of phosphatidylserine already mentioned make taking it particularly useful for people with memory disorders and depression. However, other people can also benefit from the active substance:

  • Vegans and vegetarians: Since phosphatidylserine can only be produced in insufficient quantities by the body itself, a proportion of it must also be taken in through food. However, the active ingredient is mainly found in animal products. Vegans and especially vegetarians therefore often have too low an intake of phosphatidylserine. However, since this is also offered as a dietary supplement in high doses from soy or sunflower seeds, taking it is also attractive for this group.
  • Older people: Phosphatidylserine has been shown to have an effect on memory performance in humans. According to recent studies, this also applies to age-associated memory impairment. Phosphatidylserine can therefore be taken for prevention even in the case of minor disorders or a slight decrease in memory performance in old age.
  • Children with ADHD: Two studies by Intercell Pharma GmbH also show a significant improvement of symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD. A low dosage of 100 to 200 mg of phosphatidylserine was administered. The age of the study participants ranged from 4 to 19 years(7).

How much does phosphatidylserine cost?

The price of phosphatidylserine varies depending on the quality and dosage form. Especially products with pure phosphatidylserine and free of additives are particularly expensive. If they also have organic certification, there is a small surcharge on the price.

The following table provides information on the average prices of the individual dosage forms of phosphatidylserine:

dosage form average price in €
capsules 60
powder 40
ampoules 20

What are the alternatives to phosphatidylserine?

Many people do not need an additional intake of phosphatidylserine. Age plays a major role here, but so does diet. The formation of phosphatidylserine in the body decreases with age.
A balanced diet is also important in old age. This means that supplementation with phosphatidylserine may not be necessary.

It is therefore very important to eat a balanced diet, especially in old age.

Although fat is often considered unhealthy, phosphatidylserine is often found in particularly high concentrations in these foods. These include fish, for example, or eggs and dairy products. With a sufficiently large intake of these foods, supplementation of phosphatidylserine can also be avoided altogether.

Decision: What types of phosphatidylserine are there and which is right for you?

The differences in the products with phosphatidylserine mainly result from the respective dosage form. The following variants are distinguished:

  • Phosphatidylserine capsules
  • Phosphatidylserine powder
  • Phosphatidylserine ampoules

The following sections now go into more detail about the advantages and disadvantages of the dosage forms.

Phosphatidylserine capsules

Phosphatidylserine is often offered in capsules. A major advantage of this is the easy dosage. In addition, capsules usually have a long shelf life because the ingredients are not exposed to oxygen.

Since capsules are a popular form of phosphatidylserine, they are readily available everywhere and there is a large selection of different manufacturers. Nevertheless, phosphatidylserine capsules also have disadvantages. They are often already highly concentrated and an individual dosage below the amount of active ingredient in a capsule is not possible. In addition, they are usually more expensive than the pure powder.

Advantages
  • Easy dosage
  • Long shelf life
  • Well available
Disadvantages
  • No individual dosage possible
  • Somewhat more expensive

Phosphatidylserine powder

In addition to capsules, there are also some suppliers of phosphatidylserine powder. This makes it possible to determine the optimal and individual dosage yourself. In addition, the active ingredient is cheaper in powder form. But there are also disadvantages.

To prevent the powder from clumping, additives such as binders are often added. The choice of different suppliers is also much smaller than with capsules. This greatly limits the availability.

Advantages
  • Individual dosage possible
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Often contain additives
  • Poor availability

Phosphatidylserine ampoules

The last form of administration is phosphatidylserine ampoules. This is particularly easy to take because the contents of the ampoules are drunk. The effect is therefore quicker than with capsules, which have to be broken down first. Nevertheless, ampoules are difficult to obtain.

There are only a few suppliers of them. In addition, the phosphatidylserine contained in them is not presented in pure form, but always contains other active ingredients as well.

Advantages
  • Easy to take
  • fast onset of action
Disadvantages
  • Difficult to obtain
  • Not in pure form

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate phosphatidylserine

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the many possible preparations of phosphatidylserine. The aspects that help you to decide between the different variants of phosphatidylserine include:

In the next sections, we will explain what is involved in each section.

Dosage

An important purchase criterion is the dosage. In the case of high-dose products, the dosage instructions should be followed carefully. Some suppliers point to the extremely high content of phosphatidylserine in order to sell more.

But many of these products are above the maximum recommended daily dose according to current research. To avoid unwanted side effects, you should therefore always find out exactly what dosage the manufacturer recommends.

According to current research, a dosage of up to 600 mg per day can be taken without hesitation(8). However, if the recommended dosage is higher, the product is not trustworthy.

Phosphatidylserin-2

The dosage recommendation for preparations with phosphatidylserine should always be followed carefully. However, to avoid side effects, never take more than 600 mg a day.
(Image source: pixabay.com / stevepb)

Additives

Some phosphatidylserine preparations contain artificial additives. These are usually meant to extend the shelf life. However, some of them can also influence the effectiveness or even be harmful. There are also products that contain other active ingredients besides phosphatidylserine.

Most of these are not harmful. Nevertheless, this often makes the optimal dosage of pure phosphatidylserine very difficult. Therefore, the ingredients should be analysed carefully, or a product with pure phosphatidylserine should be purchased.

Starting material

The raw material from which the phosphatidylserine is made is also of great importance when buying. Soy is the most commonly used raw material. However, there are now also products made from sunflower seeds. Very rarely, preparations made from animal products can also be found.

Since soy as a raw material contains many allergens, products made from sunflower should be preferred.

Since many people are allergic to soy, the source material should not be ignored.

Products made from sunflower seeds are usually considered better tolerated because they contain fewer allergens. If you find products made from animal source material, you should definitely not take them. Such products are banned in Europe as well as in the USA because they are suspected of transmitting diseases.

Country of origin

The country of origin and production also play an important role. Since the raw materials are natural products, the substances contained in them are also ultimately contained in the preparation. Therefore, careful handling in the cultivation and management of the raw material is equally important.

In Europe, a lot of emphasis is placed on the protection of nature and people. Therefore, some pesticides and fungicides are banned. In other countries, however, these are allowed and used in agriculture. Traces of them are also transferred into the product with the soy or sunflower seeds.

Genetic engineering is also often used. If in doubt, therefore, always buy products from EU countries. Some are even certified with the BIO seal and are thus free of possibly harmful substances.

Facts worth knowing about phosphatidylserine

How, when and for how long is it best to take phosphatidylserine?

Phosphatidylserine is best taken all at once, in the morning before breakfast(9). No generally valid statement can be made about the optimal dosage. It can vary greatly depending on the specific clinical picture. Above all, a distinction must be made between short-term and long-term intake.

The initial dose, as well as the long-term dose, should be 300 mg per day, so that side effects are excluded(10)(11) . For short-term use of up to 10 days, 600 mg per day can also be taken. Again, no side effects are known(12).

What is the shelf life of products containing phosphatidylserine?

In itself, phosphatidylserine has a very long shelf life. However, the product must be packed airtight. Opened packages should therefore always be well sealed to guarantee the shelf life.

The shelf life of capsules is particularly long due to the additional wrapping. This even lasts up to several years. Powder, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life and risks clumping after a while.

In which foods does phosphatidylserine occur naturally?

Phosphatidylserine is mainly found in foods of animal origin. However, some plants also contain phosphatidylserine. The active ingredient, which is offered in capsules or powder, is usually extracted from soy or sunflower seeds.

Although these plants in themselves contain only little phosphatidylserine, a high dose can be achieved through extraction. The following table provides information on the phosphatidylserine content in foods with high levels:

food phosphatidylserine per 100g
mackerel 480mg
herring 360mg
pork kidney 218mg
poultry 110mg
white beans 107mg
beef 69mg
pork 57mg

Picture source: Davydov/ 123rf.com

References (12)

1. A Review of Phosphatidylserine Pharmacological and Clinical Effects. Is Phosphatidylserine a Drug for the Ageing Brain? Pepeu G. et al. Pharmacol Res. 1996 Feb. 33(2): 73-80
Source

2. Nahrungsergänzungsmittel Hahn A, unter Mitarbeit von Wolters M, Marohn S, Hanke G (2001) Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Stuttgart

3. Biochemie Berg JM., Tymoczko J.L & Stryer L. (2003) Spektrum Akademischer Verlag 5. Auflage
Source

4. Phosphatidylserine and the human brain Glade MJ. & Smith K. Nutrition. 2015 Jun 31(6):781-6
Source

5. Phosphatidylserine; Membrane Nutrient for Memory. A Clinical and Mechanistic Assessment Kidd P. (1996) Altern. Med. Rev. 1
Source

6. Effects of phosphatidylserine therapy in geriatric patients with depressive disorders. Maggioni M., Picotti GB., Bondiolotti GP., Panerai A., Cenacchi T., Nobile P. & Brambilla F. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1990 Mar 81(3): 265-70.
Source

7. Intercell Pharma GmbH Phosphatidylserin und B-Vitamine im Nervenstoffwechsel und der Gedächtnisleistung
Source

8. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, Fiori MG, Crepaldi G. Aging (Milano). 1993 Apr 5(2): 123-33.
Source

9. Handbuch Nähr- und Vitalstoffe Henrichs D. (2001): Constantia Verlag. S. 121
Source

10. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, Fiori MG, Crepaldi G. Aging (Milano). 1993 Apr 5(2): 123-33.
Source

11. Handbuch Nähr- und Vitalstoffe Henrichs D. (2001): Constantia Verlag. S. 121
Source

12. The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise Starks M.,  Starks S., Kingsley M., Purpura M. & Jäger R. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008; 5: 11.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Review
A Review of Phosphatidylserine Pharmacological and Clinical Effects. Is Phosphatidylserine a Drug for the Ageing Brain? Pepeu G. et al. Pharmacol Res. 1996 Feb. 33(2): 73-80
Go to source
Buch
Nahrungsergänzungsmittel Hahn A, unter Mitarbeit von Wolters M, Marohn S, Hanke G (2001) Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Stuttgart
Buch
Biochemie Berg JM., Tymoczko J.L & Stryer L. (2003) Spektrum Akademischer Verlag 5. Auflage
Go to source
Studie
Phosphatidylserine and the human brain Glade MJ. & Smith K. Nutrition. 2015 Jun 31(6):781-6
Go to source
Review
Phosphatidylserine; Membrane Nutrient for Memory. A Clinical and Mechanistic Assessment Kidd P. (1996) Altern. Med. Rev. 1
Go to source
Studie
Effects of phosphatidylserine therapy in geriatric patients with depressive disorders. Maggioni M., Picotti GB., Bondiolotti GP., Panerai A., Cenacchi T., Nobile P. & Brambilla F. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1990 Mar 81(3): 265-70.
Go to source
Studie
Intercell Pharma GmbH Phosphatidylserin und B-Vitamine im Nervenstoffwechsel und der Gedächtnisleistung
Go to source
Studie
Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, Fiori MG, Crepaldi G. Aging (Milano). 1993 Apr 5(2): 123-33.
Go to source
Buch
Handbuch Nähr- und Vitalstoffe Henrichs D. (2001): Constantia Verlag. S. 121
Go to source
Studie
Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, Fiori MG, Crepaldi G. Aging (Milano). 1993 Apr 5(2): 123-33.
Go to source
Buch
Handbuch Nähr- und Vitalstoffe Henrichs D. (2001): Constantia Verlag. S. 121
Go to source
Studie
The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise Starks M.,  Starks S., Kingsley M., Purpura M. & Jäger R. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008; 5: 11.
Go to source
Reviews