NMU 282 – Natural Supplement (Phosphatidylserine) Shown to Revere Memory Loss and Slow Key Aspects of Brain Aging
Nutrition/Natural Medicine Update No 282 (April 5, 2023)
with Dr. James Meschino
Topic: Natural Supplement (Phosphatidylserine) Shown to Revere Memory Loss and Slow Key Aspects of Brain Aging
Source: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (2022)
We have known for a long time that one aspect of the aging process that affects memory loss is the decline in brain levels of phosphatidylserine – a phospholipid that is an important component of the outer skin (membrane) of brain cells. But studies show that phosphatidylserine can be taken as a supplement as you get older to help maintain more youthful brain levels, as phosphatidylserine normally accounts for 5-10% of all brain phospholipids, and that percentage should be maintained over the course of your entire life. A comprehensive review article, published in journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, examined the evidence related to phosphatidylserine supplementation in supporting brain function and impacting brain related conditions, including memory loss problems. In the paper, the authors first explain the importance of phosphatidylserine in binding to various brain proteins, which in turn significantly impact brain function in many positive ways. They also show that abnormal regulation of phosphatidylserine in the brain is associated with various neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), major depressive disorder (MDD), stroke, and autism spectrum disease (ASD).
They go on to cite studies showing that phosphatidylserine supplementation has shown proven benefit in patients with AD, MDD, PD, or ADHD. One of the benefits of phosphatidylserine supplementation is that it reduces neuroinflammation, which is a common finding in many neurodegenerative disorders. And very importantly, supplementation studies have shown that phosphatidylserine can improve cognitive impairment (memory loss) caused by aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. The researchers cite several human clinical trials where phosphatidylserine supplementation has improved cognitive function in older and elderly patients. In their summary they state, “Phosphatidylserine can improve the cognitive function of the brain through different pathways.” Experimentally, phosphatidylserine has also been shown to reduce the synthesis of beta-amyloid plaque, which is a common finding in Alzheimer’s disease, and in Parkinson’s disease patients, phosphatidylserine supplementation was shown to significantly ameliorate some important symptoms, including lack of motivation, anxiety, and affectivity. Reassuringly, clinical studies show that phosphatidylserine supplementation has no side effects and is well tolerated.
So, what does all this mean for us?
Well in my view, I think that once you reach age 50-55 you should take a memory support supplement that contains, phosphatidylserine, CDP-choline, Huperzine A and Bacopa monnieri. These four natural agents work synergistically to maintain more youthful levels of the memory chemical acetylcholine and they also inhibit age-related brain changes linked to various neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, each of these ingredients has reversed memory loss and cognitive decline to various degrees in patients with memory loss problems, such as Mild Cognitive Impairment, early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. As the researchers point out, phosphatidylserine supplementation can also be part of the adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder and ADHD, as referenced in the 2022 review paper. But with respect to age-related memory loss problems, I wouldn’t wait to develop memory loss issues before you start using a memory support supplement containing:
- Huperzine A
- Bacopa monniei
Taking a supplement like this after age 50 or 55 (at the latest) is one more proactive step you can take to guard against memory loss from developing and support other aspects of brain function as you age.
I have included the references for phosphatidylserine in the text below.
Ma X et al. Phosphatidylserine, inflammation, and central nervous system disease. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2022: 14 (August 3, 2022) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2022.975176/full
Kim BK and Park SK. Phosphatidylserine modulates response to oxidative stress through hormesis and increases lifespan via DAF-16 in Caenorhabditis elegan. Biogerontology. 2020; 21 (2): 231-244. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31915963/#:~:text=Phosphatidylserine%20is%20one%20of%20the,Alzheimer’s%20disease%20in%20the%20elderly
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