Welcome to another blog post for the weekly nootropic ingredient spotlight series.
Today we are taking a look at Sharp PS Phosphatidylserine, a key component of cell membranes and a primary ingredient in our Enhance Nootropic.
This nootropic is found in the human body, and in high concentrations within the brain itself. It is found in many food sources, but it can also be supplemented to provide further cognitive benefits.
This ingredient is an absolute MUST if you're over 50 and are interested in taking care of your brain and preserving its health and performance as much as possible!!
READ FURTHER TO SEE WHY.
What is Sharp PS™ Phosphatidylserine?
Sharp PS™ Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid (fatty substance) and key component of cell membranes, including the myelin sheath surrounding neurons/nerve cells.
It plays an important role in cell signalling, and is required for healthy nerve cell membranes and myelin (the fatty sheath that surrounds and protects neurons, providing insulation and allowing electrical impulses to travel between them).
Supplementation with Sharp PS Phosphatidylserine has also been shown primarily to:
1. Increase cell-to-cell communication,
2. Support neuron cell survival
3. Activation of various cellular enzymes that are important for synaptic plasticity
Sharp-PS is a patented form of Phosphatidylserine (developed by Frutarom Health) that has achieved GRAS status from the FDA and is derived from soy lecithin.
Phosphatidylserine itself is the ONLY nootropic ingredient/dietary supplement that has been identified by the FDA to be eligible for a cognitive health claim.
Sharp PS has also recently been approved by FSANZ and the TGA in Australia to make brain health claims (one of very few ingredients).
Shapr PS is the form of Phosphatidylserine used in Enhance at a dose of 100mg/serve.
How does Sharp PS™ Phosphatidylserine work (Mechanisms of action)?
Lipids make up 60% of the dry weight of the brain, and phospholipids are among the most important of these. Phosphatidylserine in particular, is highly prevalent in the brain, making up 18% of the total phospholipids in the brain.
PS, when ingested, is able to provide cognitive improvements to the brain via many different mechanisms which are able to improve memory, improve mood and reduce stress as validated by clinical research.
The mechanisms by which PS works are as follows:
1. Increase neurotransmitter secretion in the brain
2. Increase neuron cell survival and communication
3. Affect mechanisms responsible for learning and memory formation
4. Reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
5. Increase the brains utilisation of glucose
Effects & Research for Sharp PS™ Phosphatidylserine?
There have been over 50 clinical studies looking at Sharp PS and its effect on improving brain function.
In particular, Sharp PS Phosphatidylserine has been shown to improve memory scores, particularly in the elderly with cognitive decline or memory complaints in a dose as little as 100mg. However, PS also holds promise in improving mood and reducing stress when supplemented at a slightly higher dose of about 300mg.
In one clinical study, 78 elderly, Japanese people with mild cognitive impairment were given a dose of 100 mg/day of PS for 6 months. They showed improved memory scores as compared to placebo. The effect was sustained for at least 3 months after termination of PS intake(KataOka, 2010).
In another study, the cognitive function of high school students improved following 40 days of supplementation with 100 mg/day of PS in milk. (Yong 2011).
In another double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 57 elderly subjects who consumed PS (300 mg/day) for 12 weeks, there was almost no development of “winter blues”, while those with no PS intake suffered from a significant reduction in their mood (Gindin, Y. The effect of herbal phosphatidylserine on memory and mood The Gerontologist 193, 1 (1993)).
PS was also associated with reduced levels of stress during a mock interview. The effects of PS supplementation on stress-induced increase in cortisol levels in blood and saliva were tested in a double blind, placebo-controlled study, in which 80 young adults took supplemental PS for a period of 4 weeks before exposure to mental stress. Levels of cortisol in blood, as well as saliva, were found to be significantly lowered in participants taking PS as compared to those taking the placebo supplement (Hellhammer, J. et al. Effects of soy lecithin phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine complex (PAS) on the endocrine and psychological responses to mental stress. Stress 7, 119-126 (2004).)
As you can see, Phosphatidylserine may play a big role in staving off neurodegeneration, and supporting short term and long term memory formation.
At a dose of 100mg/day, Sharp PS can confer memory boosting effects. At a dose of 300mg/day, Sharp PS can confer stress reducing and mood boosting effects.
This nutrient is essential to our cells, including neurons. It would be wise to supplement with if you're not taking in enough from your diet, or if you're over the age of 50 and looking to support your brain health, this is MUST in your supplement regime.