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PS Phosphatidylserine Review – Is it Effective?

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Summary | Nutrition Info | Pros & Cons | Cautions | Cost | Directions | Conclusion

PS Phosphatidylserine is a nutritional supplement based on a single active ingredient. The product is sold as an effective cognitive enhancer. The formula is described as particularly useful for those who are interested in maintaining optimal brain function, as well as preventing age-related memory decline. It can also be used to improve retention, learning, and thinking.

The formulation is sold under the Natural Factors brand. This is a company with over 60 years of experience. The producer claims to use only raw materials raised on their certified-organic farmlands located somewhere in North America. The soil quality is also one of the companys best assets, as they are abundant in natural organic matter, making the use of fertilizers unnecessary.

PS Phosphatidylserine is advertised to provide a highly absorbable form of PS extracted from sunflower lecithin. This is an herbal remedy, unlike the first PS supplements that used animal based Phosphatidylserine that was extracted from cows brain cells. The use of animal PS has been banned many years ago due to a concern of mad-cows disease transmission to humans. Natural Factors formula features 100mg of Phosphatidylserine in a soy-free product.

Soy is known as a highly allergenic product, so this is probably why the company chose sunflower as the source of their raw material. The sunflower lecithin used comes from a non-GMO source. This is also why a similar phosphatidylserine supplement like BrainMD NeuroPS also doesn’t have soy.

PS supplements are very popular at this time, particularly because cognitive decline affects a large part of the elderly population. Alzheimers is one form of cognitive decline that manifests through irreversible memory impairment and finding an effective treatment has become a major concern of medical doctors all over the world. Despite these efforts, so far results are not optimistic.


1) What is PS Phosphatidylserine?

PS is the main active chemical in this supplement. A few other active nutrients have resulted from the manufacturing process such as: Phosphatidylcholine, Phosphatidylinositol, Phosphatidylethanolamine, but the main focus remains on Phosphatidylserine. This chemical is naturally occurring in all human cell membranes, including brain cells. The scope of each membrane is to filter the nutrients and facilitate proper cell communication and cell growth.

In time, PS levels within brain cells decrease and this is considered one of the main reasons of memory lapses occurrence and decline of short-term memory. Without the right amount of PS (among other nutrients) the neurons (brain cells) are not able to communicate correctly, and some information may be lost along the way. Scientists believe that by restoring PS levels they will manage to reduce memory loss and restore optimal transmission between neurons.

Nutrition Info

2) Ingredients of PS Phosphatidylserine

PS Phosphatidylserine , contains the following ingredients: PS Phosphatidylserine contains the following ingredients: (Helianthus annuus) (seed), and Phosphatidylserine. Also contains naturally occurring Phosphatidylcholine (PC), Phosphatidylinositol (PI), and Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE).

If you prefer a solid single-ingredient phosphatidylserine supplement, check out. Pure Encapsulations PS 100.

3) Is PS Phosphatidylserine Right for You?

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid, a type of fat essentially present in all human cell membranes which plays specific functions. Cell membranes usually act as barriers that protect the inside of cells and allow the necessary nutrients to pass through, while stopping unwanted chemicals to enter the cell. Cell membranes are also crucial in the communication process and cell growth process. When cell membranes are not healthy or lack certain chemicals (like PS), their roles are no longer accomplished properly, resulting in different health problems and malfunctions.

Brain cell membranes are particularly important because they allow communication between neurons, maintaining the brain’s health. The brain is a very important organ which controls voluntary and involuntary behavior. It is a very complex organ, and when it’s not properly functioning, many health problems can occur. Cognitive decline is one of the most devastating condition resulting from a poor functioning, malnourished brain. This condition is commonly seen in older people and affects a large part of the old population. It is why researchers and doctors recommend different alternative ways to support brain function even before any symptoms occur. It is much better to prevent than treat, particularly when we’re dealing with such complex problems.

PS supplements have been used since the ’70s, and were originally made out of cow fat cells. Concerns regarding transmission of mad cow’s disease to man have been issued sort after, so producers had to stop production of animal based PS. The most popular sources used nowadays are soy, cabbage, and sunflower lecithin. PS Phosphatidylserine uses the latter. The main problem with plant based supplements is that they are not as researched so thorough scientific evidence is lacking at this time.

Still there are numerous manufacturers that offer PS based product and advertise their formulations as effective ways to prevent and reduce memory decline in the elderly. Natural Factors’ formula benefits of a relatively modest number of consumer testimonials which are however on the positive side.

Pros & Cons

4) PS Phosphatidylserine: Pros and Cons

  • PS Phosphatidylserine is an organic, free of GMOs formulation
  • The supplement comes in three different sizes (30, 60, or 120 softgel bottles) giving users a wide palette to chose from
  • The monthly price is moderate (approximately $24) and discounts are most likely to be offered as there are several online retailers to chose from at this time

5) What You Need to Know Before Taking PS Phosphatidylserine

  • The formula is not scientifically proven as effective through specific clinical trials
  • PS is a controversial substance and the herbal sourced PS are not as researched as animal based Phosphatidylserine

6) PS Phosphatidylserine Cost

The standard price for a month’s supply of Natural Factor’s formula is roughly $24. At the time of this review we have noticed there is a substantial discount available with some retailers, still these marketing tactics are limited in time. Users are advised to make an in-depth research before making the purchase, and pay attention to the delivery fees that add-up to the product’s final cost. This product comes in the form of softgels and is available in three amounts: 30, 60, or 120 softgels per bottle. As expected, the 120 softgels bottle results in the cheapest unit price.

We have no information about a money-back guarantee or free trial, so we’ll assume there are no such things involved.


7) PS Phosphatidylserine Directions

The major concern with dietary supplements is that they are often not scientifically proven. It is also the case of PS based products where clinical trials are not considered to be conducted in a manner that is consistent with generally recognized scientific procedures. FDA does not approve PS products as standard treatments of cognitive dysfunction including Alzheimers disease. However we decided to consult consumer testimonials available online on the web-sites of the retailers currently selling the formula. While they are not very numerous (1-2 hundred reviews), most of them reflect the positive outcomes experienced by taking this supplement. Satisfied users report improved sleeping patterns, reduced brain fogginess, enhanced focus capacity, and reduced Cortisol build-up (in people who suffer from certain conditions).


8) Conclusion

The main problem when it comes to nutritional supplement like PS Phosphatidylserine is the lack of clinical evidence. To some extent, researchers have recognized the benefits of PS and its role in brain cell communication, but synthetic forms such as this are not always considered the best source for replenishing the levels of PS within the body.

Most of the scientists are skeptic that many of the chemicals used within these supplements are not able to cross the blood brain barrier, making them ineffective brain supplements. At this time researchers are fervently looking for Alzheimers disease cures, a lethal neurodegenerative condition that affects memory of the elder, making them nonfunctional human beings and ending their lives too early.

PS is used in the treatment also, but results are inconsistent. The improvements noticed in some cases proved to be only of short-term and only on patients suffering from mild symptoms. However, healthy individuals who have used PS supplements seem to have noticed improvements in various cognitive areas, so it might not be a totally useless approach in maintaining cognitive health in generally healthy people.

3/5 - (1 vote)
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