Several conditions, including depression, ADHD, and Alzheimer's disease, may be improved with the use of phosphatidylserine. Benefits of the supplement have only been seen in preliminary studies, however, so it is not known for sure whether phosphatidylserine is indeed effective for these uses. There are no known phosphatidylserine benefits in children (young children may actually be more susceptible to the toxicities of dietary supplements).
Phosphatidylserine is a naturally-occurring molecule important for brain function. Although the body can make its own phosphatidylserine, most of the nutrient is obtained through the diet. Phosphatidylserine is also available in supplement form. Phosphatidylserine supplements are sometimes claimed to be beneficial for the following conditions:
- Age-related cognitive decline (problems in mental functioning, such as memory loss)
- Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Phosphatidylserine is also used for improving mental functioning in young people and improving athletic performance.
Very preliminary research suggests that phosphatidylserine may be beneficial for age-related cognitive decline and for Alzheimer's disease. However, there is not enough evidence to suggest that phosphatidylserine is beneficial for other uses (see Does Phosphatidylserine Work? for more information).
Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid, a molecule that is used in cell membranes in the human body. Phosphatidylserine is abundant in the human brain and is important for a variety of different functions and processes in the brain.
It is not known exactly how phosphatidylserine supplementation works for Alzheimer's disease or other uses, although it is thought that phosphatidylserine levels may decline with age and with certain medical conditions (such as Alzheimer's).