Phosphatidyl Serine

July 8, 2008

Phosphatidyl serine is part of a group of molecules called phospholipids, which are a mixture of phosphorus and fat.  Phospholipids are a major part of all your body’s cell membranes.  Cell membranes protect cells, and also bring nutrients into cells and flush out waste. Phosphatidyl serine aids these processes.

The hormone cortisol is an enemy to athletes.  Cortisol breaks down muscle tissue, which hurts athletic performance in all sports, not just weightlifting.  Cortisol levels increase in the body after exercise.  Anything that can reduce cortisol levels is going to help athletic performance.

Phosphatidyl serine supplementation decreases the release of the cortisol after exercise.  In one study with intensely trained athletes taking 800 mg of phosphatidyl serine daily, phosphatidyl serine reduced blood cortisol levels after exercise by 20%.  In another study on non-athletes, daily doses of 400 – 800 mg of phosphatidyl serine reduced cortisol levels after exercise by 16% -30%.

Phosphatidyl serine supplementation also seems to reduce muscle soreness.

Several stuides have shown that supplementing phosphatidyl serine improves a person’s capacity to exercise.  That is, it will give you more stamina, allowing you to exercise for longer.  A recent study demonstrated that short-term supplementation with phosphatidyl serine at 750 mg per day improved exercise capacity during high-intensity cycling and tended to increase performance during intermittent running. The study gave participants 750 mg of phosphatidyl serine every day for 10 days and found that it increased the time until the participants got tired while exercising.

Phosphatidyl serine supplementation also has beneficial effects on athletes that need high levels of concentration and coordination, such as golfers. In fact, phosphatidyl serine is widely used in parts of Europe to help declining mental function and depression in the elderly and it is often marketed as a “brain booster” for people of all ages, said to sharpen memory and increase thinking ability.  Many studies have shown that phosphatidyl serine supplements improve memory and cognition in the elderly.

For the above reasons, phosphatidyl serine is a useful sports supplement.  To improve athletic performance, a dose of 600 to 800 mg per day is appropriate.  Supplementation by athletes of phosphatidyl serine isolated from soybeans has proven to be safe and beneficial at these levels.

References:

Jager R, Purpura M, Kingsley M. Phospholipids and sports performance. Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2007; 4:5.

Jorissen BL, B. F. (2002). Safety of soy-derived phosphatidylserine in elderly people. Nutr Neurosci, 5, 337-343.

Kingsley M, K. L. (2006). Phosphatidylserine supplementation and recovery following downhill running. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 38 (9), 1617-1625.

Kingsley, M. I., Miller, M., Kilduff, L. P., McEneny, J., & Benton, D. (2006). Effects of Phosphatidylserine on Exercise Capacity during Cycling in Active Males.   Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 38 (1), 64-71.

Kingsley, Michael. (2006). Effects of phosphatidylserine supplementation on exercising humans. Sports medicine, 36 (8), 657-669.

Kingsley M., Wadsworth D, Kilduff LP, McEneny J, Benton D. Effects of Phosphatidylserine on Oxidative Stress following Intermittent Running. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2005; 37(8): 1300-1306.

Monteleone P, B. L. (1990). Effects of Phosphatidylserine on the Neuroendocrine Response to Physical Stress in Humans. Neuroendocrinology, 52 (3), 243-248.

Monteleone P, M. M. (1992). Blunting by chronic phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men. Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 42 (4), 385-388.

Ralf Jager, M. P.-R. (2007). The effect of phosphatidylserine on golf performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4 (23).

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