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Natural Treatment for Dementia: Phosphatidylserine Improves Memory In Aging Brain

Author: Gale Maleskey, MS, RD
Source:, September 26, 2008

If you’re concerned about age-related memory loss, there’s one supplement that absolutely should be on your list: phosphatidylserine. More than two dozen studies have demonstrated that phosphatidylserine may help improve memory impairment associated with aging. The FDA now allows phosphatidylserine supplements to post claims that it “may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly” and that it may “reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly.”

Phosphatidylserine is abundant in your brain, where it helps feed your brain by facilitating two functions: the delivery of nutrients to the brain cells, and the cells’ ability to receive the nutrients. Phosphatidylserine also activates nerve cells and nerve-transmitter production, helping to regulate and stimulate instantaneous “flashes” of information and your ability to react to that information. It even gives you more brain circuits with which to communicate by actually increasing the number of neurotransmitter sites. And as if all of that weren’t enough, phosphatidylserine has also been shown to have antioxidant properties that further protect the brain from free-radical damage.

Although your body can make phosphatidylserine, the process is complicated and requires a lot of energy. Plus, our bodies produce less phosphatidylserine as we age, which makes supplementing with phosphatidylserine so important, especially for those who may have begun to experience age-related memory problems.

Two other nutrients, choline and inositol, are often added to phosphatidylserine supplements because they make it work better. And DHA, a component of fish oil, seems to help phosphatidylserine accumulate in cell membranes, where it does its job.

The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Phosphatidylserine has been proven in dozens of studies to prevent cognitive dysfunction in the aging brain and to be an effective treatment for dementia. If you’re concerned about memory loss, phosphatidylserine is worth adding to your supplements line-up. And, it can be especially effective when taken in conjunction with inositol, choline and DHA.