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Author: Jack Challem
Excerpt from: Vegetarian Times – Issue 247

If you’re over 50, you probably suffer from age-associated memory impairment (AAMI), more commonly known as, “Honey, have you seen my keys?” Phosphatidylserine (fos-fuh-TIE-dul-SEER-een) can help sharpen memory and help people be more alert, says Richard Kunin, M. D., a nutritionally oriented psychiatrist in San Francisco.

Phosphatidylserine forms part of the structure of cell membranes or walls. Young cell membranes, rich in phosphatidylserine, are flexible and have no difficulty allowing nutrients to move in and waste products to pass out of cells. But as we age and our phosphatidylserine levels decline, cell membranes beccome rigid, shutting the door on this process. Brain cells seem particularly sensitive to these changes.

Replenishing phosphatidylserine levels can have dramatic effets on brain function. In one study, Thomas H. Crook, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, gave 300 mg. of phosphatidylserine daily to 149 patients with AAMI. After 12 weeks, they scored 30 percent better on tests that measured name and number recall.

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., Tuscon, Arizona-based author of Brain Longevity (Warner Books, 1997), recommends one 100 mg. tablet or capsule daily to delay or prevent age-related memory loss and 200 mg. per day to enhance cognitive function. Khalsa has been prescribing–and tracking–phosphatidylserine for several years. Not only does he report a lack of side effets, he notes an increase in his own ability to juggle several mental tasks at once.