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Phosphatidylserine – Long Name, Big Benefits

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a little-known lipid that affects many aspects of health.

The brain makes PS. You can also get it in pill form. Here are just some of the good things it offers:

  1. Helps prevent hypertension.
  2. Helps stop atherosclerosis.
  3. Boosts cell membrane health (such as myelin sheaths).
  4. Improves athletic performance.
  5. Helps age-related memory loss.
  6. Increases focus and improves learning.
  7. Lowers levels of stress hormone.

In other words, PS helps heart and brain while increasing physical performance. It also reduces the effects of stress. That is a lot of help from one substance.

The Problem With Pills

After seeing that list, you might consider taking PS as a supplement. But there is a problem with this. The problem has to do with the source of the PS.

A bit of history will help explain. When it was first used, researchers got PS from cow brains. All of the first studies used this source. But when “Mad Cow” disease became more common, no one wanted to use cow brain as a source. You can see why.

Fortunately, there are other sources of PS. The most common is soy. In fact, almost all of the PS supplements you can buy come from soy. And therein lies the problem. Actually several problems.

First of all, many people are allergic to soy. For many of these people, no matter how refined the end result is, they still react. I have patients who cannot even take soy lecithin without reacting. And even if there is no obvious reaction, that does not mean that the body is not having a subclinical response. These people should avoid PS from soy.

Second, the vast majority of soy is genetically modified (GMO). Estimates range from 85% to 91%. This is not the place to delve into the conflict between advocates of GMO foods and those who oppose them. But for many people, GMO foods raise a red flag. For these people, taking soy-based PS is not a good idea.

For these reasons, many people who want the benefits of PS will not take it in pill form. However recently, some companies are making PS supplements with no soy. Instead, they use other plant-based sources. One source is sunflower lecithin.

Sunflower as a source for PS has two advantages. First, it does not come from cow brains. This means no risk of mad cow disease. Second, it is not a soy derivative. That removes concerns about allergies and GMO sources.

If you want the benefits of PS, look for sources that use sunflower lecithin.

My favorite source of PS is a company called Pure Encapsulations. The problem for most people is that this company only sells to licensed health care professionals. In the past people would have to order their products through me.

But Pure Encapsulations now has an alternative way to order from them. It is through a site called Pure Caps Pro. It allows you to purchase these high-quality, “doctor only” supplements directly.

To do so, you have to go to a page assigned to a physician. My page is here:

http://www.purecapspro.com/home.asp?web=dreichelberger

If you decide to order the non-soy PS, it is called “PS Plus.” The link for that is here:

http://www.purecapspro.com/products/product_view.asp?ProductsID=1259&rxo=purecapspro&web=dreichelberger

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Dr. Bruce

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • KarenJune 11, 2011, 4:45 am

    Do you recommend that I take this?

  • Dr. BruceJune 11, 2011, 5:09 am

    Hi Karen,

    My answer to you about this will be highly personalized. I will send you a private message rather than answer you here.

    Dr. Bruce

  • Emil SchneiderJanuary 4, 2013, 1:59 pm

    I had a stroke about 3 and1/2 years ago that left me paralized on the left side. It was an ischemic stroke. I am trying a different approach to stem cells. I would like to formulate or compound some substance or several substances that would allow my own bone marrow to release stem cells into the blood stream that would travel through the barrier into the brain in order to possibly repair the parts of the brain that was damaged by the stroke. I would appreciate any information concerning this subject. Thank you very much for your kind attention in this matter.
    Emil Schneider

  • Dr. BruceJanuary 4, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Hi Emil,,

    Sorry to hear about your stroke. I know it is frustrating, even at the best of times to have to adapt. I applaud your efforts to make improvements.

    Obviously, you shouldn’t take any response on a blog as medical advice, including my comments. I cannot give specific advice for individuals in this manner. However, I can make general comments that you may take into account in your own decision-making process.

    I have heard, mostly from the supplier of the product, that blue-green algae products can stimulate stem cells. I can’t recall offhand the brand name, but there are several around. I have had good success with my patients using phosphatidyl serine and vinpocetine in combination. I don’t think there is any information on these regarding stem cells in particular, but there does often seem to be an improvement in brain function when taken together. As you probably know, the sooner after the event you treat, the better.

    Hope that helps in your search.

    Dr. Bruce

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