Cognitive Needs Throughout Life
Brain health is one of the major public health concerns in all ages. From children and students, who are developing in a highly competitive academic environment, and whose parents are committed to supporting their mental performance academic achievements, to seniors seeking to prevent the loss of cognitive skills and abilities, naturally occurring as part of the aging process.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that Phosphatidylserine (PS) supplementation improve mental performance and contribute to a healthy life style.
Lipids are a major component of our brains. A full 60% (dry weight) of our brain is made of lipids, and phospholipids are among the most important of them. Compared to other organs, PS is especially prevalent in the brain. For example, PS makes up only about 3% of liver and heart phospholipids, whereas it makes up 18% of the phospholipids in the brain. This high level of PS in the brain highlights its importance for proper brain structure and function. PS was shown to increase neurotransmitter secretion in the brain, as well as improve neuron survival and affect mechanisms responsible for learning and formation of memories. Indeed, numerous clinical studies with PS demonstrate the effect of PS intake on enhancement of cognition – especially memory, learning and attention – in elderly people, as well as in other populations, such as children and students.
PS is the only dietary supplement with cognitive health claims qualified by the FDA:
“Consumption of phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim.”*
“Consumption of phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in the elderly. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim.”*
Cognitive Benefits of PS for Older People
PS Cognitive Benefits for the Aging Population
A clinical study demonstrated that a dose of 100 mg/day of PS for 6 months was sufficient to improve various cognitive capabilities. The effect sustained for at least 3 months after termination of PS intake, demonstrating the lasting effects of PS(Kato – KataOka 2010).
Enzymotec, a member of the Frutarom group, conducted a clinical study using its product Sharp•PS®. In this study, elderly people with age-associated cognitive decline were given Sharp•PS® for a period of 3 months. Some cognitive capabilities, mainly memory, improved after a 6-week period, while other capabilitiesimproved after 12 weeks of supplementation (Richter 2013).
Cognitive Benefits of PS in Children
PS Cognitive Benefits for Children – Improvement of Memory and Learning
The cognitive function of high school students improved following 40 days of supplementation with 100 mg/day of PS in milk. Even this group of young people, who are at the prime of their cognitive abilities, benefited from supplemental PS intake (Yong 2011).
PS Cognitive Benefits for Children – Inattention and Behavior
From clinical study (Hirayama et al, 2014):
“Children in the PS group showed improved classroom behavior and social skills, such as a reduction of walking around in the classroom or talking during class. In addition, children in the PS group showed improvements in putting things back in their proper places at home”.
Reduced inattention in children with ADHD following 2 months of supplementation with 200 mg/day of PS.
The most common ingredients used to improve cognitive function are phosphatidylserine (PS), DHA and Ginkgo Biloba. PS and DHA are similar in that they are both important building blocks of the brain and their effects are long-lasting. The main differences between them are that DHA has poor organoleptic properties, while PS can be consumed in any form with no problematic organoleptic issues. In addition, the required effective dosage of DHA is very high, while the effective dosage of PS can easily be reached. Ginkgo Biloba is somewhat different, as it is not natural to the human body and its effect is short-term. It is important to note that PS is the only cognitive supplement that is based on qualified health claims by the FDA.