Memory, attention and reaction time
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is one of the major phospholipids in human cell membranes and it plays important roles in dynamic membrane functions. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is important for brain function, and its status is dependent on dietary intakes. Therefore, individuals who consume diets low in Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids may cognitively benefit from DHA supplementation.
176 healthy, non-smoking adults with low intake of DHA between the ages of 17 and 45 completed a 6-month randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind intervention in which they consumed DHA or a placebo.
Cognitive performance was assessed by using a computerised cognitive test battery. For all tests, scores were calculated and clustered into cognitive domains as follows: episodic and working memory, attention, reaction time (RT) of episodic and working memory, and attention and processing speed.
Results showed that there was a significant increase in memory and reaction time of memory in healthy young adults whose habitual diets were low in DHA.
Read the whole study: www.academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/97/5/1134/4577127
Attention deficit/hyperactivity in children
The objective of the study was to study the efficacy and safety of Phosphatidylserine (PS) containing Omega3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids attached to its backbone (PS-Omega3) in reducing attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children.
A 15-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase followed by an open-label extension of additional 15 weeks. Two hundred ADHD children were randomised to receive either PS-Omega3 or placebo, out of them, 150 children continued into the extension. Efficacy was assessed using Conners’ parent and teacher rating scales (CRS-P,T), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ). Safety evaluation included adverse events monitoring.
The key finding of the double-blind phase was the significant reduction in the Global: Restless/impulsive subscale of CRS-P and the significant improvement in Parent impact-emotional (PE) subscale of the CHQ, both in the PS-Omega3 group. Exploratory subgroup analysis of children with a more pronounced hyperactive/impulsive behavior, as well as mood and behavior-dysregulation, revealed a significant reduction in the ADHD-Index and hyperactive components. Data from the open-label extension indicated sustained efficacy for children who continued to receive PS-Omega3. Children that switched to PS-Omega3 treatment from placebo showed a significant reduction in subscales scores of both CRS-P and the CRS-T, as compared to baseline scores. The treatment was well tolerated.
Read the whole study: www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-psychiatry/article/abs/effect-of-phosphatidylserine-containing-omega3-fattyacids-on-attentiondeficit-hyperactivity-disorder-symptoms-in-children
Elderly individuals with memory complaints
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is one of the major phospholipids in human cell membranes and it plays important roles in dynamic membrane functions.
With ageing, neural membrane fluidity is compromised due to the increased presence of cholesterol, a low incorporation rate and decreased levels of total polyunsaturated fatty acids, blockages to phospholipid pathways, and increases in free radicals, resulting in oxidative stress.
The brain is one of the richest organs in lipid content, and its structure and function have been shown to be influenced by nutrients. Unfavourable changes in the brain phospholipid levels (lipid imbalance) could lead to different pathogenic processes, as demonstrated in various neuronal conditions.
Clinical trials, conducted in the early 1990’s, indicated that consumption of 100-300 mg/day of PS extracted from bovine cortex (BC-PS) plays important roles in the support of mental functions in the ageing brain. BC-PS was found to be enriched with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) . However, due to safety concerns of potential contamination by bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions, BC-PS is no longer available. Alternatives such as soybean-derived or sunflower-derived PS are considered a safe alternative.
Recent studies however show that PS (Soy derived) combined with DHA significantly improves memory function in elderly individuals. In one of the many studies, subjects with memory complaints were randomised to receive either PS-DHA or placebo for 15 weeks. Efficacy measures, assessed at baseline and endpoint, included the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Rey Complex Figure Test, and others.
At the end of a 15-week, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, verbal immediate recall was significantly improved in the PS-DHA group compared to the placebo group. Interestingly, post hoc analysis revealed that participants with a relatively good cognitive performance at baseline were most likely to benefit. The safety profile of PS-DHA following a 30-week administration was also reported. Briefly, PS-DHA was found to be safe and well tolerated, with no significant side effects.
Read the whole study: www.karger.com/Article/FullText/357793
Late life depression
Late life depression is often associated with a poor response to antidepressants; therefore, an alternative strategy for therapy is required. Although studies have reported that phosphatidylserine (PS) may be effective for late life depression and that omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA have also proven beneficial for many higher mental functions, including depression, no concrete conclusion had been reached.
This study was performed to clarify the effect of PS and omega-3 fatty acid-containing supplement for late life depression by not only clinical evaluation but also salivary cortisol levels. Eighteen elderly subjects with major depression were selected for the study. In all, insufficient improvement had been obtained by antidepressant therapy for at least 6 months.
The exclusion criteria from prior brain magnetic resonance images (MRI) included the presence of structural MRI findings compatible with stroke or other gross brain lesions or malformations, but not white matter hypersensitivities. They took a supplement containing PS 100 mg, DHA 119 mg and EPA 70 mg three times a day for 12 weeks. The effects of the supplement were assessed using the 17-item Hamilton depression scale (HAM-D17) and the basal levels and circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol. The study adopted them as indices because: salivary cortisol levels are high in patients with depression, their circadian rhythm related to salivary cortisol is often irregular, and these symptoms are alleviated as depression improves.
The mean HAM-D17 in all subjects taking the supplement was significantly improved after 12 weeks of taking the supplement. These subjects were divided into 10 non-responders and 8 responders. The basal levels and circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol were normalised in the responders while not in non-responders. PS and omega-3 fatty acids, or other elements of the supplement, may be effective for late life depression, associated with the correction of basal levels and circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol.
Read the whole study: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4508628/
Athletes understand the importance of nutrition. They understand that a guided, well defined, balanced and disciplined nutrition can have tremendous effects on their fitness. Fitness is not just about the body, it’s also about the other side which has not got enough attention -The Brain. Athletes
dedicate hours to exercising and consume various nutritional supplements to improve their stamina and endurance. However, investing in cognitive health or using brain supplements is equally important. According to a study published in the J Int Soc Sports Nutrition. July 2007 on Phospholipids and Sports Performance, Athletes undergo a lot of over-training which can cause various consequences such as decreased performance, injury, depressed immunity – all leading to psychological depression. Hence, athletes’ brain, just like any other part of the body, also need right nutrition and right brain supplements.
Chronic over-training often causes a disturbance in the ratio between anabolic hormone- testosterone and catabolic hormone- cortisol. It’s important to take care of cortisol levels for optimum performance of a sportsperson. By reducing cortisol levels, athletes can enhance their focus, performance and concentration.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a major phospholipid, majorly concentrated in the brain, where it comprises of 15% of total phospholipid pool. PS usage is known for improving performance during stress and sports by suppressing the cortisol levels. Studies examining athletes involved in various sports have shown that PS combined with DHA can:
• Speed up recovery
• Prevent muscle soreness
• Improve mental well-being
• Improve concentration
• Help in increasing the rate of glucose transportation to muscle cells and enhances recovery of muscle glycogen following heavy exercise
Read the studies for cyclists, endurance training, weightlifting, golf and more!
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