Because phosphatidylserine plays an important role in brain cell function, it is thought that supplementation with phosphatidylserine can protect brain cells and promote cognition. One review that looked at over 127 studies found that supplementation with phosphatidylserine could have widespread effects in the brain including slowing or reversing nerve cell deterioration, supporting memory, and helping with concentration, problem-solving, language skills, and communication (2).
Phosphatidylserine also has the following health benefits, which is why it was chosen to be an ingredient in Ro's Stress Relief supplement:
Although the evidence is limited, phosphatidylserine has been shown to improve factors associated with stress in a few areas:
Mood: In one study, young adults were given a stressful mental arithmetic task. The ones who had been supplementing with 300 mg per day of phosphatidylserine for one month reported less stress and an overall better mood (1).
Cortisol levels: Cortisol is often considered the “stress hormone.” In one small study, levels of cortisol and ACTH (the hormone that stimulates cortisol release) were measured after a mental and emotional stressor was present. In patients who had been taking 400 mg per day of phosphatidylserine for three weeks, cortisol and ACTH levels were blunted and participants reported decreased distress. Interestingly, these effects were not seen at doses of 600 mg per day and 800 mg per day (3).
Exercise-induced stress: One study looked at the effects of supplementation with 200 mg per day of phosphatidylserine for 42 days specifically in golfers. The study did not find a statistically significant improvement in perceived stress levels but did find a statistically significant improvement in “good ball flights” (4). Another small study on soccer players found that supplementation with phosphatidylserine did not reduce cortisol or improve markers of muscle damage but it did increase the time to exhaustion while running. In this study, participants took 750 mg per day for ten days (7).