Ever had feelings of worry, tension, or fear about things that are about to happen, or something that could happen in the future?
If so, you have probably experienced anxiety in some form. Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel threatened, which can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.
While anxiety can become a serious mental health problem that affects you long term, day-to-day anxiety is also commonly experienced by all of us, particularly when coping with stressful events or changes.
It’s important to seek advice from your doctor if you feel you are experiencing anxiety over a long period of time.
However, for the day-to-day anxiety relief, such as if you have an exam coming up, or a big client pitch at work, there are many ways which can help you feel more at ease and focused on the task at hand.
This is where nootropics can help! You may find that many individual nootropic ingredients or formulas help ease symptoms of anxiety, as well as improve memory, mental clarity, and mood.
This article focuses specifically on phosphatidylserine for anxiety, and when and how much to take for reap the benefits!
What is Phosphatidylserine?
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is an amino acid derivative compound, similar to dietary fats, found in high amounts in the brain. It can be naturally produced by the body or consumed through the diet, however many of the benefits noted appear to be gained through supplementation.
Phosphatidylserine has many important functions, though the biggest role it plays is providing structure and support for brain cell membranes so that they can properly communicate with each other.
It provides neural protection as we age, which helps to preserve memory, as well as improve focus, mood, and stress-resilience.
Let’s look at the role of phosphatidylserine more specifically for anxiety, depression, and sleep!
Phosphatidylserine for Anxiety and Depression
Phosphatidylserine is best known for its brain-supporting benefits that help improve mental acuity and preserve memory as we get older. Though, it has also been shown to improve depression and blunt the effects of chronic stress and anxiety.1
Phosphatidylserine for Sleep
Tying in with the above, phosphatidylserine has been shown to improve sleep by lowering cortisol levels.2
Have you ever laid awake at night worrying about an upcoming event, for example? This is the effect of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress and is the culprit for keeping us awake at night to worry.
Studies have shown phosphatidylserine to be effective in reducing our cortisol levels when they become elevated from a stressful situation, making it an effective antidote for a good night’s sleep.
So, how much of this supplement do we need to reap the benefits of easing anxiety and improving sleep?
What Else Does Phosphatidylserine Do?
Aside from being effective for memory, anxiety, and reducing cortisol, phosphatidylserine also has other benefits for cognitive health.
As the compound is concentrated in brain cell membranes, this therefore helps maintain fluidity, optimizes receptors, and promotes neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and dopamine.
Additionally, it supports brain cell energy production and may also increase nerve growth factor (NGF) which supports brain cell creation and repair.
As a result of these functions, phosphatidylserine is thought to sharpen memory, slow cognitive decline, promote a more positive mindset, and help with mood, anxiety, and mental clarity.
Phosphatidylserine: When and How Much to Take
Typical effective doses of phosphatidylserine range from 100-300mg daily. It can be taken 2-3 times per day with or without meals, or before bedtime to help promote sleep.3
Ideally, you want to look for a plant-based source such as soy or sunflower lecithin, as this would be the most effective and clean form.
Though, phosphatidylserine is best taken as part of a nootropic stack or formula such as Mind Lab Pro.
Mind Lab Pro combines 11 ingredients that all work together to optimize multiple brain pathways to give you the best nootropic effects.
This formula contains 100mg of phosphatidylserine alongside other ingredients such as citicoline, lion’s mane mushroom, L-tyrosine, and rhodiola rosea, which all bring you the cognitive support you need, when you need it.
The noted benefits of Mind Lab Pro include:
- Improved memory and recall
- Better mental processing speed
- Increased motivation and mental drive
- Increased attention, focus, and concentration
- Stable mood and a more relaxed mindset
Phosphatidylserine Side Effects
You’re probably thinking phosphatidylserine, or Mind Lab Pro, sounds like an effective brain booster—but does such a powerful supplement have side effects and downfalls?
Turns out, phosphatidylserine, even in high doses in elderly populations, have not been associated with any adverse effects. As this is a naturally occurring substance, our body is already familiar with it therefore doesn’t react against it when consumed as a supplement.
Additionally, all the ingredients found in Mind Lab Pro are safe and well tolerated.
However, as with any supplement, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking anything new.
Phosphatidylserine for Anxiety: Summary
Phosphatidylserine, a natural fatty substance found in the brain, is proven to be beneficial for easing symptoms of anxiety, as well as improve memory and reduce cortisol levels.
It’s best to take 100-300 mg of phosphatidylserine 2-3 times per day at any time, though taking it before bed may have some additional benefits for sleep.
Look for a plant-based source such as soy or sunflower lecithin, or take it as part of a nootropic stack or formula, such as Mind Lab Pro!
- Hellhammer J, Hero T, Franz N, Contreras C, Schubert M. Omega-3 fatty acids administered in phosphatidylserine improved certain aspects of high chronic stress in men. Nutr Res. 2012;32(4):241-50. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.03.003.
- Monteleone P, Maj M, Beinat L, Natale M, Kemali D. Blunting by chronic phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1992;42(4):385-8.
- Patel. K. Phosphatidylserine. Examine.com. 2018.