Phosphatidylcholine vs Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylcholine vs Phosphatidylserine – Which of these Neuro-Nutrients Should You Get?

We all can do with a brain boost every now and then, especially during exam time or when work pressure and brain fog are clouding our judgment. There are lots of great smart drugs available on the market these days. And many of them have some confusing names and functions.

In this phosphatidylcholine vs phosphatidylserine article, we compare two very popular neuro-nutrients so we can find out which of these similar products will offer the most benefit to you and your particular situation.

Overview of Phosphatidylcholine

Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a pretty common chemical. This natural protein is found in various foods like eggs, soybeans, mustard, sunflower seeds, and many more. It’s also naturally found in all plant and animal cells and acts as a source of choline and lecithin in your body.

Your body naturally takes PC and transforms it into acetylcholine. This chemical is extremely important for memory and various other functions. But not all humans will process the same amount of PC to produce acetylcholine, which can result in numerous medical conditions.

In a 1995 study, it was discovered that PC was helpful for enhancing cognitive function. You can naturally increase the PC in your body by consuming dietary sources of PC. Or you can invest in a PC supplement. There are lots of different PC brands to choose from that are easy to take and offer a wide range of benefits. PC is available in pill, powder, or injection form.

Not all supplements are created equal, however, so it’s very important to find a quality product with a well-regulated balance of PC.

This chemical is used to treat quite a few medical conditions:

PC also has non-medical uses. The chemical is often used in cosmetic injections because it helps to dissolve fat. Just keep in mind that these products aren’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Neurological Mechanisms of Phosphatidylcholine

PC is one of the most important phospholipids in the brain. This chemical helps maintain the internal movement of cells, assists in signal transduction and cell-to-cell communication and is helpful for cell growth.

The chemical is very important for maintaining a healthy brain that can communicate information efficiently – a common problem for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive impairment. That’s also why PS is used to treat certain mental health conditions.

A lot of people also use these supplements to improve the following neurological mechanisms:

Improves brain function

PC is helpful for maintaining healthy cell regrowth and communication. The chemical also reduces inflammation that could affect the production of new neurons in the hippocampus. PC enriched diets have proven to be effective for reducing brain inflammation inrats.

It makes perfect sense that your brain will function at an optimal level when cells are healthy and communicating well.

Improves Memory

A single dose of 25 mg of PC can improve some measure of memory in college students with healthy brain functioning.

Low levels of PC are associated with Alzheimer’s disease which is why the chemical is often prescribed to elderly people with this condition or just folks with constant memory problems.

In a1993 study that included 80 college students with healthy brains, PC supplements proved to be effective for enhancing memory function.

Reduces anxiety and depression

In a Hordaland Health Study, choline has been found to reduce anxiety and depression. Since PC is a source of choline, these supplements might very well be helpful for reducing and managing anxiety and depression.

Assists with bipolar disorder

People suffering from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder tend to have lots of extreme highs and depressive episodes on a regular basis. A 1996 study indicated that lithium and choline proved to be helpful for reducing mood symptoms during choline therapy.

In addition to these neurological effects, PC offers a host of other health benefits or can be used as a supplementary treatment for various diseases.

Side Effects of Phosphatidylcholine

As with any other medication, there’s always a chance of running into some nasty side effects. To reduce the risk of side effects, you can start off with a low dose of PC and then gradually increase your dosage over a few days until you reach a full dose.

Here are some of the most common side effects you might experience with oral PC:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If you choose to use PC injections or get it injected directly into a fatty tumor, then you could experience the following side effects:

  • Inflammation
  • Fibrosis
  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Bruising
  • Edema
  • Skin reddening

It’s recommended to speak to a medical professional before you take PC along with other medications. The chemical often doesn’t react well with other drugs and might cause side effects like seizures, muscle weakness, slow heart rate, or breathing difficulties. Other medications may also affect the efficacy of this medication.

Overview of Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is another fatty substance that is also a phospholipid produced by the liver. This fatty substance is responsible for covering and protecting the cells in your brain. The phospholipid also assists in transmitting messages between brain cells. These chemicals are important for keeping your memory sharp and your mind running smoothly.

It’s believed that the level of this chemical decreases over time as you age. The decrease in PS could potentially be a cause for memory-related health conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, although more research is needed on the subject.

Phosphatidylcholine vs Phosphatidylserine

People are often encouraged to take PS so they can prevent memory loss and mental decline as they get older. There are also several studies that suggest using PS supplements may boost brain function. Those that took these supplements achieved a higher score for tests measuring certain attributes like short-term memory, mood, and concentration. When you take PS, you’re more likely to remember names and objects better.

PS is often used to help treat different medical conditions such as:

In earlier studies, these substances were harvested from cattle brains. But after concerns about mad cow disease, scientists started harvesting the phospholipid from plant sources like soy and cabbage.

PS is naturally found in a wide range of dietary products like muscle meats, organ meats, eggs, white beans, soy-based proteins, and others.

Neurological Mechanisms of Phosphatidylserine

The neurological mechanism of Phosphatidylserine is still under research. PS is considered to improve the following cognitive functions:

  • Maintenance of the internal environment of brain cells
  • Signal transduction
  • Cell-to-cell communication
  • Cell growth regulation.

The cognitive effects of PS are very similar to the effects you will get from taking PC.

Side Effects of Phosphatidylserine

Some PS users do experience side effects, but these can vary from person to person. Side effects may include:

  • Gas or bloating
  • Upset stomach
  • Sleep issues

Side effects are most likely to occur when you take a dosage that is higher than 300 mg PS per day. Don’t worry, though, since it’s likely safe for consumption of up to 600 milligrams per day for no longer than 10 consecutive days.

Keep in mind that the supplement can also have negative interactions with other types of medications. PS can interfere with the functioning of blood thinners, can worsen blood-clotting problems, and can affect the efficacy of pain and inflammation medications. PS may also interfere with the functioning of performance-enhancing drugs in athletes.

Phosphatidylcholine vs Phosphatidylserine

When you consider the functions and neurological mechanisms of these two fatty substances, you’d be forgiven for assuming they’re pretty similar. So, what’s the difference between these products?

PS is designed to promote the health and longevity of your brain cells. PC, on the other hand, is designed to enhance the functionality of brain cells.

You may think that keeping your brain cells alive for longer will benefit your mind, but the opposite might actually be true. It’s a natural process for the body to destroy cells that might cause it harm. When these cells are kept alive for too long, it could potentially result in other risks, since these old cells can become defective and will end up taking up too much space.

It’s also believed that boosting your brain cell’s life expectancy can result in long-term effects because it could trigger premature cell death once these substances have been depleted from your system.

PS is terrific for promoting healthy brain cells and membranes. Even though you’ll be promoting the health of your cells and membranes, you might not notice much improvement in cognitive functioning.

PC supplements, on the other hand, assist in overall cell health and functioning. This means your cells won’t live longer, but they will function at an optimal level.

Because PC puts more focus on cell communication and functioning, this might be a better supplement to take if you want to improve your general cognitive performance.

Product Recommendations

A lot more research is required on both of these fatty substances before they can be marketed as cognitive enhancers. Still, current studies indicate that both of these products can be beneficial for boosting overall brain health.

Students might experience a bit more improvement in cognitive functioning with PC compared to PS. When it comes to PS, it’s a good idea to limit your use just in case these products trigger premature cell death. But both of these substances offer very similar effects and can have some memory-enhancing benefits whether you’re looking for a general brain booster or need something to combat the effects of aging.

Bottom Line

We hope our handy phosphatidylcholine vs phosphatidylserine guide gave you a better insight into these supplements. If you want to find out more about smart drugs or nootropics, then take a look at some of the other guides we have for you on PromindBuild.

References

  1. ScienceDirect – Phosphatidylcholine – Reference Module in Food Science, 2020
  2. Oregon State University – Choline – Linus Pauling Institute
  3. Michael Schneider – Fraction and Purification of Lecithin – Chapter 7
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  5. Healthline – Written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD on April 7, 2021 — Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D. – (specialty in nutrition) – 16 Foods That Are High in Choline
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  10. ADAM M. ROTUNDA MD,MICHAEL S. KOLODNEY MD, PhD, – Mesotherapy and Phosphatidylcholine Injections: Historical Clarification and Review – First published: 24 April 2006
  11. S L Ladd 1, S A Sommer, S LaBerge, W Toscano – Effect of phosphatidylcholine on explicit memory – Clin Neuropharmacol. 1993 Dec;16(6):540-9.
  12. Richard J Wurtman – How Anticholinergic Drugs Might Promote Alzheimer’s Disease: More Amyloid-β and Less Phosphatidylcholine – J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;46(4):983-7.
  13. S L Ladd 1, S A Sommer, S LaBerge, W Toscano – Effect of phosphatidylcholine on explicit memory – Clin Neuropharmacol. 1993 Dec;16(6):540-9.
  14. Ingvar Bjelland 1, Grethe S Tell, Stein E Vollset, Svetlana Konstantinova, Per M Ueland – Choline in anxiety and depression: the Hordaland Health Study – Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct;90(4):1056-60. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27493. Epub 2009 Aug 5.
  15. A L Stoll 1, G S Sachs, B M Cohen, B Lafer, J D Christensen, P F Renshaw – Choline in the treatment of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder: clinical and neurochemical findings in lithium-treated patients – Biol Psychiatry. 1996 Sep 1;40(5):382-8.
  16. Michael J.GladePh.D.KylSmithD.C. – Phosphatidylserine and the human brain-Nutrition Volume 31, Issue 6, June 2015, Pages 781-786
  17. T. H. Crook, J. Tinklenberg, J. Yesavage, W. Petrie, M. G. Nunzi, D. C. Massari – Effects of phosphatidylserine in age‐associated memory impairment – First published May 1, 1991,
  18. Vakhapova V.a · Cohen T.c · Richter Y.c · Herzog Y.c · Korczyn A.D.b – Phosphatidylserine Containing ω–3 Fatty Acids May Improve Memory Abilities in Non-Demented Elderly with Memory Complaints: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial – Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2010;29:467–474
  19. NorimotoKobayashi, PiiaKarisola, VictorPeña-Cruz1David M.Dorfman, MasahisaJinushi, Sarah E.Umetsu, Manish J.Butte, HaruoNagumo, IreneChernova, BaogongZhu, Arlene H.Sharpe, SusumuIto, GlennDranoff, Gerardo G.Kaplan, Jose M.Casasnovas, Dale T.Umetsu, Rosemarie H.DeKruyff2Gordon J.Freeman1 – TIM-1 and TIM-4 Glycoproteins Bind Phosphatidylserine and Mediate Uptake of Apoptotic Cells – Volume 27, Issue 6, 21 December 2007, Pages 927-940

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