Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for July 16, 2007

After all that I’ve read, I’ll be adding Lecithin tomorrow. I’m not sure where I put the phosphatidylserine…

Here’s some more information I found about the functions of Phosphatidylserine:

Phosphatidylserine (PS)
A natural compound found in all cells, PS is most highly concentrated in the membranes of brain cells which make up about 70% of its nerve tissue mass. (Life Extension, 2002)

Left to its own devices, the brain will succumb to the insults of age, beginning with the fourth or fifth decade of life. Full mental capacity begins its decline as the production of PS slows to suboptimal levels. The net result of an aging brain is cognitive decline, including the gradual loss of the ability to learn, reason, concentrate and remember.

This vital compound plays so many roles that a shortage often creates a variety of symptoms:

  • Phosphatidylserine aids the storage, release and activity of many vital neurotransmitters and their receptors.
  • Phosphatidylserine aids in cell to cell communication.
  • Phosphatidylserine is involved in the maintenance and restoration of nerve cell membranes.
  • Phosphatidylserine stimulates the release of dopamine, a mood regulator that also controls physical sensation and movement.
  • Phosphatidylserine increases the production of acetylcholine, necessary for learning and memory.
  • Phosphatidylserine enhances brain glucose metabolism.
  • Phosphatidylserine reduces cortisol levels (a stress hormone).
  • Phosphatidylserine boosts the activity of nerve growth factor (NGF) which oversees the health of cholinergic neurons.

Phosphatidylserine – Research Summary

Research has shown that dietary supplementation with Phosphatidylserine can slow and even reverse the decline of learning, mood, memory, concentration and word recall related to dementia or age-related cognitive impairment in middle aged and elderly subjects. (Kidd, 1999)

Study #1
In a multi-center Italian study, 87 test subjects aged 55 to 80 were assessed for the effects of Phosphatidylserine on senile mental deterioration. Subjects were given either 300 mg. Phosphatidylserine or a placebo for a period of 90 days. Improvements were noted in the Phosphatidylserine treated group with regards to cognitive functions such as attention, concentration and short term memory. Behavioral measurements also showed improvements in socialization, daily living, self-sufficiency and being more engaged with one’s environment. (Palmieri, 1987)

Study #2
In another study, 51 patients with Alzheimer’s disease were treated for 12 weeks with 300 mg. Phosphatidylserine There were significant improvements in several cognitive functions for the treatment group compared to those given a placebo. Differences were more dramatic among test subjects with less severe cognitive impairment, suggesting that Phosphatidylserine may be useful in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. (Crook,1992)

July 15, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for July 15, 2007

Discovered this today about choline and phosphatidylserine. When I went into a health food store back in January looking for Phosphorus I was given something called Phosphatidylserine or “Ps-100” for short. I was miffed at the time because it wasn’t phosphorus so I googled and read about how it used for the brain and I wasn’t really interested. Now I discover that phosphatidylserine is very linked to choline and Lecithin so this time round…I’m very interested!

So although it wasn’t phosphorus, it was a very important link to choline which of course is linked to phosphorus.

How Do You Improve Your Memory?

Wouldn’t it be nice if our brain was like a computer? Just load the programs in and all the information would be there whenever it was needed. The fact is that our brain is a computer much better than any you can buy in stores.

Dr. Wilder Penfield, a well known Canadian neurosurgeon, discovered that all of our memories are recorded by the brain; our problem is that we don’t practise retrieving this information and the memories are lost. We have to work on memory retrieval because it takes no effort to forget things. Another difference is that the brain is a living computer which requires optimal nutrition if we want it to work its best. One of the first computer phrases I remember learning was “garbage in, garbage out.” This means that if you program your computer with garbage programs, then you should expect the information coming out to be garbage. Well, the same applies to your brain; if you feed it garbage, then you can expect the memory information to be garbage.

The brain also needs physical exercise and mental exercise if we wish to increase the power of memory. Many research studies have shown that mental activity keeps the brain healthy and increases the strength of your memory. These activities include learning new things, keeping active in social interaction, and doing puzzles or other games which stimulate thought.

As we age, it is normal to have changes in memory but, just as with every other organ of the body, the brain can have its capacity to function rapidly diminished through poor nutrition. We do have the option of adopting good health habits as outlined in this article and actually improving brain function and memory.

Two major physiological changes seen in the brain with age and associated memory loss are the following: first, there is a decrease in the ability of the nerves to exchange information between each other because of a decrease in neural synapse. A neural synapse is like a tiny spark which occurs between nerves when information is transferred. If the nutritional material is not present, then the spark will not occur or will be diminished. The second sign of an aging brain is a decrease in blood going to the brain and circulating through it, which is an action known as cerebrovascular disease.

The brain requires a large amount of energy to work properly as well as a good circulatory system to provide glucose, oxygen and nutrients. The brain also has a protective membrane called the blood-brain barrier which is designed to deny access to substances which may be harmful to the brain. If this blood-brain barrier and the arteries which supply the brain are blocked by a buildup of cholesterol and triglycerides, then the brain suffers. A good example of how sensitive the brain is to nutritional changes can be seen by looking at the symptoms of hypoglycemia, which is defined as a decreased amount of glucose available to the brain. The symptoms are as follows: fatigue, light headedness, headache, irritability, depression, anxiety, confusion, mental disturbance, and insomnia.

Ginkgo Biloba
One of the most studied herbal remedies, Ginkgo Biloba has been through 40 double-blind studies on its effectiveness. Ginkgo Biloba is a registered drug in Germany and France for the treatment of cerebrovascular disease which causes the restriction of blood flow which in turn leads to cerebral deterioration and memory loss. These medical studies showed that Ginkgo Biloba was specifically indicated for increasing cerebrovascular circulation and that it caused a reversal in brain deterioration. Studies show that increased vascular flow occurred within 6 to 8 weeks and that improvement continued for up to 24 weeks. With increased vascular flow, previous problems of short term memory loss, lack of concentration and headaches improved.

Lecithin is the best known of the phosphatides and is essential for normal brain function. Lecithin also contains choline which is used by the body to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine – one of the chemicals which allow for the neural synapse to communicate information. Failure to produce these chemicals results in poor memory. Another function of choline is to increase the strength of the neural cell membrane and thus the health of the brain and nerve cells. Lecithin is also known as a lipotropic factor; this means that it is used for the transport of fatty material through the blood stream and liver. Without lipotropic factors, the blood vessels and liver become clogged with fat which prevents the formation of choline while decreasing circulation to the brain.

Phosphatidyl Serine
This substance is another very important nutrient for maintaining healthy brain cells because it also helps to produce choline. Decreased blood serum levels of Phosphatidyl Serine in elderly patients have been linked to impaired memory function and depression. The body can produce choline from Phosphatidyl Serine which is then transformed by the body into acetylcholine which is a very important neurotransmitter and improves communication between the nerves. Very good results have been shown in scientific research when Phosphatidyl Serine was used to treat depression, impaired memory and your mood. As previously discussed, Phosphatidyl Serine is also responsible for maintaining healthy brain and nerve cells, and the chemicals that maintain neural synapse. Antioxidants are also essential for helping the body protect itself from free radical damage which will lead to neural degeneration.

Closing Thoughts
Adopting the above recommendations to improve the brain and thus memory is an important step, but there are certain things that you should avoid. The first is heavy use of alcohol because brain deterioration is well documented in alcoholics. Secondly, avoid contact with aluminum and lead such as can be found in, respectively, aluminum cookware and paint. Lead has a long history of causing neural deterioration. Although the cause of Alzheimer’s Disease is not yet known, a common link in Alzheimer patients is a high level of aluminum found in the brain. Thirdly, low blood sugar levels such as those found in hypoglycemia cause starvation of the brain because it requires large amounts of energy from glucose in order to work. This starvation of the brain will lead to poor memory. The use of barbiturates and psychotropic drugs will also cause brain deterioration. People who suffer from either Diabetes Mellitus or Hypothyroidism should also take steps to prevent deterioration of memory through proper nutrition.

By Dr. Daryl Robert Bourke, DC ND

July 15, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 12, 2007

When I get home I start googling Ps-100 and it turns out that it’s not phosphorus at all! Ps-100 is actually something called phosphatidylserine. And here is what I find out:


Phosphatidylserine is a vital component of cell membranes and is the major acidic phospholipid in the brain. Its fluid nature, which is necessary for cell to cell communication and cellular metabolism, underscores the importance of this compound in cell membrane function and integrity.

This phospholipid has broad effects in the central nervous system. Administering preparations of phosphatidylserine to aged rats has increased dopamine release in the striatum, stimulated acetylcholine secretion, and has prevented age-related atrophy of cholinergic cells in the basal forebrain. Phosphatidylserine supplementation has demonstrated changes in EEG activity in humans. As well, taking PS over a period of 30 days has restored the circadian rhythmicity of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) secretion in hospitalized patients.

This familiarly-called “brain nutrient” supports cognitive function, emotional well-being and behavioral performance by restoring cell membrane composition. It has also been shown to support memory. In a double blind placebo controlled multicenter study of 425 individuals, daily supplementation of phosphatidylserine over six months resulted in statistically significant support of behavioral and cognitive parameters.

In another six-month study of 40 individuals, phosphatidylserine supplementation enhanced cerebral metabolism and outcomes of cognitive training. These findings are consistent with earlier studies. In a placebo- controlled investigation of 149 subjects, the group receiving phosphatidylserine scored higher than placebo in performance tests related to memory tasks of daily life. In a trial of 35 subjects, those receiving phosphatidylserine exhibited behavioral support after six months. Pure Encapsulations unique formula contains 95-98% phosphatidylserine, the highest concentration available.

Phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly. Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that PS may reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly.


An interesting application of phosphatidylserine is in addressing stress. In a double- blind study of healthy men, phosphatidylserine was administered to half of the participants10 minutes before starting exercise (physically induced stress). [14] The treatment standard was set at administering 50 or 75 milligrams of bovine-cortex phosphatidylserine (BC-PS) intravenously, or oral placebo. The results showed that pretreatment with both 50 and 75mg BC-PS significantly blunted the ACTH and cortisol responses to physical stress.

Another study examined the effect of an oral supplementation of BC-PS on physically induced stress. [15] Healthy subjects took 800mg per day for 10 days. Again, BC-PS significantly blunted the ACTH and cortisol responses to physical exercise without affecting the rise in plasma growth hormone and prolactin.

January 13, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment


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