Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:



Phosphatidylserine is a compound found in meat and fish and is an important part of human cells. It has been used to improve brain function and athletic performance. Phosphatidylserine has also been used to ease feelings of stress and depression. It can be taken as a pill or powder.


100 milligrams 1 to 3 times daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Alzheimer disease —may improve memory and moodA1
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder —may improve symptoms B1-B3
  • Memory —may improve memory, especially in the elderly C1,C2
  • Milk production in breastfeeding mothers —may improve production for the first three months of life D1,D2

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Premenstrual syndrome E1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take phosphatidylserine in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:

  • People taking blood thinners should talk to their doctor before takin phosphatidylserine. It may interact with the medicine.


A. Alzheimer Disease

A1. Móre MI, Freitas U, et al. Positive effects of soy lecithin-derived phosphatidylserine plus phosphatidic acid on memory, cognition, daily functioning, and mood in elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Adv Ther. 2014;31(12):1247-1262.

B. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

B1. Manor I, Magen A, et al. The effect of phosphatidylserine containing Omega3 fatty-acids on attention0deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, followed by an open-label extension. Eur Psychiatry. 2012;27(5):335-342.

B2. Manor I, Magen A, et al. Safety of phosphatidylserine containing omega3 fatty acids in ADHD children: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial followed by an open-label extension. Eur Psychiatry. 2013;28(6):386-391.

B3. Hirayama S, Terasawa K, et al. The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2014 Apr;27 Suppl 2:284-91.

C. Memory

C1. Vakhapova V, Cohen T, et al. Phosphatidylserine containing omega-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(5):467-474.

C2. Vakhapova V, Richter Y, et al. Safety of phosphatidylserine containing omega-3 fatty acids in non-demented elderly: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial followed by an open-label extension. BMC Neurol. 2011;11:79.

D. Milk Production in Breastfeeding Mothers

D1. Zecca E, Zuppa AA, et al. Efficacy of a galactogogue containing silymarin-phosphatidylserine and galega in mothers of preterm infants: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Oct;70(10):1151-1154.

D2. Serrao F, Corsello M, et al. The Long-Term Efficacy of a Galactagogue Containing Sylimarin-Phosphatidylserine and Galega on Milk Production of Mothers of Preterm Infants. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Jan/Feb;13(1):67-69.

E. Premenstrual Syndrome

E1. Schmidt K, Weber N, et al. A lecithin phosphatidylserine and phosphatidic acid complex (PAS) reduces symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Apr;24:22-30.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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