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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism connects alcohols brain damaging effects to a depletion of Phosphatidylserine

Aug 14, 2014

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism connects alcohols brain damaging effects to a depletion of Phosphatidylserine

     Phosphatidylserine is a lipid (fatty substance) made in the brain. Phosphatidylserine (PS) can also be taken as a nutritional supplement. PS is made out of phosphatidylcholine found in beans and other foods and this production is controlled by the fish oil component known as DHA. DHA simply switches the B-Complex vitamin Choline for the amino acid serine and violà – thought and memory and mood are enhanced.

PS is required for the activity of enzymes that protect brain cells from dying, that promote the formation of cells in the brain and that are needed for brain metabolism; the use of calories from sugar to energize brain function through energy formation.

There is about 2 ounces of PS in the human body with about half existing in the brain. PS is required for neurotransmitter release - there are about two-hundred known neurotransmitters in the brain. These powerful chemical messengers control everything from memory (acetylcholine) and mood (serotonin), to reward and creativity (dopamine) and paying attention (norepinephrine). PS also controls the flow of information and signals for many brain specific and brain to body functions through its effects on nerve endings (synaptic receptors) where communication takes place.

A fat found in fish and fish oils called DHA inserts PS into the brain neuronal-cell membrane and this allows memory and other functions to take place; this is a major reason why fish is thought of as brain food. As it turns out alcohol decreases DHA-promoted PS synthesis and its accumulation in neurons (brain cells) which may be key to alcohol abuse’s effects on memory and mental function. PS supplemented to cognitively impaired people improved some memory functions.  The research analysis was performed at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health published in the June 2014 issue of Progress in Lipid Research (Epub ahead of print).