Amidst the chaos of modern life, many of us deal with anxiety on a regular basis. But can phosphatidylserine help you deal with yours in a healthy way?

This article will help answer any questions you may have about phosphatidylserine, what its benefits are and whether it’s an effective remedy against anxiety. Ready to dive in? Let’s do this!

phosphatidylserine anxiety

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear. Whether it’s an upcoming exam, a job interview, a fear of flying, or a big life event, anxiety manifests itself in different ways.

If you’re anxious, it’s because you’re worried about or afraid of something. For many people, their anxiety disappears once the source of anxiety is removed. However, this isn’t the case for others.

For some people, their anxiety isn’t only a response to stressful things happening in their lives but can also be triggered by things that only exist in their minds.

As one of the psychological responses to mental stress, roughly 264 million people in the world experience anxiety on a regular basis. This makes anxiety as a mental illness one of the world’s biggest concerns when it comes to mental health. [*]

What Is Phosphatidylserine?

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid substance that’s produced in the body and found in the inner layer of the brain cell membranes. As essential molecules that surround our cells, phospholipids provide both cellular structure and protection. [*]

Though it’s more concentrated in brain tissue, phosphatidylserine is a type of fat found in every cell of the human body. Phosphatidylserine works well with amino acids and fatty acids. In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA work with phosphatidylserine to provide the groundwork for healthy cell membranes. [*]

In addition to our bodies producing phosphatidylserine, this fatty substance is also found in certain foods and supplements.


As an important chemical with widespread functions, phosphatidylserine has the potential to increase nerve growth factor (NGF). Neurons require NGF to survive, and research shows that nerve growth factor plays a key role in cognitive function and mood. [*]

In studies, phosphatidylserine is shown to help older rats retain a higher density of nerve growth receptors as well as more quality neurons. [*]

Phosphatidylserine is important for keeping healthy nerve cell membranes and myelin, which allows communication between neurons and protects brain function. [*]

Let’s take a closer look at how the benefits of this naturally occurring substance help with different health conditions.

It Helps With Depression

According to statistics, over 200 million people in the world have depression. Anxiety, hopelessness, fatigue, and appetite changes are some of the symptoms linked to depression.

Did you know that studies show a link between people with depression and low blood flow to the brain? It’s known that omega 3 deficiency can decrease blood flow to the brain, and this can lead to depression. In addition, omega 3 deficiency reduces phosphatidylserine levels in the brain. [*]

What can reverse this? You’ve guessed right, supplementing phosphatidylserine. [*]

Research also shows the benefits of phosphatidylserine and omega-3 fatty acids on late-life depression. [*]

It Helps With Stress

Stress is both a physical and emotional reaction to pressure or a real (and perceived) threat. While being stressed now and then is normal, being chronically stressed out is bad news. Chronic stress keeps cortisol – our primary stress hormone – highly elevated. This is bad news because chronically elevated cortisol levels have been linked to many health issues including the following:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Diabetes

  • Asthma

  • Heart disease

  • Alzheimer’s

There are many ways for us to improve our stress response including supplementing phosphatidylserine. In a study published in 2014, for example, researchers found that soy-based phosphatidylserine normalized stress-related biomarkers (e.g. cortisol) in people who were chronically stressed. [*]

In another study of healthy men, researchers found that long-term phosphatidylserine administration can prevent stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in men. [*]

It Helps With Sleep

There are many reasons why we struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. The main reasons could be too much caffeine too late in the day, using electronic devices before sleep, everyday concerns, anxiety, and high chronic stress.

Sleep is important to our health and regulates many functions including stabilizing your mood, regulating brain function, and more. If you’re struggling to fall or stay asleep due to anxiety or high chronic stress, phosphatidylserine can help you get the shut-eye you need.

Thanks to phosphatidylserine’s ability to reduce cortisol levels, you’ll be able to feel less on edge and more stable to fall asleep and stay asleep.

It Helps People With Alzheimer’s

We all know how important brain health is but not enough of us pay attention to this until it’s too late. One of the reasons why cognitive decline, including conditions like Alzheimer’s, is now on the rise is because we don’t invest enough into the health of our brain until there’s something wrong.

Taking care of our memory is key as, without good memory, we cannot function properly. Your diet and lifestyle have a big role to play in your cognitive function and how well you protect your brain.

Thankfully, phosphatidylserine can help you support your brain so that regardless of your age, your brain remains well supported and protected. In one study of elderly Japanese subjects with memory complaints, for example, researchers found that phosphatidylserine improves memory function. [*]

Studies show that brain cell membranes may play a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s. Phosphatidylserine is important as it provides – as already mentioned – the building block for healthy cell membranes. [*]

Does It Help With Anxiety?

If you need help winding down, phosphatidylserine may be the natural solution that you need. But how does it work exactly? Studies show that deficiency in phosphatidylserine is linked to anxiety.

Since anxiety can often occur as a reaction to stress, phosphatidylserine works by keeping cell membranes healthy enough to handle the damaging effects of stress.

In addition, since phosphatidylserine has the potential to increase nerve growth factors, this fatty substance may be able to reduce inflammation in the brain and improve mood.

This naturally occurring substance helps transmits messages between nerve cells, and this substance encourages the release of major neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine. Both of these are chemical messengers in the brain that communicate through neurons.

Often referred to as the “happy hormones,” serotonin and dopamine have important roles to play in regulating mood and emotion. [*] With increased levels of these two brain chemicals, symptoms of anxiety, as well as depression, are reduced.

Phosphatidylserine anxiety can also help improve mental acuity, which is important for a person’s ability to, for example, focus, reason, and recall information.

How To Increase Phosphatidylserine?

There are two ways to raise phosphatidylserine levels – by supplementing it or by eating the right foods. The top phosphatidylserine-rich foods include the following:

  • Soy lecithin

  • Bovine brain

  • Atlantic mackerel

  • Chicken heart

  • Atlantic herring

  • Tuna

  • Chicken leg (with skin, without bone)

  • Chicken liver

  • White beans

  • Chicken breast (with skin)

  • Mullet

  • Veal

  • Beef

  • Turkey leg (without skin or bone)

There are, of course, more PS-rich foods, but these give you an idea! The important thing is to eat these foods regularly instead of when you feel anxious or your cortisol levels are off the chart. Remember, whether you want to improve mental acuity or overall brain health, prevention is better than cure!

Dosage And Use

In the supplement form, studies show that phosphatidylserine can safely be taken for up 6 months. In one study, taking soybean-derived phosphatidylserine supplements of up 600 mg per day for 12 weeks was considered safe for the elderly. [*]

The optimal daily dosage of phosphatidylserine is 300 mg, taken in three dosage of 100 mg.

Even though this is a safe nootropic, please consult your doctor before supplementing it.


If you suffer from chronic anxiety, it is important to find the cause of it. Nevertheless, studies show that phosphatidylserine supplements may help reduce stress and anxiety. So while you’re searching for the cause, don’t forget to supplement phosphatidylserine.