R&D: Cognitive Ability with Phosphatidylserine -- April 2008
One of the key contributing charact-eristics that appear in aging and age-related health conditions is a loss of the membrane integrity making up human tissue, particularly in the brain and cardiovascular system. These membranes are made up of fat-soluble compounds, especially those called phospholipids. Overall, fats are especially crucial in brain health, as 60% of the brain is made up of fat. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), one of the omega-3 fatty acids important in many areas of health, is the most prominent fat in the brain, making up 25-35% of brain matter. Phosphatidylserine (PS), on the other hand, is the main phospholipid that is thought to be required for maintaining the structural integrity of the brain cells. DHA and PS in the brain combine through an enzymatic process to form cell membrane phospholipids that are needed for nerve cell expansion. Despite the very important role of PS, however, it is not as well-known as DHA.
Many clinical studies have linked PS to improvements or maintenance in brain health, especially certain mental functioning abilities such as concentration, learning, memory, recall and focus in the elderly. Other brain-health areas it may benefit include dementia, mood, stress and behavioral attention-deficits. PS has been granted two qualified health claims by the FDA related to cognitive dysfunction and dementia in the elderly.
Chemi Nutra recognized the nutritional importance of PS over 10 years ago and has worked throughout this time in collaboration with Ingredient Innovations International, a leader in ingredient nanoparticle technology, to develop a stable, concentrated, highly bioavailable liposomal PS called SerinAid® Disperse 1.5F. Nanotechnology can make the dissolution of powdered and lipid ingredients achievable in otherwise challenging food matrixes, and this novel technology allows the ingredient to deliver PS in a far wider range of product presentations. SerinAid Disperse 1.5F is the “first-to-market,” high- quality, water-dispersible PS ingredient, and, along with this new technology, Chemi Nutra has announced strong efforts to fully defend its PS patents--thus helping to give food and beverage companies an edge in the marketplace with the ingredient.
Cognitive ability normally does decline as people age, but it is known that certain unhealthy lifestyle habits can accelerate this process. PS, given as a supplement to the diet or a functional food, may help promote cognitive health. An example of the use of SerinAid is the Power Smart Bar, by Canadian manufacturer Sunny Crunch Foods, which features both SerinAid PS and a microencapsulated omega-3 ingredient. The Power Smart Bar contains 190 calories, 8g of protein, 60mg of PS and 5mg of omega-3 PUFA, and it is designed for people seeking to maintain or improve their mental performance--including memory, concentration, focus and learning abilities.
Applications for SerinAid Disperse 1.5F include functional beverages such as iced teas, energy drinks, sports performance and recovery beverages, vitamin waters and juices. SerinAid Disperse 1.5F is GRAS-certified as a food additive under CFR Title 21 184.1400. Labeling should be: lecithin, PS enriched soy lecithin. NS
--Kerry Hughes, Contributing Editor
For more information:
Chemi Nutra, White Bear Lake, Minn.
Julie Montzka, 866-907-0400
Kim HY, et al. 2004. Substrate preference in phosphatidylserine biosynthesis for docosahexaenoic acid containing species. Biochemistry. 43:1030-6.
Kidd PM. 2005. Neurodegeneration from mitochondrial insufficiency: nutrients, stem cells, growth factors and prospects for brain rebuilding using integrative management. Altern Med Rev. 10:268-93.