Can you get phosphatidylserine from food sources?

The short answer is : Yes.

There are THREE major sources for phosphatidylserine: cow brains and soy lecithin and lamb's kidneys (excellent source). Lamb's kidneys, rich in phosphatidylserine, can improve memory and stress response. A study in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience showed high levels were associated with feeling less stressed and having a better mood. Snip out the white cores and fry in a little butter for three minutes each side.

As a supplement, the phosphatidylserine derived from cow brains (BC-PS) is banned in the US due to fears about mad cow disease.

While phosphatidylserine occurs in soy lecithin, it does differ in molecular structure from the phosphatidylserine found in cow brains. It is important to note that the studies about human cognitive improvement were done with phosphatidylserine derive from cow brains.

Your body actually produces phosphatidylserine. However, theraputic doses for memory improvement are 100 mg two-three times a day. While phosphatidylserine occurs in several foods, it is most prevalent in soybeans. However, to obtain 100 mg of phosphatidylserine, you would need to ingest 3 kg of soybeans. Soybeans contain 1.5-3% lecithin which in turn has 14-18% "other phospholipids" (which would include phosphatidylserine).

So, ingesting 100 mg of unrefined lecithin should give you about 10-20 mg (approximately) of "other phospholipids". IF this fraction was ALL phophotidylserine (which it is not), it would take about 2000 mg of unrefined lecithin to meet a therapeutic dosage of phosphatidylserine.

Besides soybeans, other foods rich in lecithin include egg yolks and chicken and beef liver. As these are foods that many people avoid due to cholesterol, it is highy unlikely that you can ingest enough phosphatidylserine in your diet to meet therapeutic dosages. Add to that the fact that not all ingested phosphatidylserine is adequately absorbed (particularly as our gut ages), and the difficulty becomes even more complicated.

Adding lecithin granules to your diet rather than taking lecithin capsules is probably the easiest (and cheapest) way to up the phophatidylserine in your diet. Lecithin contains many other substances beneficial to your health and, like the B-Vitamins, these substances may help each other be more effective. Be wary of the type of lecithin, however. Bulk Foods, have a lot of good information about foods and nutrients.

However, if you are suffering from cognitive decline and absolutely must have a specified amount of phosphatidylserine, the supplements which are STANDARDIZED are your best bet. In this case, however, you should consult a natural healing practitioner that will help you through the maze of the supplement world.