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Phosphatidylserine is generally regarded as safe when used at recommended dosages. Side effects are rare, and when they do occur they usually consist of nothing much worse than mild gastrointestinal distress. 1 One study found that use of phosphatidylserine did not alter results on standard medical screening tests. 2 However, the maximum safe dosages for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.
PS is sometimes taken with ginkgo because they both appear to enhance mental function. However, some caution might be in order: Ginkgo is a "blood thinner," and PS might be one as well. PS is known to enhance the effect of heparin, a very strong prescription blood thinner. 3 It is possible that combined use of PS and any drug or supplement that thins the blood could interfere with normal blood clotting enough to cause problems. Some medications and supplements to consider include warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, pentoxifylline (Trental), clopidogrel (Plavix), ticlopidine (Ticlid), garlic, ginkgo, and vitamin E.
Keep in mind, too, that Alzheimer's disease and other types of severe age-related mental impairment are too serious to treat on your own with PS or any other supplement. In some cases, the symptoms of these diseases could be confused with symptoms of other serious conditions. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have a severe age-related mental impairment, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking:
- Prescription blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin) , heparin , aspirin , pentoxifylline (Trental) , clopidogrel (Plavix) , or ticlopidine (Ticlid) : Do not use phosphatidylserine except on a physician's advice.
- Cenacchi T, Bertoldin T, Farina C, Fiori MG, Crepaldi G. Cognitive decline in the elderly: a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study on efficacy of phosphatidylserine administration. Aging (Milano). 5(2):123-33.
- Cenacchi B, Baggio C, Palm E. Human tolerability of oral phosphatidylserine assessed through laboratory examinations. Clin Trials J. 1987;24:125-130.
- van den Besselaar AM. Phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine synergistically promote heparin's anticoagulant effect. Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 6(3):239-44.