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10.07.2010


Phosphatidylserine increases stamina and sprint capacity in athletes

Phosphatidylserine is a supplement that's easily available online, and it works. But not in the way that vendors claim in their ads, according to British sports scientist Mike Kingsley in a review article he published in Sports Medicine.

Kingsley did his own research on the performance enhancing characteristics of phosphatidylserine. He gave supplements to football players and discovered that the component gave them more stamina. What's more, the supplement improved their sprint speed. [Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Aug; 37(8): 1300-6.]


Phosphatidylserine increases stamina and sprint capacity in athletes


When Kingsley gave cyclists a daily dose of 750 mg phosphatidylserine derived from soya for a period of ten days, he observed the same effect. He also discovered that the supplementation enabled the athletes to maintain an exertion level of 85 percent of their VO2max for 30 percent longer. [Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Jan; 38(1): 64-71.]

Well, now we're talking.

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid. In the body, it is found mainly in the cell membranes of metabolically active tissues, such as the heart and the muscles. One of its functions is to ensure that hormones, which work through receptors in the membranes, can communicate with cells.

Sports scientists had generally believed that phosphatidylserine strengthens the muscle cell membranes, thus reducing wear and tear on muscles. Another theory is that phosphatidylserine reduces the production of the muscle-destructor hormone cortisol.

Kingsley's tests made him suspect that supplement works in a different way, however. Maybe it does something to the mitochondria so that oxygen uptake increases, he hypothesised. Or maybe it makes reabsorption of calcium by the endoplasmic reticulum easier during physical exertion, so that muscle cells can function better and longer at a high level.

Kingsley warns in another review article in AgroFOOD Industry Hi-tech that not all phosphatidylserine products are the same. He used "supplements manufactured using the method of specific transesterification of soybean lecithin and then blended with additional soybean lecithin to provide a concentration of 20 percent phosphatidylserine." [AgroFOOD Industry Hi-tech March/April 2006 anno 17 - No. 2]

Source:
Sports Med. 2006; 36(8): 657-69.

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