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PS supplements show ADHD benefits in children: RCT data

By Stephen DANIELLS , 20-Mar-2013
Last updated on 15-Apr-2013 at 15:13 GMT

PS supplements show ADHD benefits in children: RCT data

Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may benefit from daily supplements of phosphatidylserine (PS), according to a new study from an international team of researchers.

A daily dose of PS of 200 mg for two months was associated with significant improvements in short-term auditory memory, inattention, and inattention and impulsivity, report researchers in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics .

“The more food-like dosage form with a classic food flavour scored excellent on taste and resulted in a high compliance rate in this target group,” wrote the researchers, led by Dr Ralf Jaeger from Increnovo LLC.

“Soy-derived PS administered in the present study (200 mg for 2 months) might even be more effective than the omega-3-enriched PS used in recent studies (300 mg of PS for 3 months) on ADHD symptoms.” 

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a naturally occurring phospholipid found in organs with high metabolic activity, such as the brain, lungs, heart, liver and skeletal muscle. The nutrient has a variety of unique regulatory and structural functions, explained the researchers, including modulating the activity of receptors, enzymes, ion channels and signalling molecules.

Study details

Dr Jaeger and his co-workers recruited 36 children aged between 4 and 14 to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Children were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or 200 mg per day of PS for two months. The PS was delivered as cocoa-flavored chews (100 mg of PS per chew). The raw material used for the study was supplied by Cargill. 

Results showed that PS supplementation produced significant improvements in ADHD, AD, HD, short-term auditory memory, inattention, and inattention and impulsivity, said the researchers.

The researchers explained that ADHD probably involved a number of factors, including genetic, prenatal, environmental, nutritional, social, and developmental. A number of nutrients have been linked to ADHD, with deficiencies in zinc, selenium, omega-3s, and methionine associated to with ADHD in children.

“Phospholipid deficiencies are linked to impairments in neuronal structure and function, especially during early development,” they added. “Dietary deficiency in essential fatty acids and phospholipids during childhood may increase the risk of developing ADHD-type symptoms. Correcting underlying imbalances through PS supplementation may be an important treatment strategy in cases where deficiency exists.”

“PS supplementation appears to be a safe and natural nutritional strategy for improving mental performance in young children suffering from ADHD,” wrote Dr Jaeger and his co-workers.

“Further research is needed to determine the optimal dose and duration of PS supplementation in children with ADHD,” they concluded.

The researchers were affiliated with Kurashiki City College (Japan), Daigokyou (Japan), Shinshu University (Japan), Cargill Texturizing Solutions (Germany), BHN Co. Ltd. (Japan), Healthy Navi Co., (Japan), DKSH Japan K.K., and Increnovo LLC (Milwaukee, USA).

Source: Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/jhn.12090
“The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial”
Authors: S. Hirayama, K. Terasawa, R. Rabeler, T. Hirayama, T. Inoue, Y. Tatsumi, M. Purpura, R. Jäger

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