Phosphatidylserine side effects tend to be relatively mild as long as the user takes safe quantities of the drug. They usually include only mild gastrointenstinal discomfort. When taken with other drugs, especially some types of blood thinners, the side effects of phosphatidylserine can include thinning the blood to unhealthy levels. One other concern when taking phosphatidylserine is that scientists have not fully determined the safe maximum doses of the drug for children or for the elderly, so patients in these groups should consume only small amounts of the drug.
Phosphatidylserine is a chemical that belongs to the phospholipid class of chemical compounds. It is an important part of the cell membrane, and the human body produces small amounts of it on its own. There is some evidence to suggest that supplementing the body's nature levels of phosphatidylserine can lead to improved mental function. As a result, scientists believe that the drug can help to treat certain mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Initially, pharmaceutical companies used cow brains to derive phosphatidylserine for supplements. There has been concern, though, that this method might cause phosphatidylserine side effects that include contracting harmful viruses, such as mad cow disease. Phosphatidylserineis has come to be derived from vegetable substances, although there is some evidence to suggest that the supplement is less effective when vegetables are its source.
There also is some evidence to suggest that phosphatidylserine can be beneficial to athletes. The substance can cause a slight decrease in the body's release of cortisol during a workout. Cortisol causes the muscles to break down, which can limit the muscle's growth and lead to soreness, thus delaying future workouts. Limiting cortisol might help athletes to build muscle more quickly. In order to achieve this benefit, though, an athlete must take large amounts of phosphatidylserine, which in turn subjects him or her to phosphatidylserine side effects to a greater degree.
The phosphatidylserine side effects that are of greatest concern are those involving its interaction with various blood thinners. This problem arises most often when subjects take ginko. Ginko, like phosphatidylserine, helps with mental function, so it is not uncommon for subjects to take both drugs. Ginko is a blood thinner, though, and evidence suggests that phosphatidylserine might increase the thinning effects of ginko, possibly to harmful levels. This also might be true when subjects take phosphatidylserine with other blood thinning drugs, such as warfarin, aspirin, pentoxifylline, clopidogrel, ticlopidine, garlic and vitamin E.