We've all had that moment when we're telling a story and the person we're speaking to asks, "Where are you going with this?" and suddenly, nothing. You completely draw a blank and can't for the life of you remember where you were headed. How about when you walk into the kitchen or open the closet for something and then can't remember what you needed?
We all experience memory loss as we age, but there are ways to slow and possibly prevent the process. You can keep your memory sharp by taking a preventative approach with phosphatidyl serine.
Why do we lose our memory?
The brain experiences some natural degeneration as we get older, making us forget everyday things like where we left our keys or what we were supposed to get from the grocery store. These thoughts usually return a short time later. Certain medications, mental disorders, excessive use of drugs or alcohol, lack of sleep or proper nutrition, head trauma and stroke can also lead to memory loss.
However, according to the Mayo Clinic, certain medical conditions that damage brain cells and can lead to dementia, which causes severe memory loss. Diseases that can cause dementia include Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia.
Look out for these symptoms to determine if your memory loss is something to be concerned about:
Forgetting words when trying to communicate
Repeating the same questions
Unexplained changes in mood or behavior
Becoming lost in familiar areas
Leaving items in the wrong place (i.e. putting popsicles in the microwave)
Switching out words with opposite meanings
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms or see them in a friend or family member, it's important to see a physician to determine the cause and proper course of treatment.
How Phosphatidyl Serine Can Help
Phosphatidyl serine is a naturally occurring lipid that supports the health of the brain cells to protect it from degeneration and memory loss. It does this by assisting in the conduction of certain electrical impulses in the brain and by helping the brain absorb the vital nutrients it needs to function properly.
Phosphatidyl serine has been studied for decades for this purpose. A 1991 study published in the medial journal Neurology concluded that after 12 weeks of taking a phosphatidyl serine drug, participants saw improvement in memory during both administered tests and in daily life. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition confirmed that administering a soy-derived phosphatidyl serine drug to elderly Japanese men and women who complained of memory loss saw an improvement after six months. The members of the study group took either 100 mg per day or 300 mg per day and both groups saw results.
Taking this supplement can help improve concentration for better retention of information. Phosphatidyl serine is also said to impact cortisol levels, preventing the dramatic increases that can bring on stress and affect mood. A 2008 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition confirmed this action in relation to exercise-induced stress in athletes.
Alternative medicine authority Dr. Andrew Weil recommended 200 mg a day of phosphatidyl serine on "The Dr. Oz Show" as an effective daily dose.
Other Tips for Improving Memory
By making a few lifestyle changes, you can do even more to prevent memory loss. Here are a few other things to try to boost memory retention:
Exercise your brain by solving puzzles or learning a new language. Try out your math skills from elementary school or eating with your non-dominant hand. These little tests are like sit-ups for your brain.
Eat "brain-friendly" foods like pumpkin seed oil, fish, berries and dark, leafy greens.
Additional supplements for memory to consider are ginkgo biloba, zinc, omega-3 fatty acid and DMAE.
Don't let your memories fade away. Trying phosphatidyl serine may keep you from calling a colleague by the wrong name or confusing mayonnaise for ice cream.