Phosphatidylchonine and Phosphatidylserine: What Is the Difference?

Q: Dr. Sherry Rogers prescribed Phosphatidylcholine for both my husband and me in the early 1990s. We took it for quite a while, and it helped some with our brain fog. We stopped taking it for a while, due at least in part, to financial reasons. Articles I have read in the last couple of years, by Dr. Rogers and by others, are about Phosphatidylserine. I'm wondering whether we are short-changing ourselves by not switching. What we are taking is helping some, but perhaps not completely. ~ Kay of Wilmington, DE

A: Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylserine (PS) are both phospholipids (fats) that help form the membrane of cells, which allows fat and water-soluble molecules to pass through, keeping the membrane flexible, fluid, and healthy. Phospholipids are essential to healthy brain function and help with neurotransmitter production, which is how nerves communicate with each other and the rest of the body. In a nutshell, these fats help keep cells healthy and healthy cells translate to a healthy person.

PC and PS overlap in purpose; they both help with neurotransmitter production, therefore help with memory and concentration. As we age, we need to boost intake of these important fats in order to slow down cognitive decline or possibly dementia. Depending on your diet, you may require even more PS and PC. Low-fat diets, or diets high in processed foods limit our intake of these essential nutrients.

Many people choose to take both of these essential nutrients. Although they sound similar, they each have a unique structure, which contributes to cell and nerve health.