PhosphatidylSerine Reduces Cortisol (Stress) Levels and Increases Endurance in Athletes
Flavay Plus® with phosphatidylserine significantly improves endurance, cortisol levels, muscle soreness and a perception of
well-being after exercise. (121,144,145)
A number of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials show how phosphatidylserine can prevent and improve exercise-induced cortisol levels and other markers related to hard training.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study at California State University investigated the effects of
phosphatidylserine on hormone levels, muscle soreness and feelings of well-being in experienced
The program was designed to over-train the athletes. Subjects were instructed to train as hard as possible
four days a week each during a two-week training period, and to use as much weight as possible for each exercise.
After a three-week washout phase, the same athletes switched treatments and repeated the workout program
for another two weeks.
Subjective perception of well-being and muscle soreness (considered the most reliable markers of
over-training) were analyzed. The athletes had considerably less muscle soreness when taking
phosphatidylserine than when taking the placebo.
Athlete's perception of well-being results in a profound influence in competitive spirit and performance.
Subjects taking phosphatidylserine had a measurably better perception of well-being,
particularly after the first week of training.
Following intense weight-training, cortisol was significantly lower in subjects taking phosphatidylserine in
Flavay Plus®. (121,144,145)
Reduced Muscle Damage
(PS) in Flavay Plus® can significantly lower creatine kinase (CK) levels 24 hours after exercise—showing reduced muscle damage. (120,228)
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study conducted at St. Cloud State University showed
that phosphatidylserine significantly lowered creatine kinase (CK) levels 24 hours after exercise.
(Creatine kinase is an indicator of skeletal muscle damage after exercise.)
After 15 days of taking either phosphatidylserine or a placebo,
12 trained runners performed a 90-minute run. Intense exercise will cause an increase in plasma and serum
CK levels. The results showed phosphatidylserine significantly reduced CK levels, an
indicator of reduced muscle damage, compared to the placebo. (120,228)
Phosphatidylserine plays a role in regeneration of muscles following injury. Researchers found phosphatidylserine binds to an endogenous muscle receptor, BAI1, for myogenesis. Exposure to phosphatidylserine (found in the inner layer of membraned bilayers) is a normal part of apoptosis. It appears that phosphatidylserine supplementation may activate the muscle receptor BAI1, triggering further muscle buildup. (333)
Another study found that exposure of muscle cells to phosphatidylserine results in an increase in activation of the signaling molecule mTor. Activation of mTor is known to play a key role in muscle growth and muscle strength. Thus, phosphatidylserine appears to play a role in increased muscle size and strength. More studies are needed to confirm these findings. (334)
Increase Endurance and Time to Exhaustion
A double-blind, placebo controlled study using 14 healthy and trained male athletes underwent cycling exercise prior to and following the supplementation period. Endurance was measured using a cycle ergometer at 85% VO2 max. After ten days, the group taking phosphatidylserine experienced about 30% more time before exhaustion, while the placebo group experienced no change. (258)
Inhibit Exercise-Induced Increase in Cortisol Levels
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study using healthy male volunteers (ages 24-42), performed three sessions of
bicycle ergometer tests at one-week intervals. As expected, the physical exercise resulted in a significant increase in
ACTH and cortisol levels in the placebo group. However, the group that received phosphatidylserine found significant suppression in ACTH and cortisol response to exercise.(134)
Reduction in blood cortisol and ACTH levels in the subjects taking phosphatidylserine appears to show that phosphatidylserine counteracts stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans. (216)
(PS) in Flavay Plus® significantly inhibits stress- and exercise-induced increases in cortisol. (134)
Another double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study was conducted on healthy male athletes. Blood samples were taken at (1) rest, (2) after a 15-minute moderately intense exercise on a cycle ergometer, and (3) during a 65-minute passive recovery period. After ten sessions in ten days, results showed that cortisol levels were significantly reduced in the phosphatidylserine group, testosterone was significantly increased and the ratio between the two hormones was significantly elevated in the phosphatidylserine group. (216)
Testosterone, Cortisol and ACTH
Over-training is a natural hazard of competitive sports. During the early stages,
your muscles ache, your heart rate and cortisol levels increase, and testosterone levels fall especially in
male athletes. Your body can recover after a few days of rest but chronic over-training often causes an unhealthy ratio of the anabolic (muscle-building) hormone, testosterone, to the catabolic (muscle-wasting) hormone, cortisol.
So it's an athlete's challenge to optimize the ratio of steroid hormones testosterone and cortisol. Also adrenocortiocotropic hormones (ACTH), because ACTH levels increase after exercise and that leads to higher cortisol levels. This is why some athletes will use anabolic steroids (testosterone and its precursors) in order to build testosterone and inhibit cortisol levels. But long-term use of anabolic steroids can result in infertility and an increase risk of severe liver tumors, kidney disorders, heart disease and other health problems.
The good news is Flavay Plus® with phosphatidylserine is an effective non-drug and safe alternative in normalizing cortisol levels for athletes.(134)
120. Fernholz KM, Seifert JG, Bacharach DW, Burke ER, Gazal O: The Effects of Phosphatidyl Serine on Markers of Muscular Stress in Endurance Runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000, 32(5):S321.
121. Fahey TD, Pearl MS: The Hormonal and Perceptive Effects of Phosphatidylserine Administration During Two Weeks of Weight Training-Induced Over-Training. Biol Sport 1998, 15(2):135-144.
134. Monteleone, P., Beinat, L., Tanzillo, C., Maj, M., Kemali, D. Effects of Phosphatidylserine on the
Neuroendocrine Response to Physical Stress in Humans.Neuroendocrinology 1990, 52, 243-248.
144. Burke, E.R., Fahey, T.D. Phosphatidylserine (PS): Promise for Athletic Performance.
Keats Pub. 1998,New Canaan, Connecticut, USA, ISBN: 0-87983-979-1.
145. Burke, E.R. PS: An Answer To Intense Training.Nutrition Science News 1998, 3, 252-253.
216. Starks MA, et al. The effects of phosphatidylserine on endocrine response to moderate intensity exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008, 5:11.
228. Burke R. Phosphatidylserine protects from muscle damage. Nutrition Science News, 2000, 5, 371-372.
258. Kingsley M, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine on exercise capacity during cycling in active males. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2006;38:64-71
259. Kingsley M, et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine on oxidative
stress following intermittent running. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2005;37:1300-1306
333. Hochreiter-Hufford AE, et al. Phosphatidylserine receptor BAI1 and apoptotic cells as new promoters of myoblast fusion. Nature. 2013;497:263-267
334. Joy JM, et al. Phosphatidic acid enhances mTOR signaling and resistance exercise induced hypertrophy. Nutrition & metabolism. 2014;11:29
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