March 21, 2017


Other name(s):

a-amino-b-hydroxy-propionic acid

General description

Phosphatidylserine is a fat-soluble phospholipid. It occurs naturally in humans. It’s the most abundant phospholipid in the human brain. It’s needed for many neuronal membrane functions.  Most of the body's phosphatidylserine comes of dietary sources.  

Unsubstantiated claims

Please note that this section reports on claims that have not yet been substantiated through studies.

Serine is a natural moisturizer. It’s included in many skin-care preparations.

Studies show that phosphatidylserine improves attention, arousal, verbal fluency, and memory in seniors with cognitive issues. The mechanism of action is unclear.  More research is needed in this area.  

Recommended intake

Amino acids (AAs) are available as individual AAs or in AA combinations. They also come as part of multi-vitamins, proteins, and food supplements. The forms include tablets, fluids, and powders.

Note that by eating enough protein in your diet, you get all of the amino acids you need.

There are no conditions that increase how much serine you need.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Using a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance. This can decrease how efficient your metabolism is. It can also make your kidneys work harder. In children, taking single amino acid supplements may also cause growth problems.

You should not take high doses of individual amino acids for long periods of time.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use serine supplements.


March 21, 2017


De Koning, TJ. L-Serine in disease and development. Biochemical Society Journal, 2003;371: 653-661.

Reviewed By:  

Poulson, Brittany, RD, CDE,Wilkins, Joanna, R.D., C.D.