Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Cortisol and Phosphatidyl serine

A few weeks ago my doctor told me to start checking my blood sugar and to my surprise it was lowest before I went to bed and actually pretty high in the morning. The last few years my doctor has been after me to do a sleep study and I had already scheduled it when I found out about my strange blood sugar.

About a week before the sleep test I started taking Phosphatidyl serine. I did some research on the web and discovered that when your body over produces cortisol because of physiological stress caused by things like sleep apnea your blood pressure becomes uncontrollable, your blood sugar goes out of wack and you can't loose weight no matter what your diet or how much you exercise. These are three symptoms I have had for the last five years.

I googled "reduce cortisol" and found some really stupid pseudo science and several good articles. One of the dumber articles explained that all cortisol problems were caused by fear. That is total garbage, cortisol is caused by physiological stress which can be caused by things like over excercising. I suppose fear could drive someone to over exercise, but, in my experience desire is the motivator for exercise.

There were some good recommendations for reducing cortisol in the articles. Most of the better articles recommended a dietary supplement called phosphatidyl serine. I purchased a bottle of 60 100mg capsules and tested it. Without changing my diet or increasing my activity level at all I lost 7 pounds in a week. Within three days of taking the phosphatidyl serine my morning blood sugar dropped from 178 in the morning to 138. I have not had a morning blood sugar over 140 and typically it is between 110 and 120. My bedtime blood sugar is typically under 100. Over the last three weeks I have lost a total of 17 pounds going from 295 to 278 this morning.

Cortisol prevents your body from burning accumulated fat. Suppose you eat a light breakfast (500 calories or less), a light lunch (500 calories or less) and a heavier dinner (1000 calories). You are busy during the day so your body burns the calories from breakfast and lunch as it digests them, but, after dinner you are less busy and so your body does not burn all of the calories you ate as you digest them and instead your body converts them to fat.

The cortisol lowers your body?s metabolism to prevent fat burning. Since your body refuses to burn fat and you do not have any calories digesting your body actually begins starving itself. In fact, rather than burn fat your body will burn muscle if your cortisol levels are out of wack. You can eat a 2000 calorie a day diet and burn 2000 calories a day, if you don?t make the calories into multiple smaller meals you will gain weight and burn muscle, bone, etc. Your body will only burn fat as a very last resort IF you starve yourself.

So if your blood pressure begins to become uncontrollable, your blood sugar is lower at night than it is in the morning and you can?t lose weight even when you are following a good diet and/or exercising you should try taking an over the counter cortisol blocker like phosphatidyl serine. Phosphatidyl serine has no known side effects except lightening your wallet.

Dosages: The dosage you take is up to you. Some people take 100mg 3 times a day at meals. I am taking 300mg twice a day, 5am and 5pm. Some people recommend taking phosphatidyl serine right before you go to bed. Dosage recommendations run from 300mg a day to 1200mg a day. I am taking what is called a low therapeutic dose in one of the articles I read.

I will probably increase my dosage to 400mgs three times a day, 5am, 5pm and 10pm when I go to bed, around the end of July provided I am still getting the same results. I will also begin an exercise regime around the same time. Right now I am still in experiment mode. I want to keep things the same for a long enough time to know that I am not suddenly going to bounce back up to 295 again.


I found a new place to buy PS,

You should constantly check for better prices. This place used to be more expensive. Just watch for labels like "Complex" or "Matrix". Taking 1000 grams of PS might be okay, but, if it is mixed in with 800 grams of other stuff and only 200 grams of PS, that 800 grams of other stuff might end up being bad for you. When you take supplement complexes it can be difficult to pin point the cause of any issues you have. READ LABELS!

Addendum 2:

I have not tried this brand yet, but, the price looks good. (I have tried this brand now and in my opinion it is crap. Supplement manufacturers are not held to content standards like drug manufacturers. I took this brand for two months and re-gained some of the weight I had lost taking NOW brand. My diet did not change, my activity level actually increased because my new employer has a great gym! buyer beware!).

Addendum 3:
One of the people commenting has pointed out that high Cortisol levels are often indicators of a tumor attaching itself to the adrenal gland or potential infections which can have a direct influence on the adrenal gland. This is all very true. Infections are typically noticed during normal blood work so doctors probably find these most of the time. Tumors around the adrenal gland are typically called Cushing’s disease. I am not sure that any of these fit me, although in spite of working out I have maintained my weight at 265-270 for a couple of years now. My abdominal muscle pad is now pushing out past my rib cage. It looks like I have a huge pot belly and when I tighten my ab muscles and let people feel they are surprised at how little fat there is.


Anonymous said...

Hi John,

I've been doing the same thing with PS. I took PS for about 2 weeks and lost 8 pounds, much to my surprise. I had read the research on PS and thought it just might be what is needed for me. As I had gained 30 pounds in one year from stress.

I'm glad to read about your success with PS. I don't think PS will work for everyone, but if others have our same body stress reactions it will help.

Thanks for writing your blog about your experience.


Eve said...

I just heard about PS on tv yesterday morning. The person taking it was taking it to help with mind fog and lack of interst in things he use to enjoy.

I got some yesterday and took my first dose today - 500 mgs.

I just want to say thank you for creating this blog entry. I don't expect to lose any weight from it but was pleasantly surprised when you mentioned that you did.

I read where one person feels better 20 minutes after taking it! She has ADHD and I think it's the H she's finding relief from so fast. I have ADD but but not ADHD.

Rambling here, just trying to say thanks for the personal experience reports.

Anonymous said...

Hi: I just bought my first bottle of PS. I would like to ask, what time of tday did you take the PS to get those results?



Anonymous said...

Good post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

Anonymous said...

Bought some ps after reading
your post. Will let you know how it's working for me in the next few weeks.

John D. Ayer said...

As part of my ongoing experiment with PS I quit taking it for three months, November, December and January. Through November and December my weight stayed between 255 and 260. In January it started creeping back up and by February I was up almost 10 pounds. I started taking PS again in February and the weight is coming off again.

Anonymous said...

Amiable post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you seeking your information.

Arun R said...

I am just surprised at the number of comments recommending PS. I am involved in medical research and I can say this. PS is, as much as we know currently, not harmful if taken mainly because it is a naturally occurring phospholipid-amino acid complex molecule. Another aspect I wish to point out is that there is this syndrome called as Cushing's syndrome which very prevalent among the population (especially asiatic) for some reason. Furthermore this disease is classified as rare and doctors rarely attempt to assess a patient for it. Additionally there is something called pseudo-Cushing's which is not very well defined. Here the issue is higher cortisol levels. As pointed out in this post high cortisol level is manageable with PS and I also must mention, vitamin C. All patients will show immediate relief from Cushing's symptoms. However the underlying cause will not diminish or may diminish. Why I am ambiguous is because sudden increase in uptake of antioxidants will cause, under certain conditions, even cancer to go into remission. So it is highly advisable to approach your doctor and ask him/her to refer you to an endocrinologist with Cushing's experience. You may also refer to Just my 2 cents... so if you have a cancer of adrenals or pituitary causing the high cortisol level, you are still diagnosed and are able to eliminate the underlying cause for the higher levels of cortisol. Hope I am making sense. Good luck. - A

John D. Ayer said...

I am going to write another blog about this issue, specifically addressing some of Ann's comments. The bottom line is that it comes down to money. Demand drives supply. As long as a company can make a profit based on supplying a non-regulated pharmaceutical AND the typical medical opinion is that "fat people eat too much" there isn't enough demand for the research to fully understand the effects of brain chemistry on the metabolism. From a Darwinian perspective the strongest are people with slower metabolisms. Statistically there should be some people with faster metabolisms and some people with slower metabolisms.

MS said...

I bought some pills an testing them right know. Currently I have some exams and i'm curious if it will help me concentrate a little.

John D. Ayer said...

Hi MS: There is some evidence that PS may help people concentrate and even help repair damage and/or encourage development to some areas of a person's brain. I doubt if anyone can tell you for sure one way or another though. One of the problems with individual analysis is that unless the results are as objective and dramatic as they were in my case (chemical imbalance impeding weight loss and causing havoc with blood sugar) you may not know if PS is really helping for a few months and even then it is possible to believe it is helping without really knowing. It may be useful to take one of those Internet tests on concentration and/or focus before you start taking PS and then after a month.

A lot of those tests depend on common "concentrating strategies" which may not be necessary for you. For example, I typically use a form of ZEN meditation for problem solving where I focus on a perfectly smooth pond of water to empty my mind while being aware. This is not a "typical" strategy used for concentration so I might score very low both before and after. Search around and see if you can find a useful objective tool for evaluating your ability to concentrate. You may also want to research the standard deviation of the results of that test. If your ability to concentrate changes more than 2 stdev you have very good objective evidence.

Anonymous said...


This is a question for the webmaster/admin here at

May I use some of the information from this blog post above if I give a link back to your site?


John D. Ayer said...

Hi Daniel: I don't have an issue with you using the material as long as it is credited. Just remember that this is an aneqdotal reference. While I do keep a health log with my weight when checked, activity level including a daily pace count and excersize log, what I have eaten, my blood sugar when I test it and my blood pressure when I test it I do not record everything like what medications or supplements I have taken that day or other factors that can influence my health. As such this can only be treated as an aneqdotal reference. If you would like more formal references I suggest using NIH.GOV.

Anonymous said...

I think you may want to place a facebook button to your website. I just bookmarked the site, although I must complete this manually. Simply my $.02 :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at have a mirror or another source?


Anonymous said...

I have high cortisol and have started on PS both transdermal cream and oral (capsule) but oral is low dose and mixed with other stuff (e.g. GABA.) Symptoms for me were mental/CNS deterioration plus headache and stomach trouble,
loss of appetite,but not weight gain.
In addition to tumour, another possible cause of high cortisol is systemic fungal or bacterial infection. I have read that adrenal overload often gives LOW blood pressure, which is what I have. I have had insomnia and nausea/anorexia/weight loss the past two years. My situation seems a bit off from the typical high cortisol sufferer. Thanks for the info on dosages and experiences, and to the medical person who pointed out the possible causes (e.g. tumour.)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any info on how high the cortisol level must be to indicate tumour or cause brain damage?


John D. Ayer said...

Hi: The best information I have found recently on Cortisol and PS has been at I wrote a blog about some of the information along with some search tips so people could do their own research on the subject.
One of the big problems is that most doctors treat sympoms, money is in treating symptoms not in curing diseases. Doctors receive a lot of free-bees from drug companies and if you are cured you don't need drugs. As a result drug companies provide generious continuing education in treating symptoms and very little on real problem solving.

I suggest following the search suggestions in my blog and reding some of the latest papers.



Anonymous said...

I'm glad that I've found this web site.
Aw, this is a really qualitative post. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I prolong alot and never seem to get something done.

Anonymous said...

Hey - I am definitely glad to find this. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Hi Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

John D. Ayer said...

You can use what you like as long as you give me credit for my work AND point out that my work and message is anecdotal.

Anonymous said...

Hi From these findings?

Anonymous said...

Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

Anonymous said...

I really love the titlenof your blog (amazed at ignorance) and it was actually the title that prompted me to opine.

You mentioned in the article that cortisol is not raised by fear. Thisnis not correct. It really shows a lack of understanding of the body response to stress. Stress (both psychological and phisiologic) is the natural response of the human body to situations that represent danger. When you are in the jungle and see a lion charging towards you, you get scared, you first freeze, your cortisol and adrenaline levels skyrocket, your vision and hearing become more acute, your muscles feel with blood, and then you run to save your life.

Cortisol actually rises before the exercise, starting the moment youbfeel fear, as anticipatory response to allow your body to be ready to respond.

Cortisol is normally low at night, since your body doesn't anticipate you'll be running all nihht, and high early in the morning, as the body anticipates that you will wake up and start moving.

Physical exercise is another form of stress for the human body which requires massive amount of energy, so obviously it triggers the release of cortisol.

So in general, cortisol and adrenaline are part of the body response to stress, whether the fear is real or perceived, you'll body responds the same. An yes, when you have a stressful life (bitchy boss, hostile colleagues, financial worries, etc) your brain detects the fear and responds in kind, triggering the release of cortisol and adrenaline, just as it has been doing for millions of years.

I am indeed, amazed at ignorance.

John D. Ayer said...

"You mentioned in the article that cortisol is not raised by fear. Thisnis (sic) not correct." IMO you should be amazed at your own ignorance most of all. I never said cortisol is not raised by fear, I said "One of the dumber articles explained that all cortisol problems were caused by fear." The operative word here is "all". I'm not surprised at your illiteracy though, that is in fact the point of my blog. I suggest you try actually reading something before developing an opinion or vomiting that opinion out into the universe.

John D. Ayer said...

One other point for the illiterate anonymous: psychological stress can be a trigger for physiological stress. In any case the response to physiological stress is a release of cortisol.

Not everyone responds to psychological stress the same way. Not everyone responds to physiological stress the same way either, but, physiological reactions fall in a tighter "normal" curve and are reasonably predictable which is one of the reasons doctors depend more on blood work than comments made by their patients.

The word "ignorant" means uneducated.

Everyone is ignorant on some subjects. The problem in this world is not with the ignorance, it is with ignorant people who are too ignorant to know how ignorant they are.

That is amazing and hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Actually, cortisol does NOT reduce metabolism. As it is a stress response hormone, it is responsible for the mobilization of fuels in order to prepare you for fight or flight. It will raise blood pressure and blood sugar, but it does not slow your metabolism. It actually promotes lipolysis (mobilization of stored fat), but will also break down any other available material in your body for the same purpose: energy. However, for some reason it contributes to a redistribution of fat, and when your cortisol levels are too high you will store practically all of your fat as visceral fat, leading to central obesity and little to no fat on the arms and legs. ( )

John D. Ayer said...

Boy do I hate wikipedia as a resource.

Wikipedia can be a good tool for helping people make subjective determinations in the direction of their research but it should never be used as direct informational source material any more than this blog should.

You are wrong of course. Cortisol does reduce the metabolic requirements of the individual.

"Under stressful conditions, cortisol can provide the body with protein for energy production through gluconeogenesis, the process of converting amino acids into useable carbohydrate (glucose) in the liver."

Cortisol is an adrenal hormone which increases the activity of specific enzymes without requiring an increase of fuel required. By increasing metabolic activity without increasing fuel the metabolic requirements are reduced.

Lets look further: typically the body requires more energy to convert proteins into glucose, by secreting cortisol the body decreases the energy required to convert amino acids into glucose at a cost to the other systems of the body for which those proteins are used.

This is why people who have Cushings can gain weight without changing eating or activity habits.

Cushings is one cause of high cortisol levels, excessive exercise is another. There are more causes, including long term mental or emotional stress. Not all long term emotional stress is caused by fear. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Typically people with high cortisol crave sugars and carbohydrates (body stress do to drug use, etc). I hate sugar and think of it as a toxin. For example, I bought a bag of Dove dark chocolate pieces last February and still have half a bag left.

The point of my article is to suggest that people who have tried to lose weight by increasing activity and decreasing food intake should try PS and see what it does. On some people it works. On others it does not. There is no conclusive evidence as to why different people react differently to PS at this time.

The point of my article is not to generate arguements with people who could actually research stuff including reading the article at the University of New Mexico which the Wikipedia article links to.

You can read more about cortisol and other adrenal hormones at

If you are even more interested try Googling "cortisol metabolism site:*".

I am no longer publishing any more of these argumentative comments. Research people, read entire articles multiple times.

Education through study, not conflict.

Linda said...

I just began taking PS (100 mg. once a day) and it immediately lowered my cortisol levels. I could sleep which I was ecstatic about since I had only been getting a few hours sleep each night as my energy was high at night and low in the morning. I felt great for a week and then got joint pain in my knees and ankles so I had to stop taking it. I am so disappointed. Is this a common side effect?

John D. Ayer said...

First, I am not a doctor and if you are having problems that you believe are related to taking an over the counter supplement you should stop taking it and go see a doctor. Cortisol and Phosphatidyl Serine are chemical compounds that occur naturally in your system. It is unlikely that increasing Phosphatidyl Serine will cause problems. HOWEVER! Dietary supplements are not well controlled and often are mixed with filler compounds or processed in ways that can cause strange side effects. You may have read about dangerous and even toxic chemicals being found in products, especially those imported from China. Manufacturers world wide will often put things in their products that they do not realize will cause problems. Mold releases used on plastic packaging, cleaning compounds and other various compounds to improve processing are all found inside of foods, drugs and supplements. The problem could be with the supplement manufacturer. I suggest three steps to deal with this, first go to your doctor to get checked and have a blood test for any possible toxins in your system. Second, provided you pass the first check, try a different supplement manufacturer. Third, think about not taking any other drugs or supplements. The problem may be two different things reacting with each other. In any case, the first step is to check with your doctor.

Anonymous said...

If the above posted joint it may not be related to PS and be something else or is because the PS is derived from soy. You could have sensitivity toward soy. You can find PS from sunflower just google PS and sunflower to find the brand. I chose this brand because I didn't want any up on soy and how it is being laced with round up chemicals. Stay away from soy if you can. Please research this if you choose PS ..this is the best thing I have ever done for myself...PS is giving me back my life after 3 years of suffering.

Anonymous said...

Nice job, regards

Melissa said...

Do you still take PS? I am very interested and would like to know the brand you found to be the best.
Where is your weight now?


Anonymous said...

If anyone is reading this regarding cortisol levels...I want to mention something significant that wasn't mentioned.

I bounced on to this blog because I'm going to try PS to bring or regulate my cortisol levels which I'm guessing is why I can't fall asleep well or stay asleep. And why is that?

What no on here has mentioned is mercury poisoning. I'm mercury poisoned from my dental amalgams, it created what 'they' (MD's) call MS and even with years of chelation, I still can't sleep through the night.

Mercury messes with lots of things and of course my adrenals/hormones.

So something to consider if you have some of the issues mentioned in this blog. Much more likely then Cushings.

I had 11 dental amalgams for 20-25 yrs.

Anonymous said...

And I forgot to mention, a Hep B shot with thimerosal (yes mercury) and ten days later, clinical MS. It was the dental amalgams but the Hep shot pushed me beyond what my brain could take.

Everyone...if you get vaccinations...get them thimerosal free.

John D. Ayer said...

Thanks Elizabeth! That is great information. I was not able to find a study directly linking thimerosal to cortisol, but, in my case that idea sounds reasonable. As a child I had a bad habit of biting thermometers. I never meant to, I just did. I eventually refused to have my temperature taken. Even today I sometimes bite down without realizing it when I am using an oral thermometer. On top of that I am a big sea food fan. I think I will ask that my blood mercury level tested.

I am currently using L-Arginine as a cortisol reducing agent. I stopped taking PS two months ago and I have lost ten pounds in the last two months since starting L-Arginine.

I have been doing timed sudokos and logic puzzles as a way to gage my mental abilities and I have noticed that on PS my evening and morning scores were lower than mid day. With L-Arginine my scores are consistent.

I am going to use L-Arginine alone for 6 months and then include PS and L-Arginine together for 6 months. I will watch my puzzle times and weight to see how things go.

John D. Ayer said...

Cortisol and metals:

Anonymous said...

"gain weight and burn....bone" bone? are you kidding me? hahah

John D. Ayer said...

I really admire people who do their homework.

Actually people do "burn bone". This is especially harmful in women where it is called osteo (meaning bone) perosis. The body requires calcium to process protein. If the body is eating muscle instead of fat the body will extract the calcium necessary to digest protein from bones.

I was talking to my dental hygienist once and she was doing body building with a trainer and eating a high protein diet. I asked her what she was doing about calcium and she said nothing, her trainer had told her it would clog her arteries. Here is a woman in her 30's digesting protein on a low calcium diet. I told her to go read up on how protein is digested. She sued her trainer.

People, do your homework, preferably before you post dumb sh*t. My blogs are anecdotal references which should encourage you to study and learn. Unless, like the poster directly above someone already knows everything.

John D. Ayer said...

Thanks Monroe444: I almost deleted your comment because the coupon code makes it look like spam, but, I figured even if you are shilling you make a good point about GMO soy. It is pretty hard to keep GMO products out of the mix because of cross pollination, so I am not sure I trust labels that advertise "NO GMO". Still, if the prices are lower the idea of No GMO is good so it can't hurt to check prices.

Anonymous said...

Melanie said.....

John thank you for the article it's very informative. I too like to do my research on things like this, I had researched the supplement and started taking it about 1 week or two ago.

I'm 41 years old 5'7 1/2" and 145 lbs (currently 140). My friends look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them that I want to lose weight! About 6 years ago I weighed 175lbs. I was fed up and decided to go on a diet which included running 4 days a week. Within 9 months I had gotten down to 138lbs and within a year or two I reached 133, which I was very comfortable with.

During the 2012 holiday season I had gone from 138 to 145lbs and I was disgusted. I put myself on a strict diet using the "lose it" app to track my food intake along with my exercise data. I calculated my BMR and came up with the applicable daily calorie intake in order to lose 2lbs a week; it allowed around 950-980 calories a day, before adding my exercise in. So I’ve been eating about 1300 calories and working out 6 days a week (3 days of running and 3 days of cross training (TRX). I'm a single mom of 2 children so I’m always on the run! I've been sticking to the diet and workouts and I had only lost 3 lbs. in 4 weeks. I started taking PS and within days I already lost 1-2 lbs. for a total of 5.1 lbs. weight loss for the 5 weeks. Everyone kept telling me that I’m not eating enough calories and that's why I wasn't losing, I’m sorry doesn't make sense, decrease calories and lose weight, bottom line! Anyway, I will be taking the PS until I reach my goal of 133 (7 more lbs.). I will try and remember to post my results but I wanted to let everyone know that if they do their research they will find that it can be a very effective supplement to help to reduce fat (which was my issue).

As far as the other symptoms of high Cortisol levels; trouble sleeping, concentrating, memory etc… I find it a little helpful with the sleep, especially since I exercise from 5:30-7 pm so I’m a little charged up at night and I do feel a little calmer. I can tell you I certainly have ADHD with a BIG emphasis on the H (hyper).

I’m currently taking 100mg 3 times a day.

Thanks again for confirming what my research had found and your wonderful blog!

Best luck with your success!

Unknown said...

Found this blog right before clocking into work,as I had just purchased phosphatidylserine powder to make my own supplement capsules. in 2010,I reached my highest weight of 257lbs. Being 27, I was angry at myself for letting it get that bad! I started dieting & exercising,but the weight would either go up or be stuck. I always maintained 150-160lbs,so being 100lbs heavier was a huge shock. I literally gained 10-20lbs per year.

I went to doctors & dieticians who all told me the same thing, stop eating so much. I have IBS and a number of food sensitivities. So my intake is already restricted. I thought I wasn't exercising enough so I pushed further. No help.

I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder,and a stressful job. I started getting a "buffalo hump" on the back of my neck in addition to the fast weight gain. so I did research on cortisol,and decided to try PS.

Given my pre-existing conditions and how overweight I was,I took really high doses,900mg/day.

Like clockwork,I was finally losing the 1-2lbs per week that my diet/exercise regimen was supposed to be doing for me. I was able to work out longer,recover easier etc. It's not a miracle pill,it just made my body feel somewhat normal again.

It's taken 3 years and then some to drop down to 200lbs. I plan to lessen the dosages the closer I get to my goal. Npt saying this is for everyone, it's just what worked for me.

Ryan Long said...


I just stumbled on this website because I was searching for information on PS. I'm type 1 diabetic, and I was reading about the relationship between human growth hormone, blood glucose, cortisol, etc.

What you describe about your evening/morning blood sugar readings reads exactly true for me, too. I am not overweight, but I am fighting to control my BG despite ever-increasing insulin doses.

On the strength of your experience, I'm going to give PS a try. All the clinical research I can find seems to suggest that it's not harmful, so at the very least I would be taking a placebo.

Are you still taking it?

Thanks for the info!


Arnold said...

John, I read this amazing blog, I have a question: Does it this phosphatidylserine be made of soy? Do you know if there is an alternative? I read somewhere about the cabbage alternative, since I cannot use soy, because it does increase Estrogen levels (and so also lets you gain wight) and I am trying to keep my estrogen at bay. Any advise on any brand that uses some other ingredient than Soy? thank you

John D. Ayer said...

I don't know how the PS was derived.

Ryan Long said...

John, Arnold -

Yes, PS is derived from soy. I am not sure about direct substitutes, but I believe many of the same benefits can be captured with any kind of protein supplementation, so long as it is a complete protein. Don't quote me on that, but that is my understanding.

Unknown said...

This increased cortisol can also be very much caused by metal poisoning, mercury toxicity or sensitivity which I have from mercury amalgam and vaccines. The mercury poisons the endocrine system and destroys enzymes, ruins antioxidant pathways and especially glutathione, Vit C and E redox. This poisons the hypothalamus, the pituitary, the thyroid, pineal gland. I have just had 18 amalgams removed and am trying to regain control over my endocrine system. hypothalamic obesity is probably what most Americans are suffering from and the FDA approved mercury poisoning the root.

Emily said...

Do you know how PS reduces cortisol? Does it prevent you from making so much, or does it stop your body from using some of what it makes? Or something else?

I am trying to find out if it is safe for people with Addisons disease to take. Addisons is an autoimmune disease where your body can't make cortisol and you have to take steroid replacements.

I got two free samples and tried them for ADHD symptoms. It worked great! I could focus and my appetite was reduced as well. However, I didn't know it messed with cortisol until I did some more in-depth research before deciding to buy a bottle.

If it only prevents the body from making some cortisol, it should be fine for me because my body doesn't make any cortisol to block anyway. However, if it stops the body from using some cortisol/replacements then I could be in trouble after a few days. I didn't have any Addisons symptoms for the days I took it.

I really want to be able to take this supplement. Thanks for any help you can give me. :)

John D. Ayer said...

No, I really don't. My expertise is actually in advanced manufacturing and I have been studying anthropology and sociology for many years. I'm no expert in biology or nutrition. I know a little, but, I can't give advice.

Sorry it took so long to publish your comment, I've had a full schedule lately.

Mary said...

A note to Linda who quit taking PS when she got joint pain - I have read in a book by Datis Kharrazian called "Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?" that you know when you are taking a therapeutic dose of PS when you have some joint pain. In other words, the joint pain was a good sign that the dose was right. I don't know if that goes away after awhile or not.

John D. Ayer said...

I have a lot of joint pain anyway, arthritis from hard living :-) I didn't notice any new joint pain. This sounds like it is worth researching, just remember, a blog or a blurb is an anecdote, not a verifiable fact. One must do their own research before they believe anything.

Joe Canti said...

Some people were asking how PS actually works by re-sensitizing the hypothalamus (and other areas of the brain) The hypothalamus is responsible for sensing cortisol in the bloodstream, and then outputting a hormone (CRH) which triggers the pituitary to output another hormone (ACTH) which stimulates the adrenals to release cortisol.

The feedback loop can get broken when under severe stress for a long time (physiological, environmental or psychological) which means the hypothalamus cortisol sensors become resistant to cortisol, and the hypothalamus puts out too much CRH.

It's a bit like the fuel gauge in your car being broken. The car is telling us we always need more fuel, even if we have a full tank.

Also worth mentioning cortisol's action on the body: in periods of stress one of it's jobs is to raise blood sugar levels so we have enough energy for fight or flight.It does this through gluconeogenesis, which is a fancy way to say it creates glucose from fat and muscle. The thing is that it selects peripheral fat to burn (not visceral) - and then with increased bloodsugar, our body stores this excess as fat around the belly and hips. That is why high cortisol leads to the pear-shaped body type.

This dance creates a swing between cortisol and insulin as they fight to keep blood sugar balanced, which tires the pancreas, and also leads to moments of low sugar (like during the night) when adrenaline is sometimes released to raise blood sugar - often causing people to wake with a fright during the night, or have vivid and scary dreams.

The best way to assess this is the 24h saliva cortisol test. Your cortisol slope (high in the morning, low at night) is said to be more of a risk factor than smoking in chronic disease.

me said...

Hi there,

Similar to one of the other posters, I'm finding it impossible to lose weight, despite a low carb diet that has always worked well for me in the past few years.

Age 53, menopausal.

My hormone doc suggested PS for my hot flashes that didn't actually seemed hormone related. After researching I find that it's supposed to help with sleep, brain function and wieght loss. Fantastic I thought.

I started on one 100mg per day. Took it at night but found I was waking up with headaches. Switched to day use, no headaches.

No change in weight or brain fog for about two weeks, so upped it to 300 a day in the morning. Brain function getting better, but no weight difference.

Believe me when I say... I know I'm not eating too much. I don't do sugar, grains, but I do protein, healthy fats, berries and vegetables. Low carb since 2009 and working well until this last year. Menopausal for about 5 years, but it's only this last year that nothing seems to work.

Looks like the weight works in the first week for most people, yet I'm on week three with no difference.

I wonder if it's the brand or dose?

Brain function better, which is great.

Can anyone suggest a brand that they've had the most success with?



Melissa said...

Yes can someone recommend a manufacturer and dose for insomniacs? Or suggest something that works better? I have been taking phosphatidyl serine for a couple of weeks (NOW Foods, 900 mg at bedtime) and continue to have terrible insomnia. I was using Seriphos but the company switched the formula and now the dosage of phosphorylated serine in their formulation is too small. Help! I am sooo sleep deprived.

Rhonda Chichester said...

With Cushing vitamin C cause water retention. I have Cushing and I take PS and it works well. It good to a balance of vitamin c but for people who have high levels of cortisol it's not good.

Rhonda Chichester said...

With Cushing vitamin C cause water retention. I have Cushing and I take PS and it works well. It good to a balance of vitamin c but for people who have high levels of cortisol it's not good.

Rhonda Chichester said...

Vitamin C cause water retention in people with Cushing. There is not cure for it. Eliminating sodium and eating a good balanced diet also the hope of natural supplements like PS helps control the symptoms doctor prescriptions also damages organs and make the situation worse believe you me I know I have Cushing.

Rhonda Chichester said...

That's not all you have to do more research.. That's just a overview. My cortisol levels has be high every since I was 11years old. So it more than just having a stressful job or going to the gym. People cortisol levels can be high for many reasons. It's just not what you read when you google it.

Rhonda Chichester said...

With Cushing vitamin C cause water retention. I have Cushing and I take PS and it works well. It good to a balance of vitamin c but for people who have high levels of cortisol it's not good.