L-Serine is a high-quality dietary supplement composed of L-serine. This amino acid fulfillls multiple functions in the body: it helps ensure the central nervous system (1) , immune system (2) and muscular system (3) function normally, and is converted into D-serine to activate specific receptors in the brain(4), etc. L-serine is also a precursor of other amino acids used by the body.
What exactly is L-serine?
L-serine is an α-amino acid with the chemical formula C3 H7 NO3. This organic compound was first isolated in 1865. Discovered in extracts of silkworm cocoon, L-serine, or simply ‘serine’, gets its name from the Latin sericum meaning ‘ silk’.
Where is this amino acid found?
Serine is synthesised by the body from vitamins B3, B6 and folic acid ... Astrocytes (the cells responsible for protecting neurons) are, for example, known to produce L-serine. A certain amount is also found in dietary protein: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, grains (5)...
What functions does serine perform in the body?
L-serine plays a role in many important biochemical processes:
- it participates in the synthesis of proteins, nucleotides and neurotransmitters (6);
- it is also the precursor of D-serine which directly contributes to the brain’s neuronal and synaptic plasticity(7-10). D-serine acts as a gliotransmitter in the hippocampus by binding to the brain’s NMDA receptors which are essential for learning and memorising (11-13);
- serine is involved in forming cell membranes and myelin (the protective sheath surrounding nerves) (14);
- it supports a healthy immune system, primarily by increasing the number of T lymphocytes in the body (15);
- it participates in the development of muscle mass and promotes post-exercise recovery (16);
- it is associated with the formation of purines and pyrimidines, compounds essential to the life of cells;
- it is also a precursor of other amino acids (glycine, cysteine, tryptophan...) and various metabolites (sphingolipids, folates...)
What benefits are offered by the supplement L-Serine?
Supplementation provides a substantial intake of L-serine. This product is formulated to deliver 2000 mg of serine a day, consistent with the doses recommended in current studies.
Recent research suggests that supplementing with L-Serine is an effective way of helping to preserve and restore memory. A French study that investigated mice with degenerative disorders, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, has attracted significant scientific interest. As we know, certain neurodegenerative problems are associated with a decrease in energy metabolism. This causes astrocytes to consume less glucose and as a result, they produce less L-serine (and thus D-serine). Without D-serine to stimulate NMDA receptors, neuronal plasticity and memorisation capacity decrease.
This study demonstrated that dietary intake of L-serine successfully restored spatial memory in mice with degenerative problems. In short, it suggests that supplementation with L-serine, as an adjunct to drug therapy, may help combat changes in cerebral metabolism.
How should this supplement be taken?
An adequate dose of L-Serine is 2 tablets a day, ideally taken in between meals. This supplement is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for children. As always, we recommend you consult your doctor before starting any course of supplements, especially if you are on any medication.
Tips for maintaining your cognitive faculties and memory
If you’re keen to preserve your cognitive function and especially your memory, here’s some simple advice that will help you activate your neurons effectively. Try to:
- engage in regular mental stimulation by doing puzzles or playing strategy games, for example, (crosswords, scrabble, chess, card games ...) (17) ;
- maintain your memory by trying to remember the names of books, actors, capital cities, etc. Come up with your own mnemonic devices: it’s much easier to remember something when you use visual association. Memory is a ‘muscle’ which can be trained (18);
- get enough sleep because it is at night that our neurons organise and consolidate information processed during the day. A succession of bad nights can make it hard to keep track of your memories (19) ;
- take exercise to oxygenate your brain. Memory also benefits from physical activity when it comes to sorting through knowledge (20);
- avoid drinking too much alcohol as it can damage neurons and cause problems with attention and memory in the long term (21).
Supplements to take in conjunction with L-Serine
Are you looking for other supplements that will complement L-Serine in helping you improve and protect your memory? Why not try the excellent brain-health nutrient DMAE, obtained from a molecule found naturally in oily fish. There’s also Noopept, a supplement composed of the famous stimulating substance NeuraSharp™. This supplement offers powerful neuroprotective effects.