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D-Serine

D-Serine is an amino acid that plays a role in cognitive enhancement and schizophrenia treatment.

Our evidence-based analysis on d-serine features 158 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of D-Serine

Primary Information, Benefits, Effects, and Important Facts

D-Serine is an amino acid found in the brain. Derived from glycine, d-serine is a neuromodulator, meaning it regulates the activities of neurons.

D-Serine supplementation can reduce symptoms of cognitive decline. It is also able to reduce symptoms of diseases characterized by reduced N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) signaling, which includes cocaine dependence and schizophrenia.

D-Serine’s effect on schizophrenia is well researched, and though it shows promise, it is also unreliable, since d-serine does not always reach the blood after supplementation. Sarcosine may be a more reliable treatment.

D-Serine is a coagonist at NDMA receptors, which means it improves the effects of other compounds that bind with the receptor. These compounds include glutamate and NMDA itself.

D-Serine is often categorized as a nootropic.

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The usual dose used in D-serine studies is 30mg/kg of bodyweight. This correlates to an approximate dosage range of 2,045 – 2,727mg for people between 150 – 200 lbs. This dose appears to be the minimal effective dose for improving cognition in people suffering from a variety of diseases.

Preliminary evidence suggests that doubling or quadrupling the dosage to 60mg/kg and 120mg/kg, respectively, will cause additional benefits for people suffering from schizophrenia.

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects d-serine has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Minor High See all 3 studies
There may be an improvement in cognitive performance secondary to reducing symptoms of schizophrenia, and while there is mechanistic plausibility that this can also work in normal controls it has not yet been demonstrated
grade-b Minor Moderate See all 6 studies
D-Serine supplementation is able to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia (more efficacy on negative and cognitive symptoms rather than positive) in a dose-dependent manner between 30-120mg/kg, but possibly due to the unreliable increases in blood D-serine its benefits are also unreliable
grade-c Minor - See study
When taken 2 hours prior to testing, 2.1g D-serine seems effective in reducing anxiety during testing in otherwise healthy humans
grade-c Minor - See study
There was an increase in sustained attention during cognitive testing in otherwise healthy subjects given 2.1g D-serine prior to testing, as assessed by CPT-IP.
grade-c Minor - See study
Reported sadness during cognitive testing appears to be reduced with D-serine supplementation when compared to placebo
grade-c Minor - See study
Preliminary evidence suggests that the standard dosage of D-Serine can alleviate some symptoms of Parkinson's disease
grade-c Minor - See study
One study using 20mg/kg D-serine in subjects with PTSD noted benefits with supplementation when compared to placebo.
grade-c Minor - See study
Immediate recall appears to be increased from D-serine when 2.1g is supplemented 2 hours prior to testing.
grade-c - - See study
When 2.1g D-serine is taken two hours prior to cognitive testing, there does not appear to be an increase in reaction time when compared to placebo
grade-c - - See study
2.1g D-serine in otherwise healthy humans does not acutely influence serum BDNF concentrations
grade-c - - See study
In a category fluency test, 2.1g D-serine taken two hours earlier appears to improve fluency. The increase was larger than seen with placebo, but comparing the two groups did not yield a significant benefit with D-serine over placebo statistically

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Things to Note

Do Not Confuse With

Glycine or Sarcosine (similar in mechanisms), Phosphatidylserine (a phospholipid containing L-serine)

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Click here to see all 158 references.