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Title:  Anti-depressant, stress suppressor and mood improver

United States Patent:  6,410,522

Inventors:  Ruenberg; David (Haifa, IL)

Assignee:  Lipogen Ltd. (Haifa, IL)

Appl. No.:  897034

Filed:  July 3, 2001

Abstract

An anti-depressant, mental & emotional stress suppressor and mood improver having a prominent action for decreasing blood cortisol level and serotonin reuptake and has an effect of alleviating symptoms associated with depression and mental & emotional stress of a subject administered with the improver. The improver contains as the effective ingredient a combination of phosphatidy-L-serine and phosphadtidic acid, or the salts thereof, comprising at least 20% (w/w) phosphatidy-L-serine and typically within the range of about 20%-40% of phosphatidy-L-serine, out of the total phospholipid content of the composition and at least 3% (w/w) of phosphatidic acid, preferably above about 10% and typically within the range of about 20%-40% of phosphatidic acid, out of the total phospholipid content of the composition. The phosphatidyl-L-serine and phosphatidic acid has a structural fatty acid chain derived from at least one raw material lecithin selected from the group consisting of soy bean lecithin, rapeseed lecithin or egg yolk lecithin. Using the raw material lecithin as the substrate, phosphatidyl-L-serine and phosphatidic acid can be produced by enzymatic conversion utilizing phospholipase-D.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improver having an effect of alleviating symptoms associated with depression and mental and emotional stress.

According to the research work of the present inventors, it is confirmed that a complex of phosphatidyl-L-serine and phosphatidic acid produced by an enzymatic conversion utilizing phospholipase-D of at least one raw material lecithin selected from the group consisting of soybean lecithin, rapeseed lecithin, and egg yolk lecithin, has in mental and emotional stress and depression a prominent effects of decreasing cortisol blood level and serotonin uptake to normal level.

An improver of the present invention contains phosphatidyl-L-serine and phosphatidic acid or the salt thereof as the effective ingredient, wherein the phosphatidyl-L-serine and phosphatidic acid have a structural fatty acid chain derived from at least one raw material lecithin selected from the group consisting of soy bean lecithin, rapeseed lecithin, and egg yolk lecithin.

The improver of the present invention may be administered effectively via intravenous administration and oral administration. The improver may be mixed with other excipients such as additional phospholipids and lyso-phospholoipids, sugar and protein to prepare capsules and granules with improved handling and shelf life. Because of the absence of any safety problem, the improver may be blended into daily foods and beverages, either in powder or liquid form or as hydrogenated substance for use in improving and preventing mental and emotional stress and depression symptoms.

The aforementioned phosphatidyl-L-serine and phosphatidic acid as the effective ingredients in accordance with the present invention are both produced by the enzymatic reaction with phospholipase-D using as the substrate soy bean lecithin, rapeseed lecithin or egg yolk lecithin.

The process will now be illustrated. A raw material lecithin (namely, phosphatidylcholine) selected from soy bean lecithin, rapeseed lecithin and egg yolk lecithin is subjected to the process of transphosphatidylation and hydrolysis with phospholipase-D in the presence of L-serine and water, thereby substituting the choline group with the serine group or the hydroxyl group, to produce the rearranged phosphatidyl-L-serine and phosphatidic acid.

Any commercially available soy bean lecithin, rapeseed lecithin or egg yolk lecithin may be used, with no limitation, as the raw material. As phospholipase-D for use in the process of enzymatic conversion, use may be made of for example those from cabbage and actinomyces, if they have an activity on lecithin or hydrogenated lecithin or lysolecithin in the presence of L-serine and water to produce phosphatidyl-L-serine and phosphatidic acid.

A specific process of enzymatic conversion is known and described in for example the article by Eibl A. and Kovatchev S. "Preparation of phospholipids analogs by phospholipase-D." ("Methods in Enzymology" Vo. 72, pages: 632-639, 1981), so no detailed explanation is described herein.

Claim 1 of 8 Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A pharmaceutical or nutritional composition for treating depression, for suppressing mental & emotional stress and for improving mood comprising Phosphatidyl-L-serine and Phosphatidic acid or salts thereof as the effective ingredients, comprising at least 20% (w/w) Phosphatidyl-L-serine out of the total phospholipid content of the composition and at least 3% (w/w) of Phosphatidic acid out of the total phospholipid content of the composition, wherein the Phosphatidyl-L-serine and Phosphatidic acid have a structural fatty acid chain derived from at least one raw material lecithin selected from the group consisting of soy bean lecithin, rapeseed lecithin, and egg yolk lecithin, and which is produced by reaction with Phospholipase-D.


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