Last month I wrote a blog called Tryptophan and melatonin make a big difference but why do I still wake at 4am? and included a section about high night-time cortisol (measured with an adrenal salivary test) also being a factor with insomnia and waking in the night, often with anxiety. I then shared my top product for lowing high cortisol, Interplexus Seriphos, and had a number of readers (very kindly) inform me that Seriphos has been reformulated. One person shared this:
In your blog you recommend Interplexus Seriphos for those who have a high cortisol problem. What you may not know is that Interplexus changed its proprietary formula sometime March/April 2016 to a form which no longer works for many of us.
This is also true for me as I have been taking the new formula and the sleep issues have returned: waking at 2 am and not being able to go back to sleep. I have asked my functional medicine doctor and called Interplexus but they cannot help. Since you are an expert in such matters, PLEASE, help find another product like the old Seriphos (prior to March 2016) so that all of us who were happy with the old product can get back to the business of sleeping through the night.
Someone else shared this:
I was using the phosphorylated serine found in Interplexus Seriphos from November 2015 until present. For the first 6 months it was like a miracle pill calming me and leaving me feel normal, not like Niagara Falls was rushing through my veins.
Sometime in the spring 2016 I noticed the Seriphos was not working and read the reviews on Amazon that Interplexus had changed the formula.
I was not aware that the formulation had changed
I was not aware that the formulation had changed and love that I get to learn from my community too – thank you for letting me know!
I had not seen any new clients since just before the Anxiety Summit in June and my existing clients who are using the original Seriphos have enough stock to not have noticed the change or brought it to my attention.
It’s such a pity it has been reformulated because it’s been so powerful for lowering high cortisol and quickly when 1-3 x Seriphos (the original) are taken about 2-3 hours before the high cortisol. I first learned about this phosphorylated serine product when working with Julia Ross and continued to use it very successfully in my practice.
As you can see from the feedback above it truly was a lifesaver for these two women and for so many individuals.
I’m going to share what I have discovered thus far
I like to share what I know works but so many of you are desperately seeking a solution right now. I promised to look into what has happened so I’m going to share what I have discovered thus far.
It’s always helpful to learn from feedback from others (both positive and negative) so I read through Steve Gibson’s negative review on Amazon and found the very long thread of comments under this.
I also reached out to my colleagues to ask what they are now using:
- some had not ever used Seriphos
- some were also not aware it had changed (the old and new labels are deceptively similar)
- some had used phosphatidyl serine and found Seriphos to be more effective
- and many have had/do have success with phosphatidyl serine.
I also contacted Interplexus and was told there are no plans to go bring back the original formulation and they very nicely communicated that they’re sorry and feel they’ve done their best in communicating that it’s a new product.
As you can see from the images above the bottles, I tend to disagree and find it confusing:
V1. The very old bottle (many years ago): Phospholylated Serine on the front
V2. Old label, original formulation (2 years ago?): Phospholylated Serine on the front
V3. New label, new formulation (5 months ago): Phosphatidylserine on the front
So what are your options instead of Seriphos?
It’s going to be a good 3 months before I can definitively give you feedback so these are my suggestions right now since it’s too soon to know for sure. These are based on what I already know, some common sense, some of what we know from the research, feedback from colleagues, and feedback from real people who have been searching for alternatives and trying various combinations:
- Enerphos by T.E. Neesby
- It is advertised to be same formula as the original Seriphos
- Julia Ross recommends this as a replacement
- One practitioner shared that she has had similar results with this product.
- I’ve also had feedback from colleagues saying it works half as well. Perhaps doubling the dose would be more effective?
- Swanson 300mg (the oil-based) triple-strength phosphatidyl serine
- Someone on the above Amazon thread shared that this has worked when taken together with ox bile and lipase.
- Cortisol Manager by Integrative Therapeutics (1 capsule contains 50mg phosphatidyl serine, theanine and other ingredients)
- A colleague shared this: “Cortisol Manager can be dosed up to 2-3 tablets per day and used with or without additional phosphatidyl serine which can easily go as high as 600 mg.” He has seen salivary cortisol levels shift with this approach and shared: “Interestingly, I never saw those changes with Seriphos despite being a heavy user between 2009 and 2011 so I thought it was just hype.”
- Feedback from someone on my blog: “Cortisol Manager was too stimulating with the Ashwagandha”
- Feedback from a practitioner who first used Cortisol Manager personally and then switched to Seriphos at my recommendation: “Cortisol Manager did nothing for me. I dosed it high enough and took it for a month – but I felt nothing. Seriphos on the other hand, worked the same night, within an hour or two.”
- Designs for Health PS 150 – Phosphatidylserine 150 mg: non-soy, sunflower sourced phosphatidyl serine with one capsule serving of 150mg
- Someone shared this on Amazon: “We have equally good results with phosphatidyl serine, but the dose usually needs to be in the 300-500mg range, to equate to what 1 or 2 Seriphos capsules could do.” I don’t know which brand they use used.
- Feedback from a colleague: “We started using PS150 from DFH and love it.” He often uses this in conjunction with another Designs for Health product called Catecholacalm.
- Phosphatidyl Serine Powder 50 gms: One quarter teaspoon provides Phosphatidyl Serine 200 mg in a powder form.
- This one is soy-derived (GMO-free) but may be easier to use to get higher doses
- Lactium, also known as hydrolyzed casein
- Biotics Research De-stress is a product I use with clients with good results. It’s calming and based on the research it also lowers high cortisol
- There is very promising research on essential oils lowering cortisol levels – such as bergamot and I wonder if this approach could be incorporated too?
Update Nov 11, 2016: Relora, which is a proprietary combination of Magnolia bark extract and Phellodendron bark extract that studies show reduces cortisol and perceived daily stress and anxiety, improving mood and reducing fatigue.
I know the original Seriphos was very affordable and very effective for the cost. Using higher amounts of the above products and various combinations is likely to be much more expensive but at least it’s an option to provide relief until we find a longer term solution or until a Seriphos-type product becomes available.
Address all the possible underlying causes of high cortisol
We also don’t want to lose sight of why long-term use of Seriphos is needed and be sure to also focus on addressing all the possible underlying causes of high cortisol: stress, parasites, infections and inflammation, gluten sensitivity and other food sensitivities, low calorie eating, medication side-effects etc.
Please share what helps
If you’ve used Seriphos in the past and have found a solution please let us know.
If you are looking for an alternative to Seriphos please share this list with your practitioner in case they are not aware the formulation has changed. And have them help you find the right combination for your particular needs. Please come back and share what helps so we can all benefit.
If you are a practitioner and have your favorite product or combination please share what is working for your clients/patients.
Update November 18, 2016: I emailed Interplexus asking if they will be bringing back the original Seriphos formula and received this message from them:
Yes, the information is correct we will be returning the previous formula of Seriphos and are expecting to have it late November, unfortunately we do not have a completion date as of yet so the estimated time frame is not a guarantee. It will be the same formula as before and we will also manufacture a Phosphatidylserine standalone product in the future. If you have further questions or concerns feel free to contact, and you’re also welcome to check on the status of Seriphos periodically.
Update January 20, 2017:
The original Seriphos formula is back. This blog post has additional information – Seriphos Original Formula is back: the best product for anxiety and insomnia caused by high cortisol