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Huperzine (HOOP-ur-zeen) A, a dietary supplement produced from the Chinese club moss Huperzia Serrata, is generating interest as a possible Alzheimer’s disease therapy, among many other benefits of Huperzine A.
Huperzine A operates as a cholinesterase inhibitor, a type of drug that increases neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Early evidence suggests that huperzine A may enhance memory and preserve nerve cells, slowing the cognitive loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease.A study found in Annals of Pharmacotherapy has discovered evidence that huperzine A may enhance cognitive function considerably in persons with Alzheimer’s disease .
Benefits of Huperzine A
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A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine by a group of researchers affirms that Huperzine A inhibits acetylcholinesterase, increasing acetylcholine levels in the basal ganglia .
According to the same research, Increased acetylcholine levels in the central nervous system contribute to milder cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease .
Additionally, another study in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology found that huperzine can obstruct the beta-amyloid formation pathway by modulating precursor protein metabolism and hence obstructing related neurotoxicity . The following are some of the core benefits of Huperzine A.
When taken by mouth, Huperzine A can help prevent muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. The medication is given as a daily shot. When used in higher doses, it can cause heart problems and increase the risk of gastrointestinal tract blockage. If you’re considering taking Huperzine A for therapeutic purposes, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider first.
Supplements containing Huperzine A can boost cognitive function. Moreover, it may act as an antagonist of glutamate (read further on methylation and glutamate here) to protect the brain from oxidative damage. This means that if you suffer from mental disorders, this supplement can make a big difference in your life.
Huperzine A is an effective antioxidant and has many benefits. It helps protect brain cells from damage. It also inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It can boost memory, prevent brain degeneration, and boost general cognition. It is a fast-acting nootropic and should be taken daily for best results.
Studies in PLOS One show that Huperzine A can enhance brain function in people suffering from Alzheimer’s . It is an effective dietary supplement for Alzheimer’s patients and may also be effective for treating some types of vascular dementia. Huperzine A can also be effective in preventing the muscle weakness associated with myasthenia gravis.
Besides reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, another study in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience also found that Huperzine A may also improve mental functions. It protects brain cells from damage due to bacterial infections , which can lead to cognitive decline. It can improve memory, and it may reduce the incidence of seizures. In addition, it can decrease the risk of cardiovascular problems, particularly if you are prone to them or have a history of mental diseases in your family.
A study in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience shows that huperzine A has neuroprotective properties. There is some uncertainty about the long-term safety of Huperzine A, but it’s safe for short-term use, as has been demonstrated by these studies . Its side effects have not been known to be severe. While it’s not a cure-all, it can help patients with dementia. In addition, the risk of side effects is limited, especially when cycled properly, e.g., Maximum Mind Instructions.
It has a variety of other health benefits, such as alleviating neuroinflammation associated with repetitive brain injuries. It improves physical performance and memory. It protects the body against harmful agents such as nitric oxide, which is one of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to improving memory, Huperzine A can also improve learning and memory. It also prevents the oxidation of glutamate-mediated neurotoxicity, which is responsible for poor memory and cognitive impairment.
Huperzine A can also improve a person’s cognitive functioning. A study published in Acta Pharmacologica Sinica in Shanghai found that 68 students with Alzheimer’s disease were given 100 mcg of huperzine-A for four weeks .
As an anti-inflammatory and a nootropic, huperzine A can prevent inflammation and slow the heart rate. Several studies have shown that it may protect the brain against seizures and improve cognitive function [7, 8]. It is also a potential treatment for epilepsy.
Optimal Huperzine a Dose
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The ideal dose for Huperzine A is between 100 mcg and 400 mcg per day. While it has been used to treat myasthenia gravis for nearly two decades, a recent study in Epilepsy research shows that the drug is safe for short-term use . If you are concerned about the side effects of this medication, you should contact your doctor before taking Huperzine A.
It is important to remember that Huperzine A can cause adverse reactions when taken in high doses. Yet, pregnant and nursing women should consult with their physician before taking this drug. If you are using it to treat an illness, it is best to speak with your doctor before taking it.
Acute doses of Huperzine A are not considered harmful, but a higher dose should not be taken if you take it for a prolonged period. However, if you’re planning to use Huperzine A for long-term use, it’s important to remember that the drug has a 24-hour half-life; therefore, cycling use is highly suggested.
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A recently published meta-analysis in PLoS One leaves open the possibility of huperzine being effective therapeutically. Trials demonstrating favorable results have a history of being modest and brief in length . The study of huperzine A is ongoing and more research is needed. Yet Huperzine shows promising benefits.
Why not experience the benefits of Huperzine A in their purest form along with other clinically studied compounds for increasing brain performance and health with Maximum Mind?
Read more about huperzine A on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive or read more about the benefits of huperzine A here.
- Desilets, A. R., Gickas, J. J., & Dunican, K. C. (2009). Role of Huperzine A in the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 43(3), 514–518.
- Xing SH, Zhu CX, Zhang R, et al. Huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia: a meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014;2014:363985.
- Zhang HY, Yan H, Tang XC. Non-cholinergic effects of huperzine A: beyond inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology. Feb 2008;28(2):173-183.
- Yang, G., Wang, Y., Tian, J., & Liu, J. P. (2013). Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. PLOS One, 8(9), e74916.
- Qian, Z. M., & Ke, Y. (2014). Huperzine A: Is it an Effective Disease-Modifying Drug for Alzheimerâ€TMs Disease? Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6.
- Zhang, H. Y. (2012). New insights into huperzine A for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 33(9), 1170–1175.
- Damar, U., Gersner, R., Johnstone, J. T., Schachter, S., & Rotenberg, A. (2017). Huperzine A: A promising anticonvulsant, disease modifying, and memory enhancing treatment option in Alzheimer’s disease. Medical Hypotheses, 99, 57–62.
- Wong, J. C., Dutton, S. B. B., Collins, S. D., Schachter, S., & Escayg, A. (2016). Huperzine A Provides Robust and Sustained Protection against Induced Seizures in Scn1a Mutant Mice. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 7.
- Bialer M, Johannessen SI, Levy RH et al. (2015) Progress report on new antiepileptic drugs: A summary of the Twelfth Eilat Conference (EILAT XII). Epilepsy research 111, 85-141
- Yang G, Wang Y, Tian J, Liu JP. Huperzine a for Alzheimer’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e74916. Epub 2013 Sep 23 PubMed.