Health Benefits of Huperzine A

Health Benefits of Huperzine A

Huperzine A

The Origin of Huperzine A

Huperzine A is extracted from a purified Chinese club moss plant, Huperzia serrata. This is a vascular plant that differs from other mosses because it has specialized fluid-conducting tissues. However, it is somewhat similar to other types since it reproduces through the spores.

The Chinese club moss helps reduce inflammation, as well as boost our memory. Nevertheless, there are several other benefits to using the purified version of the Chinese moss plant. 

Huperzine A is a supplement, although some people consider it a drug. This is because it’s intensely purified in a laboratory before it’s sold. Unlike most supplements, it contains far fewer ingredients. 

An interesting fact about this supplement is that since it is frequently called selagine, people mistake it for similar sounding medications, namely, selegiline.

In this article, we will be looking into the uses, effects, and overall benefits of this wonderous supplement, as well as whether it’s worth your consideration. 

What are the uses of huperzine A?

This supplement has many different uses:

  • As a cholinesterase inhibitor
  • As an energy booster
  • As a treatment for the autoimmune disorder known as myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disease that leads to skeletal muscle weakness).
  • As a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease*

Basically, due to the fact that this supplement helps improve the levels of acetylcholine, also known as the “learning transmitter” in your brain, many people believe that it can have great effects on curing memory-related diseases.

However, did you know acetylcholine is involved in muscle contraction as well. That’s why weightlifters often use it alone, or along with other supplements. 

Dosage recommendations for huperzine A

This supplement is most effective when taken 50-200mcg daily (As a 1% extract). You can divide the dosage into multiple doses throughout the day, or you can take the supplement in a single dose.

Furthermore, since it’s water-soluble, you don’t need to ingest it with water.

Overall, this supplement tends to remain in the body for quite a bit of time, namely  10-14 hours.

What are the benefits of huperzine A?

There isn’t an enormous amount of research that can back up the positive effects of this supplement. However, there is plenty of evidence that using the supplement has numerous benefits.

Using huperzine A to enhance your memory

Let’s face it ㅡ we’re not all blessed with a perfect memory. That’s why it seems like a dream come true when we hear that there is a way to boost it. However, not all methods are foolproof, so where does the huperzine supplement stand?

In an old study published in a Chinese journal back in 1999, there is a substantial amount of evidence pointing to the fact that this supplement has a positive effect on memory enhancement.

Namely, there was an interesting case study consisting of 68 adolescent students. As we all know, at that age, studying is the last thing on our mind!

The students were divided into two groups: one group would be taking huperzine A for four weeks, and the other group would be receiving a placebo for the same amount of time.

It’s also important to point out that all of the students participating in this trial had significant memory problems.

After four weeks, the group taking the huperzine A supplement showed a staggering amount of progress, compared to the group taking the placebos. So, in this case, it seems that huperzine did the trick, and then some!

Huperzine A and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is one of the darker diseases in existence. Losing your memory, motor functions, and behaving completely differently to how you’ve been behaving your entire life is quite devastating. 

The huperzine supplement is a pretty big contender when it comes to improving symptoms of this horrible disease. Now the question is ㅡ does it stand a chance against Alzheimer’s?

Luckily, there is some research that suggests taking this supplement can help improve memory and even some mental functions and behavior in people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

For example, in 2008, a research review published the results of six randomized controlled trials. The trials consisted of 454 patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Again, in each trial, there was a group of people taking huperzine A, and another group taking placebos.

Once they had researched each of the trials, they came to the conclusion that the supplement had a positive effect on the patient’s behavior, memory, and mental functions. 

On the other hand, a recent trial from 2011 revealed that huperzine A had no effect on the memory of the patients. In total, 210 people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease participated in the trial. In the end, none of the patients that had completed the trial showed any improvement, which was quite a disappointment. 

So, it’s evident that the results are still inconclusive as to whether the huperzine supplement can help treat Alzheimer’s. But the good news is that there’s still a chance!

In conclusion

The huperzine supplement isn’t at all difficult to find, which is pretty lucky. You can find it in most natural food stores, specialized stores, and even online.

But be careful before you run to the shop to buy it. Like other similar supplements, you shouldn’t use huperzine A for self-treatment. This goes especially for people suffering from kidney or liver disorders, asthma, heart disease, vertigo, etc. Furthermore, if you’re using medications like beta-blockers, cholinesterase inhibitors, and anticonvulsant medications, you definitely shouldn’t mix them with huperzine A.

However, if you’d like to try it, we highly recommend that you consult your doctor about it before coming to a final decision. Who knows — you may be in for a pleasant surprise!

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