Huperzine A: What it is? Benefits & Consumption of Huperzine-A
What is Huperzine-A?
* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor.
Huperzine-A is a chemical purified and extracted from the Chinese club moss. It is then carefully and extensively manipulated in a lab to become a purified drug. Many people see Huperzine-A, also known as selagine, as a drug, although it is still listed as a dietary supplement.
Huperzine-A should not be confused with similar-sounding medications on the market, like selegiline (Eldepryl) or Huperzine's brand name Cerebra. And it should not be mistaken for any of the other similar-sounding brand names of other drugs, like Cerebyx, Celexa, or Celebrex - none of these is Huperzine-A.
In addition to being a common ingredient in nootropic supplements, which we'll discuss more further down, Huperzine-A is primarily used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and myasthenia gravis.
Alzheimer's is an age-related, non-reversible brain disorder. Those who suffer from it lose memory and become confused at an increasing rate. Eventually, they experience behavior and personality changes. Similarly, vascular dementia is the loss of cognitive abilities, like thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, and remembering. Huperzine-A acts to improve these patients' memory and learning by increasing the levels of acetylcholine and other related neurotransmitters in the brain.
Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the body's skeletal muscle. The condition is made worst after activity but improves with rest. Huperzine-A helps those suffering from this condition by increasing alertness and energy levels, as well as protecting nerves from damage.
While more research is needed, it appears that Huperzine-A is safe in the treatment of these diseases. However, if you have one of these disorders, please consult your doctor before adding Huperzine-A to your supplement regime. There may be interactions with medications you're already taking.
The Benefits of Huperzine-A
Nootropics are compounds that enhance cognitive abilities in various ways. There is a wonderful world of such compounds available for our use, but their individual effects are usually mild. So we combine synergistic compounds to enhance the benefits and efficacy of each mutually. We call these combinations nootropic stacks, and they give us longer, stronger, and broader cognitive benefits.
There are two main reasons for the use of huperzine-A in nootropic stacks, and they are related to its potential benefits towards improving memory and the signaling of acetylcholine.
Good With the Memory
A lot of people who take nootropics are trying to improve their memory and cognitive function, and Huperzine-A has shown some potential in this arena.
In a study done on teenage students, a small dose of Huperzine-A (about 50 mcg) ingested twice daily for four weeks resulted in improvements in several aspects of memory and performance as far as learning is concerned.
Huperzine-A has further received attention for its role in the supporting of memory and cognitive performance as one age.
If memory is an issue you are struggling with then huperzine A may be worth a try.
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Aid in the Improvement of Acetylcholine Signaling
Acetylcholine is one of the most abundant neurotransmitters in the human body. It can be found in the central and peripheral nervous systems. And its name was derived from its structure, being made up of acetic acid and choline.
Acetylcholine is crucial to all functions of the body. It is present in all motor neurons, where it stimulates muscle contraction. This neurotransmitter is essential to every movement in our bodies, from the minute blink of an eye, to the beating of our hearts, to the movement of our limbs.
Acetylcholine is also found in many brain neurons, where it facilitates memory and other cognitive activities. Alzheimer's disease is indicated when someone has severely depleted acetylcholine.
This was the first neurotransmitter to be identified in the brain, discovered in 1914 by Henry Hallett Dale.
This neurotransmitter is also a neuromodulator (a messenger molecule that nerve cells release so it can signal and regulate other nerve cells). It plays an essential role in the cognitive functions of the brain, like arousal, attention, motivation, learning, and especially in the process of memory.
Additionally, acetylcholine plays the largest role of any neurotransmitter in REM sleep.
Huperzine-A is involved in acetylcholine signaling, which is one of it’s most widely known roles biologically. In animal and human studies, Huperzine-A has shown its ability to boost acetylcholine levels which influences the activities of the enzyme cholinesterase.
Overall, it increases acetylcholine significantly. Its involvement with acetylcholine signaling explains its importance in the functions of memory and cognition.
Affects Lucid Dreams And Neuroprotection
It’s possible that Huperzine offers other benefits. It is reputable for increasing REM sleep (the stage of dreaming in sleep) and lucid dreaming.
Though not adequately studied, this reputational effect on sleep is related to acetylcholine regulation.
This compound also has some neuroprotective qualities that are essential in maintaining a healthy brain. This neuroprotection is associated with Huperzine-A's ability to increase acetylcholine. Acetylcholine reduces oxidative stress and modifies (or regulates) other, potentially harmful, processes that can occur.
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The Consumption of Huperzine-A
A good number of nootropic stacks include Huperzine-A and it should be fairly available.
As more people are learning about the health benefits of huperzine-A, it is very likely that we’ll see it become more widely used amongst health-conscious people.