About Huperzine A
Huperzine A is a sesquiterpene alkaloid that is made from an extract of firmoss Huperzia Serrata.
The herbaceous plant is native Southeast Asia and India. Huperzia A is also available in varying amounts in other Huperzia species such as Huperzia elmeri and Huperzia carinat.
Several studies have revealed the effectiveness of Huperzia A in the management of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's. During the old times, many herbalists employed the dietary supplement in the management of fever and swelling in patients.
Other uses of the food supplement include treatment of muscle fatigue and musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoarthritis.
The pharmacological activity of the herbal extract involves reversible inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. It is also a known antagonist of NMDA receptor.
Huperzine A Health Benefits
1. Memory Enhancement
Few studies have been conducted to determine the activity of the herbal extract in boosting memory.
A study that was published in the Chinese Journal Acta Pharmacologica Sinica in 1999 illustrated the activity of the herbacious extract in enhancing memory and learning.
The participants of the study were junior high students. The students complained of having memory inadequacies. They were administered with Huperzine A or a placebo for four weeks.
Students who had been administered with Huperzine A showed improvements in memory and learning compared to the ones who were put on placebo.
However, more research is needed to confirm the ability of Huperzine A to enhance memory.
2. Management of Alzheimer’s Disease
A research review that was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2008 revealed that Huperzine A could benefit individuals with Alzheimer's.
The food supplement reduces apoptosis by minimizing inflammation that is caused by the amyloid beta.
Clinical trials have also suggested that the food supplement enhances an individual's mental health and wellbeing.
3. The Herbal Extract Protects Neuronal Cells From Glutamate Toxicity
Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in the central and peripheral nervous systems.
The neurotransmitter can kill neurons through overstimulation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.
The herbal extract is an NMDA receptor antagonist. Through its activity, it prevents neuronal cells from destruction glutamate toxicity.
4. The Dietary Supplement Promotes Brain Health
Glutamate toxicity can also lead to brain damage through the activation of various pathways in the central nervous system.
The effect of these is oxidative damage to the brain cells. The dietary supplement protects brain cells from apoptosis to oxidative damage.
5. Individuals With Epileptic Seizures Can Benefit From Huperzine A
Studies also suggest that the herbal extract can protect the brain cells death that is linked to convulsions.
Studies done on rats found out that the food supplement is effective in the management of epilepsy. It makes tissues resistant to convulsions that result from the different types of epilepsy.
6. Muscle Support and Bodybuilding
The dietary supplement is also beneficial in the management of muscle weakness that may result from aging conditions.
Through the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, the food supplement stimulates the brain and provides one with mental energy.
Increased levels of acetylcholine in the body are necessary for the maintenance of muscle tone and smooth muscle contraction. Patients with myasthenia gravis have also been shown to benefit from Huperzine A.
Huperzine A Side Effects
Studies on the use of Huperzine A suggest that the dietary supplement is safe and efficient in getting rid of various diseases.
However, use in large amounts as a dietary supplement may result in slight side effects such as headaches and nausea.
Other users of the dietary supplement have reported a mild skin rash after using Huperzine A. However, there is no scientific evidence to support such claims.
Several studies are still in progress to find out other potential benefits and adverse reactions of the food supplement.
Asthmatic individuals are advised to consult a medic doctor before taking the herbal extract. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also seek medical advice before using Huperzine A.
It is suggested that Huperzine A does not interfere with the activities of the liver enzymes that are involved in drug metabolism.
Studies revealed that the herbal extract is not metabolized in the body. It gets excreted in its original form.
As a result, Huperzine A does not interact with other medications which are degraded in the liver. The herbal extract is safe when it is administered with other medications.
Top Products Containing Huperzine A
Source Naturals, 200mcg
This product by Source Naturals boosts the brain health and cognitive functions in the body.
The product can be used in reducing memory loss that results from the aging process. It also protects the acetylcholine neurotransmitter from degradation by the acetylcholinesterase enzyme.
The neurotransmitter plays a crucial role in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. The product is sold at $19.24 on Amazon.
This Huperzine A supplement protects the brain cells from aging. It also enhances memory and cognition and prevents the degradation of acetylcholine. It also provides protection against antioxidant damage.
The active ingredient in Metagenics ceriva is Huperzine A. It also has stearic acid and silica. It is formulated as tablets, and it should be taken once daily as directed by a medical specialist. Metagenics ceriva is sold at $45 on Amazon.
GNC Herbal Plus Huperzine A
This herbal product is comprised of standardized Huperzine A capsules. The product is beneficial in protecting neurotransmitters, especially acetylcholine, from enzymatic breakdown. It also boosts memory retention. GNC Herbal Plus Huperzine A is sold at $15 on Amazon.
Swanson Superior Herbs Maximum Strength Huperzine A
Huperzine A is known to support cognitive functions in the body. It also boosts memory, and it has been standardized for guaranteed potency. It also supports the functioning of the brain and communication between brain cells.
Huperzine A Review Summary
Different people use Huperzine A for various different health benefits. The most studied benefit of the herbal extract is its potential to enhance memory and cognitive performance. It is also used by bodybuilders to boost their muscle strength. However, there is no sufficient evidence to support the use of Huperzine A for bodybuilding.