Huperzine A: A powerful brain boosting nootropic agent

19/02/2015 Tags: all

Please note: This article is for entertainment purposes only.

What is huperzine A?

Huperzine A is an element that is extracted from Huperzia Serrata also known as Chinese club moss. Huperzia Serrata has been used by ancient Chinese as a very potent remedy. Huperzine A is the byproduct of a series of laboratory processes, hence, it is considered as a synthetic or a highly purified drug that is unlike herbal supplements which are normally comprised of chemical compounds. It would be wrong to say that huperzine A is a natural supplement when all it really was - is a synthetic drug.

Huperzine A is one of the most common ingredients of some powerful stacks and a potent nootropic agent itself. It offers a wide array of cognitive benefits. As such, it is being used both by students and adults who wants to enhance their brain power and keep their memories sharp. Recent and ongoing studies shows that it may be an effective supplementary treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory deterioration due to aging.

This nootropic drug is also known as selagine, please do not confuse it with other medications  that sounds the same, specifically selegiline (Elpedryl).

How does huperzine A works?

One mechanism associated with huperzine A is its ability to improve brain plasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to create new connections between different brain synapses that can help in increasing your memory formation and recall. It also enables you to learn faster. Huperzine A is also known for its neuroprotective properties whereas it protects your brain against the decline caused by aging whilst promote brain health at all costs. Just recently, studies have shown that it is able to counteract some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Theorists reveal that huperzine A works through influencing the cholinergic system through promoting increased production of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter critical for many basic mental processes. Through increasing the levels of acetylcholine in the brain, focus, learning, memory and reasoning is enhanced. Huperzine A acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor wherein it prevents the enzyme acetylcholinesterase in breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. Due to this, there is an increased amount and reuptake of acetylcholine leading to improved memory consolidation and formation. Essentially, huperzine A enhances the ability of your brain cells to communicate and connect leading to better neural activity.

Other mechanism of action associated with huperzine A is its ability to work as a NDMA receptor agonist whereas it is able to help in increasing the production of Nerve Growth Factor – a protein essential for nerve cell growth. Through promoting release of NGF, huperzine A is indirectly helping with healthy maintenance and formation of neurites and existing neurons. Although this effect is yet to be studied more carefully, this promising beneficial effect is critical in finding an effective and a relatively safe treatment for brain injury and cognitive decline.

What are the benefits of Huperzine A use?

  • Neuroplasticity

With its ability to enhance cholinergic activity, huperzine A helps in improving your brain plasticity. As such, your brain is able to store, learn, retrieve and adapt memories and information.

  • Improved intelligence

Huperzine A acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor increasing the levels of acetylcholine in your brain. Enhanced levels of acetylcholine are directly related with improved working memory ability and intelligence fluidity. It also offers an efficient way of reversing cognitive decline due to aging.

  • Treat Alzheimer’s disease

Studies have shown that huperzine A supplementation can help in improving mental function as well as increased memory capacity. It can also help in decreasing the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). One study involving individuals suffering from AD revealed that this nootropic drug can improve AD patients’ memory and cognitive abilities. Another study showed that individuals suffering from senile dementia saw significant improvement after a month of huperzine A intake. Huperzine A is being combined with other drugs (e.g. tacrine, donepezil) to treat AD. Healthy adolescents and anecdotal evidence also show that huperzine A is effective in boosting memory formation and recall.

  • Other uses

Some studies have shown that huperzine A may be effective in treating myasthenia gravis. It might also be effective in promoting energy and alertness as well as in protecting nerves from damage.

What are the side effects of huperzine A supplementation?

When used appropriately and in recommended dosafes, huperzine A has low toxicity and is considered as relatively safe with minimal risks for side effects. Mild side effects associated with huperzine A supplementation include:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased perspiration
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech

Lactating or expecting mother, epileptics and individuals suffering from heart problems, gastrointestinal and urinary tract blockages must not use huperzine A. If you are on other medications, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before taking this nootropic agent.