Huperzine A is a chemical compound that is extracted from Chinese Club Moss (a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine) [1]. The plant extract is purified in a lab and then sold as a supplement called Huperzine A.

This supplement/drug (experts are divided on whether Huperzine A is a supplement or a drug) is water soluble, which means it can be taken without food. In this article we will take a look at Huperzine’s benefits and any potential side effects of taking it.

What is Huperzine A?

There is a type of moss in China called Huperzia Serrata [2], the moss has been used for centuries within traditional Chinese medicine as it is believed to improve cognition.

Supplement companies take Huperzia Serrata and extract Huperzine A from it in a lab. Its main function is to inhibit the breakdown of Acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) which seems to lead to enhanced cognitive function.

What are the benefits of Huperzine A?

Huperzine A is marketed by supplement companies as a cognitive enhancer, and is classed by many as a nootropic. One of the biggest potential benefits of Huperzine A is in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2011 study in Chemistry & Biodiversity Journal concluded that “Huperzine A seems to be a potential treatment option for AD” [3].

But Huperzine A may also help improve the memory of people who are not suffering with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This could mean that Huperzine A could help with age-related memory loss, while also being a potential option for improving short and long term memory in young healthy people. Improved working memory can help improve decision making.

Huperzine A may also help improve energy and alertness, which can help you academically, at work, or in the gym or sports field. Sufferers of Myasthenia Gravis (an autoimmune neuromuscular disease) also report an improvement in conditions when taking Huperzine A [4].

Are there any side effects to taking Huperzine A?

Not really, as with many drugs and supplements some people may have a reaction – particularly if they are taking a higher dose. You may find stomach upsets or nausea occur, possibly even vomiting. But these side effects are incredibly rare.

Dosage

According to examine.com the standard dosage for Huperzine A is 50-200mcg per day [5], this can be taken either as one dose or several smaller doses throughout the day. Start at the lower end of the scale to assess your tolerance and work your way up.

Final Thoughts

Huperzine A is a great cognitive enhancing supplement, it should help you to improve your focus, memory, decision making skills, and could also increase your energy levels. You may find that exercise is slightly easier, and that focussing on work is also easier.

For dementia sufferers or people with Alzheimer’s there is real potential for Huperzine A to be an effective treatment, but more research is required. This supplement is definitely worth your money, so give it a try.

References
[1] https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-177/chinese-club-moss
[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091305703001114
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21766442
[4] https://www.drugs.com/comments/huperzine-a/for-myasthenia-gravis.html
[5] https://examine.com/supplements/huperzine-a/

 

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