Exploring Huperzine A Benefits

Huperzine A is a substance that is extracted from club moss,  a herb of Chinese origin that is part of the Huperziceae family. Its incredible value lies in the fact that it acts as an inhibitor to acetylcholinesterase, meaning that it stops the breakdown of acetylcholine, leading to higher levels acetylcholine in the body. Among other Huperzine A benefits, this supplement can help improve memory functions, such as consolidation, storage, and retrieval of memories.

Understanding How Huperzine A Works

Huperzine A’s most well-known function is to inhibit the acetylcholinesterase enzyme in its G4 isoform from breaking down acetylcholine. This enzyme is very prevalent in the brains of mammals and by inhibiting its action, Huperzine A helps to increase the levels of acetylcholine in the body. This compound is more potent than — or at least equally potent to — other inhibitors like Rivastigmine or Tacrine.

Acetylcholine is a vital neurotransmitter that plays an important role in muscle activation, communication between neurons and also functions as a neuromodulator. Thus, this neurotransmitter can help improve alertness upon waking, support sustained attention and also benefits memory and learning ability, which is why increased levels help improve overall cognitive function.  Huperzine A benefits are a direct result of an increase in levels of acetylcholine.

It is possible that supplementation with Huperzine A could help to prevent mental decline, dementia caused by aging and other degenerative cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.  Huperzine A has a similar effect on acetylcholine as other medications that have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but this supplement is much easier to obtain and much more cost-effective.

Proven Huperzine A Benefits

As previously stated, the main benefit of Huperzine A is its ability to inhibit the acetylcholinesterase enzyme from breaking down the acetylcholine neurotransmitter resulting in the presence of higher levels of the latter in the body. This means that memories are formed more easily, information retention is improved and it might even benefit cognitive clarity, concentration, focus and even the ability to calculate or process information.

Studies have shown that the use of this nootropic compound can significantly increase the capacity of your memory. It is often used to ameliorate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (source) and dementia because of this. Thus, within the first two months of supplementation with Huperzine A, people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease exhibited better memory and improved thought processes. Other research has shown that senile dementia patients only required a single month of supplementation to start seeing benefits.

However, that’s not all Huperzine A can do as it can be considered to protect the brain from toxicity caused by beta-amyloid pigmentation, glutamate, and H2O2.

Possible Side Effects…

While this compound has a low risk of side effects, it’s still important to be aware of what they are. Generally, patients who experience side effects most often cite vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, sweating, appetite loss, increased production of saliva, restlessness, muscle twitching, blurred vision, and slurred speech.

Furthermore, it is inadvisable to take Huperzine A if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because there is insufficient research as to the effects of this compound in these situations, which is why avoidance is safer.

If you are suffering from any form of cardiovascular disease, it is a good idea to avoid taking Huperzine A because some people have experienced a slowing of their heart rate. If you have bradycardia, this could pose a significant problem.

Epileptics should also avoid this supplement as there is a small chance it could worsen the condition due to its effects on the chemistry of the brain.

Bottom Line

Generally speaking, Huperzine A Benefits are valuable for many people and as a nootropic compound the drug has proven results. For those looking to improve information retention and recall, cognitive energy levels and overall mental performance, this supplement could be a great option.

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Nicole Sanders
 

Hi, I'm Nicole, chief editor at Nootropics Revealed. Learn more about me and my mission here.