What Is Huperzine A??
Huperzine A is a compound extracted from plants of the Huerziaceae family. Huperzine A can act as an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, which is an enzyme that degrades acetylcholine. Consequently, this is going to increase our levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is known as our “learning neurotransmitter,” and we are aiming to increase this.
How Does Huperzine A Work?
Huperzine’s main mechanism is acting as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It is actually of equal or greater potency to medications such as Tacrine and Rivastigmine (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors used to treat dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease). Huperzine A has a high affinity for acetylcholinesterase and also a slow dissociation constant; therefore, this gives it a long active half-life of 21.13 +/- 7.28 hours [2,3].
Besides being an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, Huperzine A also acts against glutamate, reactive oxygen species, and beta-amyloid pigmentation [4, 5, 6]. By acting as an NMDA receptor antagonist, Huperzine prevents damage from having too much glutamate within the brain. This amino acid glutamate can cause neuronal cell death if there is too much of it.
Thirdly, Huperzine A can help promote the proliferation of hippocampal neural stem cell, thus increasing neurogenesis .
Huperzine A and its neuroprotective molecular signaling in Alzheimer’s disease . Jesus Friedli, Maria; Inestrosa, Nibaldo. October 29, 2021. Figure 1. https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/26/21/6531/htm.
But What Are The Benefits Of Me Taking Huperzine??
Since we now have more acetylcholine in the brain, this will help to protect our nerve cells and also improve memory and attention. The benefits of taking huperzine are very similar to those of phosphatidylserine, since both of these compounds increase the levels of acetylcholine. Huperzine also helps with neuroplasticity (the forming and reorganizing of connections between your brain cells); therefore, improving your long-term memory formation as well as general brain health.
Where Is The Proof For All These Great Benefits?!
A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials concluded that Huperzine A does appear to have beneficial effects on cognitive function and daily living activity. Additionally, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease had improvements in their clinical assessments . Another study which was done on individuals with Alzheimer’s showed that Huperzine did in fact help with attention, cognitive function, orientation, mood, memory, as well as behavior . A double-blind placebo-controlled study was done in which students were given either 10mg Huperzine A or placebo for 4 weeks. The results of the trial were that the students taking Huperzine A scored better on memory tests as compared to those taking the placebo .
NEURO(X) contains 10mg of huperzine A per serving to help increase the amount of acetylcholine in your brain, thereby improving your focus throughout the day!
- Ma T, et al. Huperzine A promotes hippocampal neurogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Brain Res. (2013)
- Effects of huperzine A on acetylcholinesterase isoforms in vitro: comparison with tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine and physostigmine
- Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Clinical Efficacy of the Chinese Nootropic Agent Huperzine A
- Ved HS, et al. Huperzine A, a potential therapeutic agent for dementia, reduces neuronal cell death caused by glutamate.Neuroreport. (1997)
- Huperzine A regulates amyloid precursor protein processing via protein kinase C and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells over-expressing wild type human amyloid precursor protein 695
- Progress in studies of huperzine A, a natural cholinesterase inhibitor from Chinese herbal medicine
- Yang, Guoyan, et al. “Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 9, 2013, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074916.
- Wang B.S., Wang H., Wei Z.H., Song Y.Y., Zhang L., Chen H.Z. “Efficacy and safety of natural acetylcholinesterase inhibitor huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: an updated meta-analysis.”Journal of Neural Transmission (Vienna). 2009 Apr;116(4):457-65.
- Sun Q., et. Al. “Huperzine-A capsules enhance memory and learning performance in 34 pairs of matched adolescent students” Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 1999; (7)：601—603