Huperzine-A is an alkaloid derived from the moss Huperzia Serrata and it is a traditional medicine used in Chinese medicines for many centuries. Huperzine A (HupA) has carved a special niche in the field of Nootropics because of its ability to not only neutralize oxidants in the body, but also form newer neurons and to facilitate learning and memory formation. HupA is water soluble and can be easily eliminated from the body, thus it does not create any (hyper)-toxicity problems.
The Human brain is constituted by Neurons and every neural processing and information passage happens with the help of Neurotransmitters like Acetylcholine, Serotonin and many others. Acetylcholine is synthesized at the Neuronal level by an intrinsic process within the nerve ending and after a short-span of time, it is degraded by Acetylcholine Esterases enzyme. This enzyme degrades ACh and Choline is reused to make AcetylCholine for later use. Huperzine-A inhibits the AcetylCholinesterase enzyme and allows for more neurotransmitter to be available at the inter-neuronal space. With the increased presence of ACh in this space, information processing becomes quicker and other functions like cognition, alertness and memory are markedly increased. HupA with this exact mechanism is known to improve:
- Stabilize Moods
- Improved Focus and Increased concentration
- Neural Cell regeneration and repair
These effects are noted when measured doses are taken over a period of 10-12 weeks.
As an age-old medicine, having had stood the test of time – Huperzine-A is also a powerful antioxidant. It neutralizes the free radicals that are produced as a result of cell wear and tear and also protects the neurons against the effects of pollutants. HupA is thus a neuroprotective agent, that can prevent the onset of many diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. In fact, Huperzine A is in its 3rd phase of a large clinical trial, where its efficacy is being confirmed in various neurodegenerative disorders including mood disorders and alzheimer’s (This is amongst the few nootropics that has actually made it to phase 3 and is on the verge of becoming a full-fledged medicine from a nutraceutical, with an FDA approval).
Many users report that HupA can improve the Brain Haze that many students report during exam preparations. Brain-fog a result of fatigue from reduced rest during exam-times can be biochemically attributed to the reduced neurotransmitter levels present at the interneuronal spaces. The principle Mechanism of action of Huperzine-A solves this problem at the grassroots levels and without any noticeable side-effects. Huperzine-A has also shown improvement in the REM sleep cycle duration for many users. Characterized by a state of complete “turn off” – REM sleep becomes essential to reduce the pro-inflammatory substances and to balance the Hormonal levels in our body.
HupA shows its neuro-regeneration abilities at the Hippocampus region of the brain. This part forms an important component of the Papez Memory circuit. Age-related degeneration results in the production of Amyloid – A metabolite that sticks to the neurons and promotes damage. Huperzine-A neutralizes this metabolite and also plays a part in many other oxidant neutralization activities – the basis for its use in Alzheimer’s disease.
The effects of Huperzine-A are best appreciated when it is taken along with other Nootropics like alpha GPC which enhances our body’s stamina, focus and ability to be attentive and concentrate. Ginkgo Biloba and Panax Ginseng are other good additions to HupA as their effects complement the positive effects of Huperzine A. The best summative effect can be found when Huperzine-A is taken in combination with Ashwagandha – The super-potent nootropic that has been used as an “Umbrella Cure” in Ayurveda.