The Natural Nootropic: How Huperzine A Benefits The Brain and Body
Do you wish your brain functioned better? If you feel almost as if perpetual fog clouds your brain, join the millions of other Americans who feel the same way.
But, what if you didn't have to feel this way? What if there was an ingredient that could literally remove the shroud over your mind and help your brain function at peak levels?
That ingredient could very well be one that goes by the name Huperzine A, a little, not well-known moss that shows immense potential.
In this blog post, we'll discuss its benefits, how it works and much more, so let's get ready to start!
What Is Huperzine A?
Huperzine A is a natural compound extracted from the Chinese club moss plant, also known as Huperzia serrata. It is a sesquiterpene alkaloid compound extracted from the leaves, having been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Today, Huperzine A is one of the most popular supplements for improving cognitive and brain health and is included in many of the best supplements for focus and concentration, including our very own Dawn To Dusk.
How Does Huperzine-A Work In The Brain?
Huperzine A works by inhibiting the breakdown of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is an important chemical messenger in the brain that plays a key role in learning and memory. It's involved in the communication between nerve cells and helps to transmit signals between different parts of the brain. When acetylcholine levels are low, it can lead to memory problems and cognitive decline.
Huperzine A acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, which means it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine by the enzyme called acetylcholinesterase. By doing this, Huperzine A can help to boost acetylcholine levels in the brain, which may lead to improved memory and cognitive function.
Think of it this way, acetylcholine is like the postman of the brain, delivering messages between nerve cells. When the postman is sick, the messages don't get delivered properly.
Huperzine A is like the traffic cop, controlling the flow of messages and making sure they reach the right place. Doing this, it can help to improve the overall communication between nerve cells, leading to better brain function.
Neuroprotective compounds are substances that help protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals, toxins, or other environmental or biological factors.
They have been studied for their potential to prevent or reduce cognitive decline and treat certain neurological disorders. In addition to Huperzine A, other common neuroprotectants include antioxidants such as Vitamin E, polyphenols found in green tea, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, and curcumin found in turmeric.
Huperzine-A Prevents Beta-Amyloid Formation
Huperzine A has been shown to have a potential benefit in preventing beta-amyloid protein dysfunction. Beta-amyloid protein is a type of protein that can accumulate in the brain and form plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease. These plaques can disrupt communication between nerve cells and lead to memory problems and cognitive decline.
Huperzine A may help to prevent beta-amyloid protein dysfunction by inhibiting the formation of these plaques in the first place. It may also help to break down existing plaques and reduce their toxic effects on nerve cells.
The purported mechanism behind the prevention of beta-amyloid protein dysfunction is by inhibiting the cholinesterase enzyme. This enzyme breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is important for learning and memory. By inhibiting cholinesterase, Huperzine A can help to boost acetylcholine levels in the brain, which may lead to improved memory and cognitive function.
Huperzine-A Prevents Glutamate Toxicity
Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that's important for learning and memory, but too much of it can lead to negative effects, including a condition known as "glutamate toxicity." This can cause overstimulation of nerve cells and lead to neuronal cell death.
Think of this as giving your brain a caffeine overdose, but instead of feeling jittery and anxious, you end up with a dead brain cell. Not good!
But how does glutamate accumulate in the first place?
Huperzine A can help to prevent glutamate toxicity by inhibiting NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors. This helps to regulate the amount of glutamate in the brain. By blocking this receptor, Huperzine A can help to reduce the available amount of glutamate in the brain, which can help to prevent overstimulation of nerve cells and reduce the risk of cell death.
Glutamate is an important neurotransmitter in the brain, but its accumulation can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the primary causes is an imbalance between glutamate production and its reuptake. Glutamate is produced in the brain when it breaks down certain proteins, and it is then taken up by neurons to be used as energy.
When there is an imbalance between these two processes, glutamate can accumulate in the brain, leading to excitotoxicity. This can cause damage to neurons and other cells in the brain, resulting in a variety of neurological symptoms.
Other potential causes of glutamate accumulation include genetic mutations that affect glutamate metabolism, drug use, and exposure to toxins or environmental pollutants. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as stroke or traumatic brain injury can lead to excessive levels of glutamate in the brain.
It's important to note that while too much glutamate can be damaging to the brain, having optimal levels of this neurotransmitter is essential for proper cognitive functioning.
But that's not all, Huperzine A can also help to protect nerve cells from the toxic effects of glutamate by increasing the production of another neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is itself known as an "inhibitory" neurotransmitter, which means it helps to reduce the activity of nerve cells.
By increasing the production of GABA, Huperzine A can help to calm down overactive nerve cells and protect them from the toxic effects of glutamate.
So, in short, think of Huperzine A is like a bouncer for your brain's club. It keeps the glutamate levels in check and makes sure that the nerve cells don't get too wild and crazy.
Without Huperzine A, your brain cells might as well be doing shots and dancing on the tables, and we all know how that ends: a headache, a mess to clean up, and a lifetime ban from the club.
Huperzine-A Increases Nerve Growth Factor
Huperzine-A can also help to increase levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain. NGF is a neurotrophic factor that helps promote the growth of new neurons and protect existing ones. By increasing NGF, the brain recovers more quickly from damage, since new neurons can be grown to replace any that may have been lost.
This might be of particular importance to people who have experienced a stroke, or for adjunctive management of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. NGF levels typically decline with age, so Huperzine-A can help to combat this natural process and keep the brain functioning optimally for longer.
Huperzine-A Improves Learning & Memory
Huperzine A is thought to improve learning and memory via the same mechanism of increasing levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine plays an essential role in these cognitive functions, so having adequate amounts is necessary for optimal performance.
By blocking the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter is allowed to accumulate in the brain. More available acetylcholine helps improve neural transmission and cognitive function inclusive of learning and memory.
By increasing levels of the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine and providing neuroprotection, Huperzine A can help improve learning and memory in individuals who take it as part of their supplement regimen - giving you a super-boost for your studies!
Huperzine-A Improves Cognition In the Elderly
As we age, it's normal for our cognitive abilities to decline a bit. But for some older adults, the decline can be more significant, leading to issues like memory loss, confusion, and difficulty with daily tasks. This is where Huperzine A can come in handy.
Studies have found that Huperzine A can improve learning speed and accuracy, attention span and alertness, verbal fluency, and overall cognitive functioning in older adults.
Levels of acetylcholine decline with advancing age, so it makes sense that a supplement like Huperzine A will help compensate for the deficiency and associated complications.
May Boost Brain Energy
When it is said that Huperzine A enhances brain energy, it refers to the idea that it may help to improve the overall functioning of the brain by increasing the availability of energy within brain cells.
The brain is a highly active organ that requires a lot of energy to function properly. The main source of this energy for the brain is the molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is produced by the mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cell, and is required for all energy-dependent processes in the brain, such as neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity, and nerve impulse conduction.
Huperzine A may help to enhance brain energy production by increasing the production of ATP. It does this by activating an enzyme called ATP synthase, which is responsible for producing ATP.
This increase in energy production will most definitely help to support various cognitive functions such as memory, learning, and attention.
It is also believed that Huperzine A may help to facilitate energy metabolism by increasing the uptake of glucose in the brain.
It Supports Mobility and Muscle Function
While we all know about Huperzine A and its role in improving cognitive functions, but few people are aware of its potential benefits for muscle and mobility.
Huperzine A has been found to have a positive effect on skeletal muscle function by reducing inflammation, improving muscle contraction and relaxation, and increasing muscular endurance.
This is because acetylcholine also plays an important role in muscle function, and as we've mentioned, Huperzine A helps to increase levels of this neurotransmitter.
Conditions like myasthenia gravis (MG) and other neuromuscular disorders characterized by muscle weakness, fatigue, and difficulty in maintaining posture can be improved with the use of Huperzine A.
How Much Huperzine A Do I Need to Take?
The recommended dosage of Huperzine A is between 50-200mcg taken once or twice daily. This is sufficient to achieve the cognitive benefits, however, higher doses may be needed to achieve muscle and mobility-related benefits.
Each dose of Dawn to Dusk contains 100mcg, considered the sweet spot for those benefits.
Possible Huperzine-A Side Effects
While it is generally well tolerated, there are a few possible side effects to be aware of, although rare. These may include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms: Huperzine A may cause stomach discomfort, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to Huperzine A and may experience symptoms such as hives, rash, or itching.
- Interaction with medications: Huperzine A may interact with certain medications, such as anticholinergic drugs, which may increase the risk of side effects. Therefore it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking Huperzine A if you are on any other medications.
- Cognitive side effects: Huperzine A may cause confusion, hallucinations, or other cognitive side effects in some people. These symptoms are usually temporary.
It's not recommended for people with pre-existing medical conditions or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is also not recommended for children under the age of 18 without prior medical approval.
Overall, Huperzine A is a powerful supplement that has many potential benefits for the brain and body. If you feel strongly about optimizing your mental prowess, this might be one of the best ways to do so.
Our Dawn To Dusk formulation has been expertly formulated to boost your physical and mental energy levels to help you get all that you need out of each day. Give it a try today and see the difference yourself.