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Introduction

Huperzine A is a substance purified from a plant called Chinese club moss. Chinese club moss is an herb that people use to produce medicine for a variety of different ailments.

It is used for fever, pain, and swelling (inflammation), blood loss, and irregular menstrual periods. Although most manufacturers of huperzine A start with a plant, their product is the result of a lot of laboratory manipulation. It is a highly purified substance, unlike herbs that typically contain hundreds of chemical ingredients.

As a result, some people regard huperzine A as a drug, and they argue that it stretches the guidelines of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

The Bottom Line – A Chinese herb, usually highly processed into a more drug like substance and taken for a wide range of health issues.

Huperzine A Health Benefits

Huperzine A is thought to be beneficial for problems with memory, loss of mental abilities (dementia), and the muscular disorder myasthenia gravis because it causes an increase in the levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that our nerves use to communicate in the brain, muscles, fever, pain, and swelling (inflammation), blood loss, and irregular menstrual periods and other areas.

Below is a list of the possible benefits we’ve found:

Huperzine A Can Help With Dementia

A study carried out by the Department of Neurology, Research Institute of Surgery, China in January 2012 invited 78 patients with mild to moderate Vascular Dementia to partake in a trial study to determine the benefits of Huperzine A in relation to the neurological degenerative condition commonly known as Dementia.

39 patients received a placebo pill whilst the other 39 were given 0.1mg of Huperzine A for 12 consecutive weeks. After this time, patients were assessed using The mini-mental state examination (MMSE), clinical dementia rating (CDR), and activities of daily living (ADL) to determine their cognitive levels.

The results showed a significant improvement in relation to the patient’s cognitive abilities that were given Huperzine A, and the team concluded: “Huperzine A can significantly improve the cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate vascular dementia.” [1]

Huperzine A May Help With Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers at the Centre for Evidence-based Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China in 2013 carried out a systematic review and analysis of 20 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s disease in order to determine how effective this drug is as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

Compared with placebo, Huperzine A showed a significant beneficial effect on the improvement of cognitive function as measured by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks, and by Hastgawa Dementia Scale (HDS) and Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) at 8 weeks and 12 weeks.

The study concluded that Huperzine A appears to have beneficial effects on improvement of cognitive function, daily living activity, and global clinical assessment in participants with Alzheimer’s disease. [2]

The Bottom Line – Huperzine A has been proven to have positive beneficial implications for people suffering from moderate to mild dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

How To Use Huperzine A

Huperzine A is usually taken daily in pill form, though it’s also commonly found in pre-workout / intra-workout supplements.

The most common methods of taking Huperzine A are:

  1. Pill form
  2. Powder

The typical dosage amount for Huperzine A ranges between 50-200 mcg of Huperzine A twice daily. It is recommended that you do not exceed this amount.

Are There Any Foods That Contain Huperzine A?

This ingredient is typically not added to any foods and is not naturally found within the normal food chain.

Huperzine A Side Effects List

We have found the following possible side effects for Huperzine A:

Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, blurred vision, slurred speech, restlessness, loss of appetite, contraction and twitching of muscle fibers, cramping, increased saliva and urine, inability to control urination, high blood pressure and slowed heart rate.

Note: these side effects are possible but may not be the typical user experience..

Is Huperzine A Safe?

This product has been considered as safe to use within the recommended guidelines and appears to have positive health benefits to the user according to medical research in the areas of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Remember, prior to using Huperzine A, you should consult with your doctor if you have any kind of medical condition.

When Should I Not Take Huperzine A?

  • If you are pregnant and/or breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking huperzine A if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
  • If you’re a child under the age of 18: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking huperzine A if you are under the age of 18. It is advised to keep out of reach of children.

Conclusion

Through numerous clinical trials, testing, and review, Huperzine A has been shown to help with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. however, there is little evidence to show that the product helps with other claims of aiding fever, pain, and swelling (inflammation), blood loss, and irregular menstrual periods.

This product has been shown to help with memory loss and generally improve cognitive ability. It is also considered to be safe to use as long as you follow the recommended daily consumption levels, however, users have experienced mild side effects.

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Fact Checked


This article has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified nutritionist, and only uses information from credible academic sources.