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Tag Archives: Huperzine A

  • Ingredient Explained: Huperzine-A

    Every few months a new ingredient finds its way into the market, makes a bit of a splash, and then quickly disappears into the sunset, never to be seen again.

    Which is why we take notice when a slightly newer supplement not only sticks around for a good chunk of time, but also gets some quality evidence to support its use.

    Supplements like Huperzine-A, for example.

    Step 1: What is it?

    Huperzine-A is a naturally forming compound that is found in two types of moss, being:

    1. Chinese club moss (latin name Huperzia serrata) and;
    2. Fir club moss (latin name Huperzia selago).

    The reason I have indicated that Huperzine-A is relatively new to the supplement game is because it was first identified for medical use by scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the early nineteen-eighties.

    With this in mind, it is much younger than many of the other Chinese herbs commonly used in supplements today. 

    Step 2: What does it do?

    Huperzine-A is classified as an “acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.” 

    Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme found in the body that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine into smaller components (that are then used in the production of other compounds). 

    As such, the consumption of Huperzine-A can stop the breakdown of acetylcholine, leading to higher concentrations of acetylcholine in the body. This is important, because acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that delivers messages throughout the brain, while also impacting your neuromuscular system.

    In the brain it plays a key role in the maintenance of motivation, increasing arousal and attention, enhancing learning and memory retention, and is even involved in facilitating deep sleep states.

    Conversely, within the neuromuscular system, acetylcholine plays an important role in facilitating the contraction of muscles, as well as the dilation of blood vessels, by acting on neurons throughout the body.

    With this in mind, the supplementation of Huperzine-A appears to have some unique benefits.

    Firstly, there is evidence to suggest that its regular supplementation can reduce some of the more severe symptoms associated with Alzhimers and dementia, including memory loss and cognitive function [1].

    Secondly, research has shown that supplementing with Huperzine-A for as little as 4 weeks can improve learning outcomes, as well as improve measures of memory and general mental function [2], suggesting it may have benefits for skill learning.

    Lastly, Huperzine-A has also been shown to increase the power of muscular contractions [3]. This may have the potential to improve training performance in the gym, increasing long-term training outcomes.

    Collectively, these results suggest that this unique supplement may have merit when taken before your workout. 

    Improvements in cognition may improve workout quality, increases in learning capabilities may improve technique efficiency (via enhanced skill development), and boosts in muscular contraction may improve gym performance -- all of which could mean more gains.

    Step 3: How do I take it?

    In the research, Huperzine-A supplementation can range from 50 to 500 micrograms per day. As such, if you are interested in trying it out for yourself, we would suggest starting with a conservative dose of 100-200 micrograms per day and adjusting as needed.

    Research thus far indicates that Huperzine-A does not require food to be taken with food, and can be taken in a fasted state without any issues.

    Lastly, anecdotal reports suggest that there may be merit in cycling Huperzine-A, where it is taken for 4-5 weeks at time, and then broken up with 1-2 week periods where it is not taken at all. This is suggested to maintain tolerance to the compound, ensuring it does not become less effective over time. 

    Step 4: What are the top products?

    If you are keen on purchasing Huperzine-A, there are a couple of things you should look out for. 

    Firstly, check the dosage. Although Huperzine-A is commonly found in pre-workout supplements, it is typically underdosed. As such, you should make sure that your pre-workout contains 100-200 micrograms of Huperzine-A per serve.

    Secondly, stick with reputable brands. Although you might find an amazing deal on Huperzine-A on ebay, there is a genuine risk that it is heavily underdosed, or even contains a completely different (and undisclosed) compound. Stick with brands that provide regular lab tests on their website so you can be sure you are purchasing exactly what you should be.

    Lastly, have a look at online reviews. Make sure that other people have had a good experience with the supplement -- because that means you probably will too.

    And that is how you find the best Huperzine-A containing supplement on the market.

    References:

    1. Li, Jun, et al. "Huperzine A for Alzheimer's disease." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2 (2008).
    2. Sun, Qing-Qi, et al. "Huperzine-A capsules enhance memory and learning performance in 34 pairs of matched adolescent students." Zhongguo yao li xue bao= Acta pharmacologica Sinica 20.7 (1999): 601-603.
    3. Tang, Xi Can, and Yi Fan Han. "Pharmacological profile of huperzine A, a novel acetylcholinesterase inhibitor from Chinese herb." CNS Drug Reviews 5.3 (1999): 281-300.
  • Get a Brain Boost: 4 Ingredients You Need to Improve Cognitive Ability

    Have you ever wished there was a way to focus better when you're learning a new skill or subject?

    What about boosting your memory so you retain more information?

    Need to ditch those pre-test jitters and ensure you're able to set your sights on getting a great grade?

     

    The world of cognitive enhancing has come a long way since science turned its attention to naturally boosting our brain's ability with simple ingredients. Nootropics are a category of supplements that are used to enhance cognitive capability. Not all nootropics can produce results though.

     

    Let's take a look at the top 4 ingredients you need to use to improve your brain power.

     

    1. Ginseng

    Ginseng has been a part of traditional Eastern medicine for thousands of years. Native to eastern Asia with an emphasis on China and Korea, this root is still immensely popular and is a big part of the culture and lifestyle. Ginseng is prescribed by natural and holistic doctors for ailments such as high stress, loss of libido, and overall wellbeing. Ginseng is also recommended as a cognitive booster. Studies suggest that ginseng is able to improve memory. (1)

     

    Check out our complete collection of Ginseng here.

     

    1. Taurine

    If you're a fan of Red Bull or other popular energy drinks, then there's a good chance you are familiar with Taurine.

     

    Taurine is an amino acid that is found primarily in energy focused drinks and supplements. For example, Taurine is most often found within pre-workout supplements as studies suggest it may support athletic performance.

     

    Taurine is also a popular nootropic as it was found to positively impact attention, focus, and cognitive ability. These effects were increased when Taurine was taken along with caffeine. (2)

     

    Here's our complete collection of Taurine supplements.

     

    1. Phenibut

    Like Taurine, Phenibut can also be found in a number of workout supplements but its benefits lie in that it's used as a way to alleviate anxiety and paranoia. This is a common night time supplement as it helps you relax. Phenibut is a useful nootropic as it may help you calm down before a big event or test. It's also suggested to support memory and information retention. (3)

     

    Click here to check out our number one Phenibut supplement.

     

    1. Huperzine A

    The most trusted nootropic ingredient on the market is Huperzine A. This compound was the subject of a number of cognitive boosting studies, revealing it to be a powerful way to improve memory and brain power. Studies suggest that using Huperzine A may increase memory, focus, and information re-call. You'll find Huperzine A as a standalone supplement or used in conjunction with other nootropic ingredients (such as the ones on this list).

     

    Want a high-quality supplement with Huperzine A? Click here to check out our best sellers featuring Huperzine A.

     

    References

    1. Hye-Bin Yeo, Ho-Kyoung Yoon, Heon-Jeong Lee, Seung-Gul Kang, Ki-Young Jung, and Leen Kim. Effects of Korean Red Ginseng on Cognitive and Motor Function: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial. J Ginseng Res. 2012 Apr; 36(2): 190–197. doi: 10.5142/jgr.2012.36.2.190.
    1. Seidl R, Peyrl A, Nicham R, Hauser E. A taurine and caffeine-containing drink stimulates cognitive performance and well-being. Amino Acids. 2000;19(3-4):635-42.
    1. Lapin I. Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drug. CNS Drug Rev. 2001 Winter;7(4):471-81.
    1. Sun QQ1, Xu SS, Pan JL, Guo HM, Cao WQ. Huperzine-A capsules enhance memory and learning performance in 34 pairs of matched adolescent students. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1999 Jul;20(7):601-3.
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