Views:9 Author:golden horizon biologics Publish Time: 2016-01-26 Origin:Site
Huperzine A is a substance extracted from a plant called Chinese club moss (Huperzia serrata). In traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese club moss has long been used to reduce inflammation and to sharpen memory. Sold as a dietary supplement, huperzine A is typically touted as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
Uses for Huperzine A
Used in alternative medicine, huperzine A has been found to act as a cholinesterase inhibitor, a type of medicine used to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine (a chemical essential to learning and memory). Not only used as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, huperzine A is also said to enhance learning and memory and to protect against age-related cognitive decline. In addition, huperzine A is sometimes used to boost energy, increase alertness, and aid in the treatment of myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disorder that affects the muscles).
Benefits of Huperzine A
While research on the health effects of huperzine A is limited, there's some evidence that huperzine A may offer certain benefits. Here's a look at some key findings from the available research:
1) Alzheimer's Disease
Huperzine A appears to be of some benefit to people with Alzheimer's disease, according to a 2008 research review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
For the review, researchers searched for all randomized controlled trials on the efficacy and safety of huperzine A for Alzheimer's disease. In their analysis of the six available trials (which included a total of 454 patients), the researchers found that huperzine A was more effective than placebo in terms of its effects on cognitive function, behavioral disturbance, and functional performance.
However, the authors of the report caution that only one trial included in the review was "of adequate quality and size." Therefore, the authors note that there is "inadequate evidence to make any recommendation" about the use of huperzine A for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
2) Memory Enhancement
Very few studies have tested the use of huperzine A for memory enhancement. However, an older, small study published in the Chinese journal Acta Pharmacologica Sinica in 1999 found that huperzine A helped improve memory and learning in a group of adolescent students.
For the study, 68 junior high students (all of whom complained of memory inadequacy) were given either huperzine A or a placebo every day for four weeks. By the study's end, members of the huperzine A group showed greater improvements in learning and memory (compared to members of the placebo group).
More research is needed before huperzine A can be recommended for memory enhancement.
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