This Chinese moss has been used for centuries as a memory enhancer. A growing number of studies are suggesting that it improves memory by protecting the learning neurotransmitter Acetylcholine from being degraded.
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A Chinese moss studied to improve memory by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine.
Huperzine-A is a naturally occurring compound found in a Chinese moss. Human studies of Huperzine-A are limited, but have shown significantly positive results on memory.
Like the Choline supplements Alpha GPC and CDP Choline, Huperzine-A is seen to benefit memory by increasing levels of the learning neurotransmitter Acetylcholine.
However, unlike typical Choline supplements, Huperzine-A does not cause production of Acetylcholine to increase. Instead, it works by inhibiting (severely limiting) the enzyme which degrades Acetylcholine after it has been produced.
Ideally, you want to already be taking a proven Choline supplement like Alpha GPC and CDP Choline to maximise your Acetylcholine production. The best way to take Huperzine-A is to cycle it on and off, ontop of your existing Choline regimen.
Actions: Inhibits the enzyme that breaks down the learning neurotransmitter Acetylcholine,
Who should take it: Students, professors, anybody that needs better long-term memory.
Quality of studies:Placebo-controlled human trials have been promising showing "significant" memory improvements, but are limited due to poor methodological quality (high risk of bias).
Time to effect: Improvements memory recall have been studied to occur after 8 weeks.
Combines well with:Choline supplements e.g. Alpha GPC or CDP Choline (note: because Huperzine-A stops Acetylcholine from breaking down, you also want to halve your Choline supplement dose on days when you take Huperzine-A)
Recommended dose: 225mcg (1 tablet) on workdays
Cycling: For every month of Huperzine-A, take 1 week off.
Studies on Memory:
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 20 randomized clinical trials concluded that "Huperzine A appears to have beneficial effects on improvement of cognitive function".
The review found that these 20 trials, which included 1,823 human volunteers, suggested that "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."
It is worth noting that the review also warned that "the findings should be interpreted with caution due to the poor methodological quality of the included trials" which "had a high risk of bias".
While we wait for more reliable human studies of Huperzine-A to be published, it's worth noting that its mechanics as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor are proven, and that increased levels of Acetylcholine are associated with better memory function.
A placebo-controlled study of 68 students concluded that Huperzine-A improved memory and learning performance. (Xiaoshan Mental Hospital - link to study)
A review of 20 randomized clinical trials with 1,823 human participants concluded that "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". It does however warn that "the findings should be interpreted with caution due to the poor methodological quality of the included trials." (Beijing University of Chinese Medicine - link to study)
Instructions on How to Take Huperzine-A:
Recommended dose: We recommend taking 225mcg of Huperzine-A (1 tablet) on workdays.
Since Huperzine-A works to increase Acetylcholine levels, you also want to halve your Choline supplement dose on days when you take Huperzine-A. e.g. Instead of taking 500mg Alpha GPC, take 250mg Alpha GPC + 225mcg of Huperzine-A.
Knowing your limit: Too much Acetylcholine has been reported to cause brain-fog and nausea. If you find this to be the case, lower the amount of Choline you are taking or take a longer time off Huperzine-A during your cycles.
Cycling: For every month of Huperzine-A use, take 1 week off.
What combines well with Huperzine-A?
Choline Supplements: Alpha GPC and CDP Choline are the two most popular Choline supplements, which work to increase the production of the learning neurotransmitter Acetylcholine. Combining Huperzine-A with a Choline supplement is a good way of ensuring that the Acetylcholine produced is not broken down as easily as it would normally be.
As mentioned before, it's important to halve your Choline supplement dose when taking Huperzine-A to avoid too much Acetylcholine from being produced.
Uridine Monophosphate: Uridine has a synergistic relationship with Acetylcholine supplements. It has been studied to "amplify" the functionality of Acetylcholine, as well as help with brain-development. We sell Uridine.
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