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Huperzine A – the substance is an alkaloid that occurs in nature mainly in the plant Huperzia serrata, and plants of the spikemoss family. It has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier efficiently. Its main function is inhibiting the activity of the enzyme that reversibly breaks down acetylcholine – acetylcholinesterase, especially its isoform G4. Huperzine binds with the enzyme even though it is not structurally similar to acetylcholine, and the mechanism of its activity is similar to that of drugs used for Alzheimer’s disease, such as rivastigmine or donepezil. Thanks to that, they increase the concentration of the neurotransmitter and the chance to obtain more benefits from its presence.
Huperzine appears in the blood as soon as 15 minutes after consumption, and a spike occurs after more or less 70 minutes; therefore, it is an agent whose activity can be experienced rather quickly. Its duration is estimated at about 12 hours, so a single dose can enhance the functioning of the organism for the entire day.
Role of acetylcholine
Acetylcholine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the human organism. Its main activity is believed to be memory and analytical skills improvement. It should be mentioned, however, that the range of its effect is a bit wider. There are two types of receptors in the cholinergic system – nicotinic and muscarinic receptors.
There are five types of muscarinic receptors, and they are localised, among other places, in the stomach, the heart, salivary glands, the bladder, and the bowel. With their help, acetylcholine affects digestion quality, the gastrointestinal tract peristalsis, and all the functions of the parasympathetic system.
The other type of receptors, nicotinic receptors, are active in a different way. Not very surprisingly, part of the beneficial effects of nicotine on cognitive functions stems from its ability to activate those receptors (most of them). Their activation is connected with the positive effect on memory processes and skeletal muscle contractions.
Acetylcholine’s general properties are as follows: it enhances short-and long-term memory, improves analytical skills and concentration, initiates the contractions of skeletal muscles, bronchial smooth muscles, and the urethral and intestinal sphincters, reduces blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, regulating the constriction of the pupil, stimulating the secretory function of some glands, slowing down heart rate.
Neuroprotective properties of huperzine
The alkaloid can not only support the functioning of the brain, but also protect it from degeneration to some extent, which allows us to enjoy its high performance for longer. Huperzine can potentially protect neurons from the excitotoxicity of glutamate, from the toxicity caused by hydrogen peroxide, and from beta-amyloids, as well as reduce inflammations by inhibiting NF-kB. The last property is one of the reasons why huperzine A is commonly used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, which is associated with low acetylcholine levels and very characteristic memory loss.
A beneficial effect has been reported of using supplements with the alkaloid on the cognitive functions of people struggling with depression. That can be particularly helpful during therapy, as supporting cognitive functions and improving the processes of creating memories can efficiently aid the therapy by allowing the sick person to develop new, better habits. Scientists have also noted beneficial effects of huperzine in treating rats with epilepsy, in which the frequency of attacks decreased. Another interesting fact is that it can help to repair brain damage induced by sepsis.
Some scientific reports suggest huperzine’s potential influence on supporting the process of neurogenesis by stimulating the proliferation of stem cells in the hippocampus, which is especially active in creating memories.
In this area, the afore-mentioned influence of activated nicotinic receptors on the strength of muscle contractions is very significant, as it makes it possible to manage weights during training more efficiently. That is why huperzine can be found in the content of many pre-workout supplements on the American market.
Apart from its effect on the cholinergic system, huperzine A (as well as its isomer huperzine B and other acetylcholinesterase inhibitors) exhibits the ability to inhibit the NMDA receptors of the glutamatergic system as well. NMDA inhibitors have a very interesting property, that is the ability to support the fight against various addictions and to restore the sensitivity of the nervous system to the activity of stimulants.
Huperzine A is recommended particularly for people who are forced to assimilate large amounts of information, for example during an exam session. Its activity is the most tangible in people who struggle with the symptoms of low acetylcholine levels. Sportspeople can also experience some benefits when using it before workout thanks to the substance’s influence on the process of muscle contraction and the improvement of some blood test parameters.
Huperzine A proves fantastic in times when you have to assimilate a lot if information, for example during an exam session or more intensive trainings. Because of its long duration, there is no need to split the daily dosage into several portions, you can take the whole dose at one time. The substance’s water-solubility suggests that there is also no need to take huperzine with a meal, it should be absorbed just as efficiently on an empty stomach.
Basing on the rule of the minimum efficient dosage, it is good to start supplementation from one capsule a day and observe the visible effects; then, if there is a need, the dosage can be doubled. Higher doses should be consulted with a doctor, as they are usually used for a specific purpose, like treating Alzheimer’s disease or supporting the fight against addictions. The duration of supplementation is not specified. In times of greater demand, it is good to use it regularly but using it only when needed is also efficient.
In order to support the functioning of muscles and improve physical shape, it is recommended to take it 30-60 minutes before a planned activity. An interesting application is also using a standard dose of huperzine in the evening in order to intensify your dreams; however, it is unadvised to do it regularly.
Apollo’s Hegemony is a manufacturer of dietary supplements whose composition is based on the latest scientific research and experience. The company is constantly expanding its range of products and taking care that they are of top quality.
It offers formulations which have multiple effects on the body and those with more targeted effects – e.g. boosting alertness and focus, increasing the tolerance to stress, promoting peaceful sleep and maintaining the health of the liver and adrenal glands.
Dietary supplements by Apollo’s Hegemony are effective owing to carefully selected composition which comprises the most potent forms and their precise doses. What is more, herbal supplements contain standardised extracts.
All products of this brand comply with good manufacturing practices (GMP) and their ingredients are vegan and vegetarian friendly.
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Bulking substance - maltodextrin.
The product has not been tested for substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Huperzine A - an alkaloid of plant origin having the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, it is a negative catalyst for the degradation of acetylcholine, that improves nerve conduction and having a significant impact on the concentration, cognition and memory. It helps mitigate the effects of oxidative stress, and prevents the depressions, has neuroprotective actions improving well-being. In the sports supplementation it is recommended at pre-workout, pre-effort and during workouts in order to improve concentration, as an component of advanced creatine stack, no-boosters as well as herbal remedies that improve mood.
Huperzia serrata - a plant family Huperziaceae occurring in the Far and Middle East. It is a source of huperzine A - an alkaloid having the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, which is a negative catalyst for the degradation of acetylcholine, that improves nerve conduction and having a significant impact on the concentration, cognition and memory. It helps to mitigate the effects of oxidative stress, and prevents the depressions, has neuroprotective actions improving well-being.. In the sports supplementation it is recommended at pre-workout, pre-effort and during workouts in order to improve concentration, as an component of advanced creatine stack, no-boosters as well as herbal remedies that improve mood.
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