Can Clubmoss Supplementation Improve Your Memory
By Tyler Woodward
- What Is Clubmoss
- Benefits Of Clubmoss Supplementation
- How Clubmoss Works
- How To Supplement With Clubmoss
What Is Clubmoss:
Clubmoss is a very common type of green moss that grows throughout the world including both North America, Asia, and Europe. Clubmoss is also known as Toothed Clubmoss, Chinese Club moss, or Huperzia Serrata. Clubmoss has been used for thousands of years for everything from pyrotechnics to premenstrual symptoms and even alzheimer’s †.
Benefits Of Clubmoss Supplementation:
The main bioactive ingredient in Toothed Clubmoss is believed to be Huperzine A. Huperzine has been proposed to have a number of benefits in the body including:
- May Help To Improve Memory In Alzheimer Patients
- Protective Against Over-excitation In The Neurons
- May Act As An Antioxidant
How Clubmoss Works:
Huperzine A is a type of alkaloid chemical that has been isolated from the clubmoss plant and has a potent amount of chemical properties in the body.
- Acts as an Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor - Acetylcholine is a type of excitatory neurotransmitter meaning that it causes the cell to “excite” allowing for the cell to contract or release a neurotransmitter through its synapse. A few studies have shown that huperzine A is capable of reversibly binding to the acetylcholinesterase, the protein that is responsible for breaking down acetylcholine from the synaptic cleft. This helps to increase the amount of acetylcholine present in the brain. In alzheimer’s disease there is an insubstantial amount of acetylcholine production, so some scientists believe that huperzine A’s effects as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor may be responsible for its beneficial effects in treating alzheimer’s.
- Attenuate Beta-Amyloid Plaque Toxicity - Another characteristic of Alzheimer's disease is the formation of the beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. This is basically what it sounds like and forms a gray plaque in the brain that may contribute to the suffocation of surrounding brain cells over time. Huperzine A may be able to decrease the formation or toxicity of the beta-amyloid plaque which may be as a byproduct of its acetylcholinesterase inhibitory properties.
- Protects Against Glutamate Induced Neurotoxicity - Glutamate is a type of excitatory neurotransmitter that can build up in the brain cells if the cells are not capable of relaxing. The overstimulation of glutamate brings excess calcium into the cell which must be excreted or can cause calcification (hardening of calcium deposits) within the cell. Huperzine A binds to the NMDA receptors like glutamate and can help to prevent overexcitation by preventing excess glutamate from entering the cell.
- Free Radical Scavenger - Another characteristic of Alzheimer’s is excess oxidative stress building up in the brain as a result of too many free radicals. Huperzine A can act as a free radical scavenger helping to stop further oxidative stress from occurring in the brain cells and preventing additional inflammation from occurring.
How To Supplement With Clubmoss:
There is not a lot of human clinical trial data on clubmoss supplementation, so there is not yet an established recommended dose for its benefits. Additionally, the amount of clubmoss required will depend on your desired outcome. Current supplements primarily just use huperzine-a and have anywhere from 5mg of huperzine-a as an adjunct to 200mg as a standalone supplement. So dosing is relatively unknown, but make sure to get a high-quality supplement from a reputable source to make sure it’s not filled with impurities.
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