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Cathy Wong, ND

Fighting Alzheimer's Disease with Huperzine A

By April 16, 2012

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Sourced from Chinese club moss, huperzine A is sometimes touted as a natural treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Available in tea and supplement form, huperzine A has been found to fight the buildup of amyloid beta (a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease) in several laboratory studies.

But while preliminary research suggests that huperzine A shows promise for Alzheimer's treatment, clinical trials on huperzine A are somewhat lacking. What's more, a study published last year in the journal Neurology found that 16 weeks of treatment with huperzine A failed to improve cognitive function in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

To reduce your Alzheimer's risk, it's important to follow a diet high in antioxidant-rich in fruits and vegetables, exercise on a regular basis, and keep mentally and socially active as you age. Some studies show that increasing your intake of curcumin (a compound found in the curry spice turmeric) may also protect against Alzheimer's disease. Read the article: Huperzine A - What You Need to Know.

Comments
August 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm
(1) Robin says:

One important thing to keep in mind when taking a natural treatment route: Antioxidants have been found to adversely affect cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. A study on a combined treatment of vitamin E, vitamin C, ALA, and CoQs found those taking the the mixture had a “significantly greater cognitive decline and showed a trend toward greater functional deterioration” than those in the placebo group. The study stemmed from the idea antioxidants might be useful in Alzheimer’s treatment.

In short, the antioxidant group was actually hurt by the supplements. It is important one doesn’t run around taking vitamin supplements on the theory it “can’t hurt.”

http://psychiatry.jwatch.org/cgi/content/full/2012/423/2

Also, while the Alzheimer group on Huperzine A at 200μg failed to show improvement, the 400μg group showed positive results.

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