Ginkgo Biloba Extract Information
Ginkgo biloba extract is a natural product that has been studied as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other conditions. In 1997, researchers at the New York Institute for Medical Research conducted the first clinical study of ginkgo biloba extract and dementia in the United States. These scientists examined how taking 120 mg a day of a ginkgo biloba extract affected the rate of cognitive decline in people with mild to moderately severe dementia due to Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. At the end of the study, they reported a small treatment difference in people given the ginkgo biloba extract.
Ginkgo biloba, a readily available natural product, has been the focus of recent media reports as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Although a 1997 study in the United States suggests that a ginkgo extract may be of some help in treating the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, there is no evidence that ginkgo biloba will cure or prevent Alzheimer's disease.
In addition, some recent case studies imply that daily use of ginkgo biloba extract may cause side effects such as excessive bleeding, especially when combined with daily use of aspirin. More research is needed before scientists will know whether and how ginkgo biloba extract benefits people.
For centuries, ginkgo biloba extract from the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree have been used as Chinese herbal medicine to treat a variety of medical conditions. In Europe and some Asian countries, standardized ginkgo biloba extract from ginkgo leaves are taken to treat a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Memory impairment
- Reduced blood flow to the brain and other areas of impaired circulation.
Because ginkgo biloba extract is an antioxidant, some claims have been made that it can be used to prevent damage caused by free radicals (harmful oxygen molecules). Although Germany recently approved ginkgo biloba extract (240 mg a day) to treat Alzheimer's disease, there is not enough information to recommend its broad use.