Does Ginkgo Biloba Work or Doesn't It?

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According to the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study, ginkgo biloba may not be effective in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s when taken later in life. The research, which hit mainstream news today, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health). The study reported that taking 120 mg of ginkgo extract twice daily for seven years didn’t effect memory, attention, and other signs of cognitive decline in 3,000 study participants ages 72 to 96. The Council for Responsible Nutrition refuted the study findings, releasing this statement:

“It is important to put this study into context and to remember that there is a large body of previously published evidence, which suggests that Ginkgo biloba may help improve cognitive impairment in older adults. There are also additional ongoing clinical trials, the results of which may address some of the limitations of the current study. The results of this single study add to the overall data on Ginkgo biloba, including valuable evidence in support of Ginkgo’s safety profile, but should not be viewed as the final word. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that Ginkgo biloba can be used to improve blood circulation and reduce oxidative stress, two risk factors associated with the progression of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Ginkgo, the eighth most sought after herb and botanical in the US, has been found in other studies to benefit sexual health and circulation.