Monday, 24 September 2012

Taking Ginkgo Biloba Does Not Improve Memory

Ginkgo Biloba leaves,
courtesy of James Field
Ginkgo Biloba has been widely used for a number of years to reduce the mental decline associated with aging and also to protect against developing Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a popular remedy having been used extensively in traditional Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years.  More recently, it has been marketed as a memory-enhancing supplement for healthy individuals – but are these claims valid?

Recently published research has shown that taking Ginkgo Biloba supplements does not help protect against developing Alzheimer’s nor does it help improve memory problems associated with Multiple Sclerosis - but does taking it have any impact at all for healthy people?

Researchers led by Professor Keith Laws, from the School of Life and Medical Sciences, have found that taking the Ginkgo Biloba supplements did not improve memory, attention or problem solving in healthy individuals. In fact, it had zero impact on the cognitive functions whatever the age of the people, the dose taken or the length of time of taking them. So taking Ginkgo Biloba supplements at any age to boost memory have no impact at all – and may be a waste of time and money.

The paper, “Is Ginkgo Biloba a cognitive enhancer in healthy individuals? A meta-analysis” (published in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental) examined the published research of thirteen randomised control trials of over 1000 healthy individuals across all ages.

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