This post contains a wide range of links to informative pages concerning the effect of Ginkgo Biloba on the human organism. Headlines link to overview LEF.org articles on subject. Other links are all PubMed related.
Update (2009-06-25): It should be noted that the below summarized micro trials contrasts in bad way with the latest larger scale Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Study that shows NO effect whatsoever on older individuals in regards to prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Still, it is worth noting that a European equivalent of the American GEM study is currently being conducted in France: the GuidAge study final results are set to come out in 2010. If a major difference is found this is probably down to the use of clinical grade EGb 761 in the French study versus the commercial grade Ginkgold Max (Nature’s Way) used in the American study. This posting will be updated when the results are out.
Excerpt: “A study published in 2003 concluded that ginkgo extract improves the general mental health and quality of life of elderly adults with normal cognitive function (Cieza A et al. Effects of Gink- go biloba on mental functioning in healthy volunteers. Arch Med Res. 2003 Sep;34(5):373-81.). Sixty-six healthy volunteers aged 50-65 participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that evaluated ginkgo extract’s effect on mental functioning. The participants took 240 mg of ginkgo extract or a placebo daily for four weeks. At baseline … the characteristics … in the placebo group and ginkgo extract group were similar … subjects who took ginkgo extract saw significant improvements in their self-perceived mental health and quality of life. Participants who took ginkgo extract performed markedly better on action and reaction tests, and also reported improved mood, providing further evidence of the efficacy of ginkgo extract.” Also: “…review underscores the potential benefits of Ginkgo biloba in cardiovascular diseases”. Lastly, Ginkgo seems an overall neuroprotecter: “Substantial experimental evidence indicates that EGb761 has neuroprotective potency”
Excerpt: “Ginkgetin, a biflavone from Ginkgo biloba leaves, was previously reported to be a phospholipase A2 inhibitor and this compound showed the potent antiarthritic activity”. Even better: “Ginkgetin (10-20 mg/kg/day) strongly reduced arthritic inflammation in an animal model of rat adjuvant-induced arthritis (86% inhibition at 16 days at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day) via intraperitoneal injection, while prednisolone (5 mg/kg/day) showed 79% reduction.”, ergo, it shows better result than the stuff people are injected with once it gets really bad (while at the same time, very unlike prednisolone, protecting cells in the rest of the organism). Of relative interest is also a study showing that Ginkgo works in concert with other NSAIDs: “Results suggest that GbE may be of clinical value as an anti inflammatory and analgesic drug alone or in conjunction with NSAIDs”
Excerpt: “… there is scientific support for memory enhancement even in young healthy people. Following just a single dose of 600 mg of ginkgo extract, a significant memory improvement was demonstrated in a randomized, double-blind, crossover study using Sternberg’s memory scanning test. The effect lasted for several hours (Subhan et al. 1984). In [a] randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled crossover study, 31 volunteers aged 30-59 years were given multiple doses of 50 or 100 mg; a single dose of 120 or 300 mg; or placebo during the day of testing. A psychometric test battery was administered before the first dose and at frequent intervals during the day until 11 hours after the last dose … effect of ginkgo in healthy volunteers was most evident with the 120-mg dose; more apparent in the oldest age group of 50-59 years; and [most] pronounced for short-term memory … (Rigney et al. 1999).”
Excerpt: “An unexpected finding occurred in a study published in Physiology & Behavior (1998, Vol 63, No 3 pp-425-433). The study was designed to … assess cognitive function. What surprised the scientists, however, was the rats administered ginkgo lived a mean of 31 months compared to 26.4 months in the placebo group. In human equivalency terms, these results indicate that ginkgo could extend life span by 11 years. The scientists who conducted this study went into quite a bit of detail to explain why ginkgo may have produced this unexpected longevity benefit, and suggested that life span studies on ginkgo extract be initiated to confirm these initial results.”
That’s all. More Health Summary Postings are to follow and are to be updated on running basis as new findings come along.