Ginkgo biloba extract is collected from the gingko biloba tree, also known as the maidenhair tree. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and is one of the most popular herbal supplements in use today. It has been the subject of studies on whether or not it can help you with your overall memory, and has been touted as an antioxidant that helps prevent memory loss and dementia. But how effective is it?
A 2008 study at Oregon State University followed 118 healthy patients of at least 85 years of age with no signs of memory loss, for three years. Half of them took the ginkgo biloba supplement and the other half were in the placebo group. After an analysis of the data over three years, focusing on the people who took the gingko biloba extract regularly, they found that these people had a 70% lower chance of developing dementia. In 2010, German researchers analyzed data from multiple studies to determine that the worsening of memory loss or the worsening Alzheimer’s disease was going to be less likely for people consuming the ginkgo biloba supplement compared to people in studies that were taking a placebo.
So there are some studies out there to suggest gingko biloba can help lessen the likelihood of dementia and Alzheimer’s development in the cases of older consumers, but what about for younger healthy adults? Well according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, they stated that the supplement is currently widely used in Europe, and that doctors started to use it because they believe it can improve blood flow to the brain. The benefits of this may include improved thinking and overall memory health, improved social interactions, and an overall better ability to perform daily tasks and actions!
However, while there are many studies and cases that suggest gingko biloba can help with overall memory health, it is still an herbal supplement and can have its risks. As always, talk with your doctor or physician before starting to take any herbal supplements!