Study: Ginkgo biloba doesn’t protect brain from cognitive decline

December 31, 2009 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Study: Ginkgo biloba doesn’t protect brain from cognitive decline

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh are making waves this week after their latest study, the largest trial of its kind to date, revealed no link between ginkgo biloba and protection from age-related cognitive decline.

Ginkgo biloba is a popular herb that many people take to help boost memory and ward off age-related cognitive decline, such as dementia.

Researchers analyzed data from the Ginkgo Evaluation Memory (GEM) study to examine the effects of the herbal supplement on cognitive function.  The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial included over 3000 adults between the ages of 72 and 96 who had either normal or mild cognitive impairment at the start of the study.  Study participants received either a twice-daily dose of ginkgo biloba extract or a placebo.   

After an average follow up period of six years, researchers found no evidence that ginkgo biloba protected the brain from cognitive decline, including memory, language or attention.

The study findings are published in the December 23/30 2009 issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

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