Ginkgo Biloba
(Memory and Nutrition)

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Ginko and: General Asthma Other Memory

Acidophilus Alpha Lipoic Antioxidants Beta Carotene

Bioflavonoids Co–Q10 GLA Ginkgo

Glucosamine Magnesium Omega-3 Selenium

Soy Protein Vitamin B Antibiotics Iatrogenic

Conditions That Respond Alternative Medicine Approaches to Disease

Ginkgo biloba Articles

The Vinpocetine Page
Although vinpocetine has been traditionally used in post-stroke patients, evidence suggests that it has dramatic effects on memory.

What is Ginkgo biloba?
A nice review by students from the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy

Industry Calls for Scientific Review of Ginkgo Research
Natural Foods Merchandiser (October 2002)

In late August 2002, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found that Ginkgo biloba does not enhance memory or improve cognitive function. Previous research has indicated that the botanical improves cognitive function and memory in elderly individuals with mild to moderate mental impairment. Another six-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of ginkgo that was published in August in The Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental found that the herb did improve memory, attention and cognitive clarity in adults with normal mental function. However in this study, participants took 60 mg more of ginkgo each day than in the JAMA study.

Gingko Biloba: Herbal/Drug Interactions
Ginkgo biloba may interact with blood-thinning compounds such as heparin, aspirin, or warfarin, known by the brand name, Coumadin. Ginkgo biloba may intensify anti-clotting effects of drugs because it, too, has anti-clotting properties.


Asthma and Ginkgo

Summative Interaction Between Astaxanthin, Ginkgo biloba Extract
(EGb761) and Vitamin C in Suppression of Respiratory Inflammation:
A Comparison With Ibuprofen

Phytother Res. 2011 (Jan);   25 (1):   128–136

In conclusion, EGb761, ASX and vitamin C are shown here to interact summatively to suppress inflammation with efficacy equal to or better than ibuprofen, a widely used non-steroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID). Such combinations of non-toxic phytochemicals constitute powerful tools for the prevention of onset of acute and chronic inflammatory disease if consumed regularly by healthy individuals; and may also augment the effectiveness of therapy for those with established illness.

Inhibitory Effect of the Leaf Extract of Ginkgo biloba L. on
Oxidative Stress–induced Platelet Aggregation

Biochem Mol Biol Int 1998 (Dec);   46 (6):   1243–1248

Ginkgolides A, B and C inhibited platelet-activating factor-induced aggregation, but not oxidant–induced aggregation. These data suggest that the suppressive effect of the extract is specific on platelet aggregation stimulated by oxidative stress, and that this effect is involved in the mechanism related to its protective effect upon cerebral or myocardial injuries.

Research Perspectives in Asthma:
A Rationale For The Therapeutic Application of Magnesium, Pyridoxine, Coleus forskholii
and Ginkgo biloba in the Treatment of Adult and Pediatric Asthma

The Internist 1998 (Sept);    5 (3):   14–16

Thanks to the American Chiropratic Association's Council On Family Practice for their permission to reprint this article exclusively at Chiro.Org! You may review other articles on Chiropractic and Asthma in our Research Section.

Ginkgo Biloba Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Feb);   3 (1):   54–57 ~ FULL TEXT

Ginkgo biloba is an antioxidant with the ability to reduce clastogenic activity of the plasma. Ginkgo extracts are capable, in vitro, of scavenging various reactive oxygen species, and inhibiting or reducing the functional and morphological impairments observed after lipoperoxide release. It is possible that a large part of its anti-ischemic effect involves an inhibition of free radical formation.

Ginkgolides Antagonizing Some Effects of Platelet-activating Factor in Vitro
Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 1995 (Oct);   15 (10):   606-8

When the platelets were pre-incubated with ginkgolides for 10 minutes in Tris-Tyrode's buffered saline, effects of the PAF and platelets mixture were significantly inhibited (P < 0.01). Exposure of guinea pigs' bronchus to platelet-activating factor (PAF) in vitro resulted in a loss of beta-adrenergic receptors and responses to isoproterenol, and this effect of PAF was prevented by prior incubation of the guinea pigs' bronchus with ginkgolides (P < 0.05). The results showed ginkgolides were a potent PAF antagonist.


Alzheimer's Dementia, Brain Function, Memory, and Ginkgo

Alleviating Neuropsychiatric Symptoms In Dementia: The Effects of Ginkgo biloba
Extract EGb 761. Findings From a Randomized Controlled Trial

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2011;   7:   209-215

In this randomized, controlled, double-blind, multicenter clinical trial, researchers investigated the effects of gingko biloba extract in patients with dementia. The study included 410 patients with mild to moderate dementia who were randomized to receive either 240 mg of a gingko biloba extract (EGb 761) or placebo for 24 weeks. The results revealed that treatment with the ginkgo biloba extract appears to improve neuropsychiatry symptoms in patients with dementia. Significant improvements were seen in the symptoms of apathy/indifference, sleep/night-time behavior, irritability/lability, depression/dysphoria and aberrant motor behavior. It was also found that the caregivers’ stress evaluation showed similar improvements. These findings suggest that gingko biloba extract is a safe and effective treatment option to reduce behavioral and psychiatric symptoms in patients with mild to moderate dementia.

Ginkgo biloba Extract EGb761 Protects Against Mitochondrial Dysfunction in
Platelets and Hippocampi in Ovariectomized Rats

Platelets 2010 (Feb);   21 (1):   53-9

Ginkgo biloba seems to protect against post-menopausal degenerative brain disease through it's protective effects on the mitochondria. Estrogen withdrawal seems to accelerate the decline of mitochondria populations within the brain, and in this study, Ginkgo was shown to protect against that.

Ginkgo biloba and Alzheimer's Dementia
Phytomedicine 2000 (Jan);   6 (6):   393–401

Second–generation cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, rivastigmine, metrifonate) and Ginkgo special extract EGb 761 should be considered equally effective in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia.

The Effects of Acute Doses of Standardized Ginkgo Biloba Extract on Memory and
Psychomotor Performance in Volunteers

Phytother Res 1999 (Aug 13);   (5):   408–15

The results confirm that the effects of GBE extract on aspects of cognition in asymptomatic volunteers are more pronounced for memory, particularly working memory. They also show that these effects may be dose dependent though not in a linear dose related manner, and that GBE 120 mg produces the most evident effects of the doses examined. Additionally, the results suggest that the cognitive enhancing effects of GBE are more likely to be apparent in individuals aged 50-59 years.

A Review of Nutrients and Botanicals in the Integrative Management
of Cognitive Dysfunction

Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Jun); 4 (3): 144–161 ~ FULL TEXT

Dementias and other severe cognitive dysfunction states pose a daunting challenge to existing medical management strategies. An integrative, early intervention approach seems warranted. Whereas, allopathic treatment options are highly limited, nutritional and botanical therapies are available which have proven degrees of efficacy and generally favorable benefit-to-risk profiles. Vinpocetine, found in the lesser periwinkle Vinca minor, is an excellent vasodilator and cerebral metabolic enhancer with proven benefits for vascular-based cognitive dysfunction.

The Efficacy of Ginkgo biloba on Cognitive Function in Alzheimer Disease
Arch Neurol 1998 (Nov);   55 (11):   1409–15

Based on a quantitative analysis of the literature there is a small but significant effect of 3- to 6-month treatment with 120 to 240 mg of G. biloba extract on objective measures of cognitive function in AD. The drug has not had significant adverse effects in formal clinical trials but there are 2 case reports of bleeding complications. In AD, there are limited and inconsistent data that preclude determining if there are effects on noncognitive behavioral and functional measures as well as on clinician's global rating scales. Further research in the area will need to determine if there are functional improvements and to determine the best dosage. Additional research will be needed to define which ingredients in the ginkgo extract are producing its effect in individuals with AD.

Therapeutic Value of Ginkgo Biloba in Reducing Symptoms
of Decline in Mental Function

J Pharm Pharmacol 1999 (May); 51 (5): 535–41

The Chinese tree Ginkgo biloba or "maiden hair tree" is extensively cultivated for the exploitation of the medicinal properties of its leaves. From these, a well-defined extract designated "EGb 761" has been developed, which was commercialized initially as Tanakan, Tebonin and Rokin; a similar product, Kaveri (LI 3170), also exists. The major therapeutic applications for these products are "cerebral insufficiency", other cerebral disorders, neurosensory problems and peripheral circulatory disturbances.

Ginkgo Biloba Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Feb); 3 (1): 54–57 ~ FULL TEXT

Ginkgo biloba is an antioxidant with the ability to reduce clastogenic activity of the plasma. Ginkgo extracts are capable, in vitro, of scavenging various reactive oxygen species, and inhibiting or reducing the functional and morphological impairments observed after lipoperoxide release. It is possible that a large part of its anti-ischemic effect involves an inhibition of free radical formation.

The Pharmacological Effects of Ginkgo biloba, a Plant Extract,
on the Brain of Dementia Patients in Comparison with Tacrine

Psychopharmacol Bull 1998; 34 (3): 391–397

In 1994, a standardized dry extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves (SeGb), has been approved by German health authorities for the treatment of primary degenerative dementia and vascular dementia. More than 24 different brands of Ginkgo biloba extract are sold in the United States. Tacrine, also known as tetrahydroaminoacrine (THA), and donepezil are currently the only drugs approved in the United States for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Ginkgo Biloba Extract: A Review
Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (Nov); 1 (4): 236–242 ~ FULL TEXT

Extracts of the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree (ginkgo) have been used in China for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Research performed during the past fifteen years suggests that ginkgo may be of value in the treatment of age-related physical and mental deterioration, dementia, peripheral vascular disease, and organic impotence. Ginkgo may also reduce the severity of depression in individuals with cerebral dysfunction. Preliminary or uncontrolled studies suggest that ginkgo may benefit some patients suffering from tinnitus, vertigo, acute cochlear deafness, macular degeneration, cyclic edema, and asthma.

Ginkgo Proves Effective Against Alzheimer's Dementia
Nutrition Science News

There is reason for celebration among proponents of natural healing, and the guest of honor is ginkgo. Recent research results may finally convince U.S. physicians to seriously consider natural treatments. [1] It isn't because there wasn't evidence to support ginkgo as an effective treatment for dementia (declining mental power), but the evidence, until now, was not the kind U.S. physicians took seriously.


Ginkgo and other Organ Systems

Other Memory Enhancers ~ The Nootropics

Bacopa monniera
Bacopa monniera, also referred to as Bacopa monnieri, Herpestis monniera, water hyssop, and “Brahmi,” has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for centuries. Traditionally, it was used as a brain tonic to enhance memory development, learning, and concentration, [1] and to provide relief to patients with anxiety or epileptic disorders. [2]

Guaraná Seed Extract
Guaraná seed extract (Paullinia cupana) has been shown in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to rapidly improve attention span, memory performance, and increased alertness and mood in participants.

Vinpocetine is a powerful memory enchancer. It facilitates cerebral metabolism by improving cerebral microcirculation (blood flow), stepping up brain cell ATP production (ATP is the cellular energy molecule), and increasing utilisation of glucose and oxygen. What all this means is that vinpocetine shares many of the effects of several other cognitive enchancers.

A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Ginkgo biloba
in Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome

J Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2009 (Aug 13); 15 (8): 845–851

Eighty-five (85, 94.4%) participants completed the study. The two groups were similar in terms of demographic characteristics and baseline overall severity of symptoms. After the intervention, there was a significant decrease in the overall severity of symptoms and physical and psychologic symptoms in both Ginkgo (23.68%) and placebo (8.74%) groups (p<0.001). However, the mean decrease in the severity of symptoms was significantly more in the Ginkgo group compared to the placebo group (p<0.001).

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