Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Should You Take Gingko Biloba to Improve Your Brain Power?


Have you heard of the herbal supplement with the very odd name of gingko biloba?

In the last few years, gingko biloba has become one of the most heavily advertised herbal products in health food stores and magazines. It seems that gingko is being advertised everywhere, as a new miracle cure for many common ailments. Gingko is reputed to improve thinking, stave off Alzheimer's disease, preserve memory, and reverse memory loss.

Proponents of gingko say that studies show it improves memory and concentration, and can delay senility.

This herbal supplement is made from an extract of the leaf of the gingko tree, one of an ancient family of trees. The leaf extract is filled with many organic compounds that are believed to be particularly beneficial to the cells of the brain.

Even though the use of gingko to boost memory is relatively new in North America, it has been commonly prescribed for this purpose in Europe for decades.

In China, the use of gingko goes back even further - over 5,000 years! So you see, gingko is not really new at all. In fact, it is one of the most widely prescribed herbal supplements in the world!

Here are some of the beneficial effects that have been attributed to gingko:

-It increases the supply of blood to the brain

-It neutralizes several kinds of dangerous free radicals that damage brain cells

-It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent

-It increases neurotransmiter activity

-It increases sugar metabolism in the brain

-It increases alpha brain waves associated with mental alertness

-It works as a anti-oxidant to protect the brain

Gingko contains many organic compounds, including flavonoids and terpenoids, which are probably the source of its reputed brain boosting powers.

Millions of people around the world take gingko to boost their memory. Does it work? Is it safe?

Hundreds of studies of the effects of gingko have been published in the last two decades. Many of these studies suggest gingko is an effective and safe remedy for age related confusion and memory loss.

For most people, gingko seems to be very safe. In Europe, it is one of the most commonly prescribed medications, and there are very few problems known to be associated with it, even for long term use.

If you do decide to take gingko, don't expect any sudden, dramatic changes. The effects of gingko biloba can take weeks or even months, to become noticeable, and not all people experience an improvement. As many as 50 per cent of the people who take a standardized dose of gingko do not notice any improvements whatsoever.

People who take gingko may claim to feel somewhat more alert, and somewhat better able to concentrate. In some cases, the improvements are often so minor that they are barely noticeable.

The amount of memory improvement claimed for gingko often tends to be rather small, usually only a few percentage points - about the same improvement you might get after drinking a cup of coffee!

Unfortunately, despite the fact that gingko has been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies, many of these studies were not very well conducted from a scientific point of view.

Many of the studies of gingko were small and rather short term, and were often conducted by family doctors who were not trained in rigorous scientific research techniques.

This means that even though many studies have claimed wonderful positive results for gingko biloba, the scientific proof may not be very accurate or reliable.

If you decide to take gingko as a supplement, be sure to deal only with a very high quality brand from a reliable manufacturer. Most studies have used a dose of 120 milligrams per day, and this should be sufficient.

If you are younger than fifty years old, there is no proof that taking gingko will reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer's disease.

As with all herbal remedies, there is a wide variation in the quality and quality of the actual active ingredients of the herb in question. Some studies have found that even brands with fairly good reputations do not always have the levels of active ingredients of gingko that they claim.

And sometimes, bargain brands may have none of the active ingredients at all.

Get a brand of gingko that you trust to have a standardized level of active ingredients. Be prepared to take it for several months before you notice a difference. Keep in mind that some people never notice a difference at all. And others claim to notice dramatic improvements right away!

Side effects with gingko are rarely reported. The main precaution you must take is to check with your doctor if you are already taking blood thinning medication such as Coumadin, or an anti-depressant such as Trazadone. It is possible that in some cases Gingko may interact with certain medications and cause problems.

Before you take gingko, check with your doctor to be sure that you are not taking any medications that could conflict with the herb.

Royane Real is the author of the new book "How You Can Be Smarter - Use Your Brain to Learn Faster, Remember Better, and Be More Creative" If you want to learn how to improve your brain power, download it today at http://www.royanereal.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Medical Daily

Best Supplements For Your Brain: 4 Nootropics That Work Like Smart Drugs But ...
Medical Daily
While the general category most definitely includes smart drugs, neuro-enhancing supplements fit the bill as well. Daily, neuroscientists are acquiring a more nuanced understanding of the brain, the result being many new pharmaceutical drugs which ...



Scary Supplements: Market Grows Despite Recalls
Voice of Russia
On November 17, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a recall notice for dophilus powder, made by a company called Solgar, Inc. Dophilus is a probiotic supplement: capsules filled with “good bacteria” that are supposedly capable of surviving the ...



Medical Daily

Folic Acid During Pregnancy: Women Should Start Folic Acid Supplements A ...
Medical Daily
Doctors recommend folic acid supplementation for expecting mothers looking to reduce their child's risk for low birth weight, which can lead to various future health complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and ...

and more »


Fox News

9 things to know before buying another supplement
Fox News
The supplement aisle at the drug store is lined with products that promise to prevent illness, improve energy, boost metabolism, even brighten your skin. You probably already know these capsules aren't necessarily silver bullets to perfect health ...



PsychCentral.com (blog)

The Skinny Behind Weight-Loss Supplements
PsychCentral.com (blog)
Individuals looking to lose weight find that diet supplements often seem like a magic solution. The makers of diet pills make extravagant claims about the properties of their drugs, yet many of the claims aren't supported by research. Actually, the ...



Youth Health Magzine

Safe Use of Dietary supplements- NCCAM
Youth Health Magzine
With the variety of dietary supplement choices available in the market, it can be difficult to distinguish which ones stay true to their health claims. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), although the ...



BBC News

Dementia study questions advice on taking supplements
BBC News
Taking vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements does not seem to cut the risk of developing dementia in healthy people, say Dutch researchers. In one of the largest studies to date, there was no difference in memory test scores between those who had ...
New findings on vitamin supplements, memory lossCBS News
Vitamin B and folic acid supplements may not reduce risk of memory loss, study ...Fox News
Vitamin B12 and folic-acid supplements do not help with memory, study findsMinnPost
Monthly Prescribing Reference
all 63 news articles »


New York Daily News

Running Doc: Developing a supplement plan
New York Daily News
We all know supplements can in fact optimize performance. All of this is best evaluated by your sports doc and nutritionist who have thoroughly evaluated your eating patterns and needs for sport performance. I usually start with a blood panel and then ...



The New Daily

Essendon supplements saga: former Bombers play in Northern Territory despite ...
Sydney Morning Herald
EXCLUSIVE. The AFL has given at least two former Essendon players permission to play competitive games in the Northern Territory Football League despite them being issued with infraction notices. Small forward Cory Dell'Olio, and utility Nathan ...
Players under supplement investigation cleared to play by AFLThe New Daily

all 7 news articles »


Kankakee Daily Journal

Ecumencical service supplements nutritional needs
Kankakee Daily Journal
Rev. Robert Bushey prays about the offering during the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Worship service sponsored by the River Valley Clergy Alliance and held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Kankakee Sunday afternoon. Buy this photo ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.