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Ginkgo Biloba Extract May Improve Cognitive Function

Friday February 9, 2018
Ginkgo Biloba Extract May Improve Cognitive Function

The Ginkgo Biloba tree has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine to help treat a variety of health disorders, such as asthma, tinnitus, and bladder infections. More recently, researchers have observed potential beneficial effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract (GBE) on memory, concentration and cognitive function (1).


Although evidence to encourage the use of GBE to prevent cognitive decline in healthy individuals remains inconclusive, GBE may be useful in individuals suffering from cognitive impairments.


A recent systematic review of research to date supports the effectiveness of GBE for users with mild cognitive impairments (MCI) and dementia (1). Specifically, GBE supplementation along with prescribed medication may improve working memory, social behaviour and relieve anxiety and depression in sufferers of MCI and dementia. GBE may also reduce the side effects of the prescribed medication used to treat cognitive impairments.  


According to the results, the effectiveness of GBE on cognition is dose and age-dependent. The optimal suggested dose which displayed significant benefits on cognitive health was 240 mg of GBE per day (2).  


GBE is believed to work as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidative herb, which may exert a neuroprotective effect on the brain. It is also suggested that Ginkgo Biloba may improve blood circulation to the brain, which may, in turn, enhance cognitive performance.  


Although current evidence seems to support the effects of GBE on brain health, the long-term effects of GBE on disease progression needs to be further examined.


Overall, Ginkgo Biloba supplementation may improve cognitive function and quality of life in individuals suffering from dementia and cognitive impairments. According to safety data, GBE can be safely administered alongside medication used in the treatment of these impairments (1).


 Author: Salma Dawood is a  Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.

1)      Zhang, Hong-Feng et al. “An Overview of Systematic Reviews of Ginkgo Biloba Extracts for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia.” Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 8 (2016): 276. PMC. Web. 29 Jan. 2018.
2)      Jiang L., Su L., Cui H., Ren J., Li C. (2013). Ginkgo biloba extract for dementia: a systematic review. Shanghai Arch. Psychiatry 25, 10–21. 10.3969/j.issn.1002-0829.2013.01.005

The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.


TAGS: Nutrition News and Views


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