ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ginkgo Biloba Found NOT Effective In Combating Cognitive Decline

Updated on January 16, 2012

Ginkgo Biloba Has No Effect On Cognitive Decline

Ginkgo Biloba, an extract from the Ginkgo tree, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 500 years, and has been heavily touted in the West as an effective treatment for improving memory and preventing cognitive decline and dementia since the 1970s. Nutritional supplement manufacturers and scientists have reported conflicting effectiveness of the extract's effectiveness for decades.

In December of 2009, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the result of the longest and largest scientific trial of Ginkgo Biloba ever undertaken. This clinical trial, known as The Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study, tested 3,069 participants between the ages of 72 and 96, with little or no cognitive impairment, over an average 6 year time span. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial provided half the patients with twice-daily 120 mg doses of Ginkgo Biloba per day, and a placebo to the other half.

The Human Brain
The Human Brain

The GEM Study

The GEM study was funded by the National Institute of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the United States government's primary agency for the study of alternative and complimentary medicine.

By the end of the study, no difference in cognitive function could be found in any of the cognitive areas tested, including memory, attention and language cognition.


The patients in the trial were tracked by six academic medical centers in the Eastern United States between 2000 and 2008 using standard medical tests, including the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination and the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale.


The Modified Mini-Mental State Examination is a 30-point test used to diagnose and measure the impact of cognitive decline and dementia. Since the test can indicate level of cognitive function at the time it is given, it is useful in tracking decline or improvement of cognitive function over time.

The Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale is a testing tool used to screen cognitive disorders in the diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease. The cognitive subset of the scale is used both for diagnosis of cognitive decline and for measuring decline or improvement of cognitive function in the treatment of Alzheimer Disease.


Leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree
Leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree

Other Findings

The NIH-funded GEM study did find that Ginkgo Biloba is safe to use. However, since its primary function is as a blood thinner, heart patients and those who already use blood thinners should be cautious about using the supplement. Many patients don't consider herbal supplements as "medicine" or "drugs", and so don't always alert their physicians about their use of them, which can lead to complications with prescription medications and even surgery.

In 2008, over $99 million worth of Ginkgo Biloba extracts were sold in the United States, making it one of the top ten herbal supplements on the market.


Ginkgo Biloba Ineffective In Treating Cognitive Decline

Ginkgo Biloba Doesn't Treat Alzheimer's


Senior citizen photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/gebala/ / CC BY 2.0

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • sunforged profile image

    sunforged 

    8 years ago from Sunforged.com

    This is excellent well researched info, In a related topic I was looking into studies regarding gingko and its effect on blood circulation every single article always referenced the supposed benefits related to circulation and cognitive decline.. Its a bit of a shame that it seems to be a false assumption, I wonder how many years will go by before all this outdated information is replaced by current findings.

    great find!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from United States

    I read that study. Too bad it doesn't work as it would be wonderful for so many.

  • ladylux profile image

    ladylux 

    8 years ago

    Thanks for drawing attention to this. Nothing can reverse disease if it doesn't remove the underlying cause... that goes for pharmaceuticals too. Dementia is triggered by aluminum toxicity and low cholesterol levels (cholesterol lowering drugs actually admit to this) amongst a few other things.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)