Taking Ginkgo Biloba does not improve memory

September 25, 2012 by Julie Cooper
Taking Ginkgo biloba does not improve memory

Taking Ginkgo Biloba supplements does not improve memory, attention or problem solving in healthy individuals, according to researchers from the University of Hertfordshire.

Zero Impact

The paper, published in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, is the first meta-analytic review examining the effects of Ginkgo Biloba on healthy people across all age groups. The researchers led by Professor Keith Laws found zero impact on the cognitive functions whatever the age of the people, the dose taken or the length of time of taking Ginkgo Biloba supplements.

Memory Enhancing?

Ginkgo Biloba, the oldest tree living species, has been used extensively in traditional for thousands of years. Today, it is one of the most widely used plant-based products available without prescription in Europe and North America, where is it marketed as a to treat and, more specifically, to enhance memory both for healthy individuals and also for those trying to ward off Alzheimer's Disease.

Keith Laws, Professor of psychology, said: "Ginkgo Biloba has been widely used for a number of years to reduce the associated with aging. But more recently it has been marketed as a memory enhancing supplement for healthy individuals – and it is crucial to establish the validity for such claims.

"Our findings show that taking Ginkgo Biloba supplements at any age to boost memory have no impact at all – and may be a waste of time and money."

A Meta-analysis

The paper, "Is Ginkgo Biloba a cognitive enhancer in healthy individuals? A meta-analysis", examines the published research of thirteen randomised control trials of over 1000 healthy individuals across all ages.

Other recently published studies have also shown that there is no evidence to support taking supplements to protect against developing Alzheimer's Disease.

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hup.2259/abstract

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