Ginkgo Biloba Study
7 Healthcast: Ginkgo Biloba Study
This is one of the first large studies to look at the effectiveness of ginkgo biloba in the elderly, and the results are not memorable.
Four years ago Dave Stern noticed his memory was slipping.
"You get real frustrated and depressed."
At 53, Dave was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Doctors put him on a serious of drugs along with the herb gingko biloba.
"The way I've come back you wouldn't believe how much better I am than what I use to be."
But some experts question if the herb is the reason why. The results of a new study may suggest it's not. Researchers at Williams College put the herb to the test. They looked at 230 people, elderly adults, over 60 years old. About half of the participants were given ginkgo three times a day for six weeks, which is what manufacturers recommend. The other half of the group took placebos. After six weeks, all the participants were tested.
"We ran 14 different tests of learning, memory and attention and concentration, and on none of these tests did we find any difference between the participants in the study who took ginkgo and those who took the placebo."
According to their research - ginkgo didn't work. The people in the study agreed.
"The patients told us their memories were no different on ginkgo or on placebo, and their companions, typically a spouse or a friend, were also unable to detect any difference."
Dr. Solomon says you should think twice about using gingko biloba - adding people should consider only medications that have been FDA approved.
Like all herbal supplements on the market, ginkgo biloba is not FDA approved.