A recent study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh revealed some bad news and some good news about Gingko. The bad news is that Gingko does not prevent cardiovascular event or mortalities as previously thought. The good news is that it may have some protective effects against peripheral artery disease.
According to study author Lewis H. Kuller professor of public health and f epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh:
The present study used data from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study which looked at the effect of the herb on dementia. However, the plant’s cardiovascular effects were also assessed. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups. One group received 120 mg of EGb761, a highly purified form of Ginkgo biloba, two times a day. The other group received placebo, also two times a day.
The results revealed that Gingko did not prevent cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack in study participants aged 75 years or older. However, Gingko seemed to have benefits for those with peripheral arterial disease.
Dr. Kuller continues:
“Clearly you can’t make a national recommendation based on these numbers, but the data is intriguing. Peripheral artery disease is a major public health problem and the preventive therapies are not very good. My feeling is that ginkgo and its class of agents, flavonoids, should be further evaluated to see if they have some benefit.”
About Gingko biloba
Gingko biloba is also known as fossil tree, maidenhair tree, Japanese silver apricot, baiguo, bai guo ye, kew tree, yinhsing. It contains flavonoids, antioxidant compounds also found in dark chocolate, red wine, fruits, and vegetables, which are believed to offer some protection against cardiovascular events.
According to the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:
- Ginkgo leaf extract has been used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, and tinnitus (ringing or roaring sounds in the ears).
- Today, people use ginkgo leaf extracts hoping to improve memory; to treat or help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia; to decrease intermittent claudication (leg pain caused by narrowing arteries); and to treat sexual dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, and other health conditions.
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