Ginkgo biloba does not prevent dementia or Alzheimer's disease

December 1, 2008

Ginkgo Research News - After a 6.1 year clinical research study in 5 medical centers in United States, the results are in! The study showed that taking this popular natural supplement at a dose of 120 mg twice daily had no effect in reducing the incidence of dementia or Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in healthy individuals 75 years or older.

This is a well designed randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the gold-standard in design for evidence-based research studies in human subjects. It is the largest and longest of any studies done on this supplement.

If you are looking to take this supplement to prevent dementia or AD, this is bad news. There was no difference between taking this herb and placebo (sugar pill). Although the study tracked the subjects for an average of 6.1 year, the development of this condition may take a much longer period of time, perhaps 10 to 20 years. You should be careful to not infer the results past 6 years.

As well,this study does not look at using this supplement to treat dementia or AD, only as a prevention. This choice of word is no accident. And there is a huge difference in the meaning.

Other medications such as statins (cholesterol lowering drugs), estrogen (female hormone), anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Aspirin), vitamin E and cholinesterase inhibitors (Aricept, Exelon, Reminyl, Namenda, Razadyne and Cognex) also do not prevent AD.

Fortunately, clinical research evidence currently does support using this supplement to improve memory, Activities of Daily Living (ADL), mood and emotion in people with either dementia or AD.