Ginkgo Biloba extract 40 and 60 mg supplement - brain fog benefit and side effects - How to use this memory herb pill or capsule for optimum brain health and mental improvement along with the treatment of peripheral vascular disease
Ginkgo biloba tree leaf extract has been used therapeutically in China for millennia. According to fossil records, the ginkgo tree has been around for over 200 million years and is one of the oldest still existing tree species on earth. Individual trees live up to 1,000 years. The tree leaf, like ginseng, is mentioned in the traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia. Ginkgo biloba extracts are among the most widely studied and prescribed drugs in Europe to alleviate symptoms associated with a wide range of conditions. The main indications for this herbal extract remedy is in peripheral vascular disease and the therapy of age related cognitive decline. This plant is a mind booster underutilized by the medical profession. Those who wish to take this herbal extract for prolonged use, such as months and years, should limit the dosage to 40 mg 2 or 3 times a week.
Extracts from the leaves of ginkgo biloba herb have become popular as a treatment for cognitive decline, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and thrombosis. We have not yet seen studies regarding its role in arthritis.
Ginkgo Biloba extract, 40 mg, 60 mg and Mind
Ginkgo Biloba 50:1 is standardized at 24% ginkgoflavonglycosides and a minimum of 6% terpene lactones. Two products are available, 40 and 60 mg. Also consider Mind Power Rx which has several nutrients and herbs including bacopa monnieri.
Ginkgo Biloba extract - 40 mg and 60 mg (50:1 Standardized Extract)
Each serving contains a minimum of 24% ginkgoflavonglycoside and minimum of 6% terpene lactones in the following properties: (Ginkgolide A 1.3%) (Ginkgolide B 1.0%) (Ginkgolide C 1.2%) (Bilobalide 2.7%)
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brain condition, Alzheimer's disease
The benefit of ginkgo biloba for Alzheimer's disease has been studied for the last decade or two, but thus far research has not been conclusive. Some studies have shown this herbal extract offers some mind enhancement benefits, other studies do not find ginkgo biloba extract to have much of a benefit for Alzheimer's disease. A well publicized 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that 120 mg of ginkgo extract per day for one year was able to provide some benefit in cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimers disease.
Ginkgo biloba has compounds that have antioxidant properties. It may also help preserve vitamin E levels.
Ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761 in generalized anxiety disorder and adjustment disorder with anxious mood: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
J Psychiatr Res. 2007.
EGb 761, an anti-dementia drug, enhances cognitive functioning and stabilizes mood in cognitively impaired elderly subjects. One hundred and seven patients with generalized anxiety disorder or adjustment disorder with anxious mood were randomized to daily doses of 480 mg ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761, 240 mg EGb 761 or placebo for 4 weeks. EGb 761 was significantly superior to placebo on all secondary outcome measures. It was safe and well tolerated and may thus be of particular value in elderly patients with anxiety related to cognitive decline.
Comments: We prefer using lower dosages if this herb is going to be used for a long time such as several weeks or months.
Benefit for memory and cognitive decline
The most well known benefit is for age related cognitive decline (ARCD). Age related cognitive decline is a term that describes a collection of symptoms. These include difficulty in concentration and memory, absent-mindedness, confusion, lack of mental energy, and sometimes, depressive mood. Some of these symptoms may be associated with not enough blood reaching the brain, hence a potential justification for the use of ginkgo in lessening these symptoms. The benefit of ginkgo biloba is that it improves communication between nerve cells and enhances blood flow to the brain. It is licensed in Germany for the treatment of ARCD. A severe case of age related cognitive decline may be called dementia. Some Patients with dementia may benefit from gingko biloba use. It is unlikely that those with normal memory function will notice a significant benefit from ginkgo biloba.
Effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 on
neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia: findings from a randomised
Wien Med Wochenschr. 2007.
In a randomised, double-blind, 22-week trial 400 patients with dementia associated with neuropsychiatric features were treated with Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 (240 mg a day) or placebo. Treatment was significantly superior to placebo with respect to the primary (SKT test battery) and all secondary outcome variables. The largest herb-placebo differences in favor of ginkgo biloba extract were found for apathy / indifference, anxiety, irritability / lability, depression / dysphoria and sleep / nighttime behavior.
Benefit for cataract
This herb help reduce the risk for cataracts.
Endothelial cell and blood vessel function
Ginkgo biloba extract attenuates oxLDL-induced oxidative functional damages in endothelial cells.
J Appl Physiol. 2009e.
Ginkgo biloba extract has commonly been used as a therapeutic agent for cardiovascular and neurological disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate how Ginkgo biloba extract protects vascular endothelial cells against the pro-atherosclerotic stressor, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), in vitro. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were incubated with Ginkgo biloba extract. Ginkgo biloba extract suppressed cholesterol oxidation mediated vascular endothelial dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction, impotence, problems with erections
Ginkgo biloba extract has been found to partially reverse erectile dysfunction in those who take Prozac and other SSRIs, however other studies have not shown the same benefits. Ginsenoside is found in ginseng herb and could be of benefit for this issue.
Antiestrogenic activities of Ginkgo biloba extracts.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2006.
Ginkgo biloba extract reduced E2 levels by stimulating the E2 metabolism and inhibiting E2 synthesis, which indicates that this herbal extract can induce antiestrogenic activity via the depletion of E2. Ginkgo biloba extract has a biphasic effect on estrogen, and can be considered as a potential alternative to hormone replacement therapy with chemopreventive effects on breast cancer.
Heart disease benefit
This herbal extract may be helpful in reducing the risk for atherosclerosis. Possible mechanisms for vascular protection include upregulation in the body's own radical scavenging enzymes and an reduction of oxidized LDL cholesterol and lipids. Ginkgo biloba also increases the concentration of vasodilators cAMP and cGMP which improve circulation and increases nitric oxide production.
Ginkgo biloba extract improves coronary blood flow in
patients with coronary artery disease: role of endothelium-dependent
Planta Med. 2007.
Ginkgo biloba extract has well-documented cardioprotective effects on coronary flow and positive effects on vasodilation through endothelium-derived nitric oxide in experimental animals, but these impacts in patients with coronary artery disease have not yet been investigated. We designed this study to test the effects of ginkgo biloba extract on distal left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) blood flow and endothelium-dependent brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in patients with CAD. Eighty CAD patients were randomly assigned to either GBE or saline (control) groups. Our data demonstrate that ginkgo biloba extract treatment in coronary artery disease patients leads to an increase of LAD blood flow.
Ginkgo biloba extract is able to protect the liver from damage since it has antioxidant properties, prevents lipid peroxidation and replenishes the glutathione level. The benefit may be comparable to that of silymarin from milk thistle.
Ginkgo biloba may provide a slight benefit in terms of attention, memory and functioning in multiple sclerosis patients.
Another benefit of ginkgo biloba may have be in the treatment of Parkinson's disease when used together with other conventional medicines.
Peripheral artery disease
Ginkgo biloba may benefit those with leg claudication. However, not all studies support this benefit.
Safety and efficacy of ginkgo biloba during pregnancy and lactation.
Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2006. Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, Canada.
We searched 7 electronic databases and compiled data according to the grade of evidence found. There is some very weak scientific evidence from animal and in vitro studies that ginkgo leaf has antiplatelet activity, which may be of concern during labor as ginkgo use could prolong bleeding time. Low-level evidence based on expert opinion shows that ginkgo leaf may have hormonal properties. The safety of ginkgo leaf during lactation is unknown. Ginkgo leaf extract should be used with caution during pregnancy, particularly around labor where its anti-platelet properties could prolong bleeding time. During lactation the safety of ginkgo leaf extract is unknown and should be avoided until high quality human studies are conducted to prove its safety.
Since ginkgo biloba has blood thinning properties, it is a good idea to stop its use at least one week before surgery or dental surgery.
Vision and eye sight
Ginkgo biloba may benefit some individuals who have age related problems with vision.
Researchers at the University of Toronto reviewed published research regarding natural vitiligo treatment report that there is mild to moderate evidence for the benefit of Gingko biloba as a natural vitiligo treatment. BMC Dermatology, 2008.
Comments: Patients with vitiligo who want to try ginkgo biloba supplements could take a 40 mg capsule twice daily for a few weeks or months to see whether there is any improvement. One positive effect is that it can enhance mental focus and concentration. If two capsules a day is too potent, you could drop to one ginkgo capsule daily.
What's in the plant?
Ginkgo biloba extract contains many different substances but most of them fall into two main categories: Terpenoid lactones and Flavonoids. The most unique components of ginkgo biloba extracts are the terpene trilactones which are structurally complex molecules. Terpene lactones give ginkgo a bitter and strong flavor. Ginkgolide A, B, C and J, together with bilobalide, are unique terpenoid components. Ginkgolides have not yet been found in any other living plant species.
Flavonoids are natural substances that are also found in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids act as antioxidants, have an influence on the immune system, and interfere with tumor formation. Ginkgo biloba extract contains many flavonoids but the most concentrated are kaempferol, quercetin, and isorhamnetin. Most ginkgo products on the market list a flavonoid concentration of 24%. You will often see 24% printed on packages or bottles of ginkgo.
Other compounds in ginkgo biloba extract include proanthocyanidins, carboxylic acids and non-flavone glycosides, flavonol glycosides, biflavones, alkylphenols, simple phenolic acids, 6-hydroxykynurenic acid, 4-O-methylpyridoxine and polyprenols.
How does ginkgo biloba work?
The active ingredients are believed to have their beneficial effects by acting as antioxidants, preventing red blood cells and platelets from aggregating to form clots, allowing more oxygen to reach neurons, and improving circulation in tiny blood vessels by inducing relaxation of the muscles surrounding blood vessels. Even circulation to the eyes improves when subjects are given ginkgo.
What dosages of ginkgo biloba extract are best?
The majority of the studies done thus far have used daily dosages of 120 to 160 mg (50:1 concentration, 24% flavonoids). Patients generally took 40 milligrams three to four times a day. Treatment may be needed for a few weeks before positive results can be fully appreciated. Most manufacturers have pills that contain 40 or 60 mg of ginkgo. You may wish to start with one 40 mg pill a day to see if there is any improvement in memory or thinking. Ginkgo biloba extract is best taken early in the day, and no later than afternoon.
Ginkgo biloba side effects, danger, risk
The most common ginkgo biloba side effects are stomach or intestinal complaints, headache, and allergic skin reactions. A rare concern is seizure. Seizures have been mentioned in the media in very old individuals taking ginkgo biloba extract. High doses may aggravate seizures in those with a history of epilepsy.
An infrequent but potentially serious adverse reaction is internal bleeding when ginkgo biloba is combined with other blood thinners such as aspirin or coumadin (and even ibuprofen). Ginkgo biloba extract has anti-platelet activity and hence may prolong the time it takes to form a blood clot. However, a study published in April, 2003 indicates that
Ginkgo biloba appears to benefit some people with memory loss due to aging, but is probably of little benefit in the young who have normal brain function and memory. Middle aged and older individuals may find the use of ginkgo to be helpful in sharpening the mind. For more details, see Mind Boosters book.
Because of its antioxidant properties, ginkgo biloba extract may be useful in individuals with cerebrovascular disease. Due to its blood thinning properties, a dose of 60 mg a day should not be exceeded on a daily, long-term basis unless a health care provider monitors you. Keep in mind that other nutrients and drugs have blood-thinning properties including Coumadin, aspirin, fish oils, and vinpocetine.
Availability in health food stores and online
Ginkgo biloba leaf extract is available in various potencies, including 24% / 6%, 24% / 4%, 28% / 8%, 30% / 10% ginkgoflavoglycosides / terpene lactones.
Phosphatidylserine and glinkgo biloba extract combination
Acute cognitive effects of standardised Ginkgo biloba extract complexed with phosphatidylserine.
Hum Psychopharmacol. 2007. Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria, UK.
The current study aimed to assess the comparative cognitive and mood effects of a low dose of ginkgo biloba extract and products complexing the same extract with either phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylcholine. Twenty-eight healthy young participants received 120 mg ginkgo biloba extract, 120 mg ginkgo biloba extract complexed with phosphatidylserine (Virtiva), 120 mg ginkgo biloba extract complexed with phosphatidylcholine and a matching placebo, on separate days 7 days apart. Levels of terpenoids (bilobalide, ginkgolide A and ginkgolide B) were concomitantly assessed in plasma samples taken pre-dose and at 3 and 6.5 h post-dose. In keeping with previous research utilising the same methodology, 120 mg of ginkgo biloba extract was not associated with markedly improved performance on the primary outcomes. However, administration of ginkgo biloba extract complexed with phosphatidylserine resulted both in improved secondary memory performance and significantly increased speed of memory task performance across all of the post-dose testing sessions.