A new UK meta-analysis suggests ginkgo biloba supplements do not aid memory or augment problem-solving among healthy individuals.
The meta-analytic review by researchers from the University of Hertfordshire examined published findings from 13 randomized control trials of over 1,000 healthy individuals across all ages.
Keith Laws, Ph.D., and colleagues found that taking ginkgo biloba supplements did not change the cognitive functions of individuals even when accounting for subject age, dosage, and the length of time of taking the supplements.
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.
Ginkgo biloba has been used extensively in traditional Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years. It is one of the most widely used plant-based products available without prescription in Europe and North America.
It is marketed as a dietary supplement to treat blood disorders and, more specifically, to enhance memory both for healthy individuals and also for those trying to ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
“Ginkgo biloba has been widely used for a number of years to reduce the mental decline associated with aging,” said Laws.
“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 has no impact at all — and may be a waste of time and money.”
Researcher say their findings support other recently published studies that have not found evidence that ginkgo biloba supplements protect against developing Alzheimer’s.
Source: University of Hertfordshire