Ginkgo biloba: Can it prevent memory loss?

content provided by mayoclinic.com

Ginkgo biloba: Can it prevent memory loss?

Question

Can ginkgo biloba prevent memory loss and improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer's disease?

No name
No state given

Answer

Ginkgo biloba, derived from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, is often touted as a memory aid. But it appears unlikely that ginkgo biloba can prevent memory loss associated with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease.

Small, early studies showed modest improvements in cognitive function for older adults with dementia. However, the results of a large-scale study, published in a December 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found no evidence that ginkgo biloba prevents memory loss or slows the progression of cognitive decline in older adults. This was true for both those who had mild cognitive impairment at the start of the study and for those who didn't.

A single study rarely provides a complete picture of the benefits and risks of any herb or drug. However, in this case, ginkgo biloba doesn't appear to be living up to its earlier promise.

Last Updated: 2011-05-19
© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use

 

Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version