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sábado, 11 de junio de 2011

Ginkgo Doesn't Live Up to Memory Claims

(Extraído de Health News. com)

By Lara Endreszi,  Last updated on January 02, 2010

Ginkgo biloba is one of the most common of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) extracts found in many medicine cabinets across the world. For years now ginkgo biloba has been touted as the natural way to increase your brain function and cognition. People at risk for Alzheimer's disease or dementia have been relying on ginkgo to boost their memory for over three decades. Unfortunately it may all have been for naught, as science has now determined that gingko isn't actually working to preserve brain function.

New research is emerging from five different medical schools across the country and researchers are disappointed to report that while they found that ginkgo is relatively safe to take every day—120 milligrams of ginkgo leaf extract two times per day for a normal person or someone in a declining state of memory—it has no subsequent effect.

There were over 3,000 elderly patients—all above the age of 74—who volunteered for the double-blind, placebo-controlled study with half  taking the recommended treatment and half on a placebo pill. The study started in the year 2000 and finished last year, part of the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), had less than positive results. The research concluded that the dosage given does not do anything to stave off the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease and in the end 523 of the volunteers developed some form of memory decline, further proof of the herb's ineffectiveness.

The study's lead author, dean and vice president of the University of Virginia School of Medicine Dr. Steven DeKosky says, "The primary finding was no effect of the ginkgo extract over a relatively long period of time in older people in slowing down what we see as the normal changes of thinking function in aging," DeKosky continues in a telephone interview that the common expectation of the Chinese herb has been exaggerated, "If one thought that ginkgo might maintain cognition and prevent or delay decline in some thinking associated with aging, it did not do that."

Funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), the findings were consistent with previous trials, however some groups have been outspoken against the trial insisting that ginkgo has shown improvement in cognitive function in smaller, more concentrated studies. Concerned with how the public may react to the emerging numbers, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) still recommends ginkgo as a viable extract for helping the brain function better.

CRN disagrees with the findings because of the advanced age of the volunteers when they started the study owing to the fact that a lot of them could have already had risk factors associated with memory loss prior to starting the study. While ginkgo is a powerful antioxidant and is often given to lessen inflammation, the supposed benefits to memory are not the only healthy advantage to taking ginkgo biloba extract daily.

Whichever side you come down on given this new research, whether or not ginkgo is effective at all, relies solely on one thing: in order to see any results, you have to first remember to take it.

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