Ginkgo has a long history as a natural way to protect and preserve cognition. That’s why it was surprising to learn that a recent study claimed this herbal remedy with a proven record dating back thousands of years doesn’t improve memory or prevent cognitive decline in seniors.
How could this be, with a herbal extract that has been so thoroughly researched for so long. Other medical researchers have suggested that the study itself may have been flawed. As one researcher said, “This study missed the boat entirely because the universe of people studied was too limited to make broad statements about the benefits of ginkgo.”
Another study – published in the same medical journal as the study claiming ginkgo was not effective – found that ginkgo can stabilize and improve mental functioning in people taking it daily.
Another review of almost 30 double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials ( the “gold standard” of clinical trials) involving over 2400 aging men and women found the long term use of ginkgo improved selective attention and long-term memory.
Of course, ginkgo is no “magic bullet,” but it is best used as a part of a broader nutritional program to support cognitive health and prevent Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Ginkgo can also help prevent vascular dementia, as it enhances circulation and blood flow to the brain. Other essentials to brain health include fish oil, a B vitamin complex, vitamin B12 and Folic acid.
Don’t depend on supplements alone to keep your brain young. It’s important to eat a balanced, whole foods diet, similar to the “Mediterranean diet.” A recent Columbia University study found people who ate a Mediterranean diet were 45% less likely to have cognitive decline than those who ate the standard American diet loaded with processed foods.
In addition, regular exercise can help keep your brain young – especially memory and recall, concentration and problem-solving. So keep taking – or start taking – ginkgo supplements to preserve and improve your mind.
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