Ginkgo biloba has been a popular herb for its reputed ability to prevent cognitive decline. A year ago, a randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association did not show any benefit of ginkgo in warding off dementia.
Now, a new report on this study confirms that Ginkgo biloba does not prevent or delay cognitive decline in seniors. More than 3,000 volunteers participated in the study for an average of 6 years. The periodic tests of mental function throughout this well-designed study [Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory, GEM] did not show that ginkgo helped people stay sharp. The researchers were disappointed, but pointed out one positive finding: Ginkgo extracts appear to be safe even if they’re not effective.
[Journal of the American Medical Association, Dec 23/30, 2009]