Ginkgo Biloba Extract
Ginkgo Biloba Extract is is an herbal supplement widely used to improve memory and cognitive function and also in the treatment of intermittant claudication, a vascular constriction disorder of the lower legs that results in calf pain upon exertion. It is also used in the treatment of tinnitus. Improving circulation in the brain and enhancing mental performance are the key benefits of supplementing the diet with Ginkgo Biloba.
Due to the high levels of natural phytochemicals such as terpene lactones, it is among the most recognized, respected and recommended botanicals throughout Europe and the U.S.A. Terpene lactones are found in the leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree. These phytochemicals are responsible for the beneficial effects and actions of Ginkgo extract. The biochemically-friendly extraction process ensures that the important Ginkgolides A, B, C and Bilobalide potencies are maintained at their highest levels.Health benefits derived from this unique extract formulation include improved circulation to the extremities. A potent vasodilator, Ginkgo allows more oxygen to the brain, enhancing mental acuity and performance. This highest-quality Gingko supplement is encapsulated easy-to-take soft gelatin capsules in a base containing Rice Bran oil, Carob Extract and Lecithin.
Ginkgo Biloba comes from the ornamental Chinese Tree. The ginkgo biloba tree originated in China thousands of years ago. The extract from it's fan shaped leaves is a very popular herbal product. The Flavone Glycosides present in the extract have shown to have an effect on the body's vascular system. Medicinal use of ginkgo can be traced back almost 5,000 years in Chinese herbal medicine. The nuts of the tree were most commonly recommended and used to treat respiratory tract ailments. The use of the leaves is a modern development originating in Europe. Research has shown that ginkgo Biloba reduces the tendency for dangerous clots or thromboses to form in the veins and arteries, aiding in the recovery from strokes and heart attacks.
The medical benefits of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) are attributed primarily to two groups of active constituents: the ginkgo flavone glycosides and the terpene lactones. Ginkgo flavone glycosides, which typically make up approximately 24% of the extract, are primarily responsible for GBE’s antioxidant activity and may mildly inhibit platelet aggregation (stickiness). These two actions may help GBE prevent circulatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis, and support the brain and central nervous system.1 In addition to the cardiovascular system, GBE’s antioxidant action may also extend to the brain and retina of the eye. Preliminary trials have suggested potential benefit for people with macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The terpene lactones found in GBE, known as ginkgolides and bilobalide, typically make up approximately 6% of the extract. They are associated with increasing circulation to the brain and other parts of the body and may exert a protective action on nerve cells. GBE regulates the tone and elasticity of blood vessels, making circulation more efficient.
The main active compounds in Ginkgo leaves are the flavo- glycosides: kaempferol, quercetin, isorhamnetin, and proantho-cyanidins. These compounds have anti-oxidant and free radical properties. Also important are the terpenes: ginkgolides and bilobalides. One way these agents decrease inflammation is by inhibiting Platelet Activating Factor (PAF) and reducing the stickiness of platelets which can result in decreased circulatory flow. PAF has been implicated in a wide variety of diseases including asthma, heart arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, and atherosclerosis. According to the American Botanical Council pamphlet on ginkgo, Ginkgo preparations currently available on the world market include dried leaf, tinctures, homeopathic preparations and various extracts. The leaves are a rich complex of chemical structures. Active consitutents include bioflavonoids, such as the flavonoid glycosides kaempferol, quercetin and isorhamnetine; flavones; and organic acids. Since large amounts of gingko need to be used to get a pharmacologic effect, it is best used in extract form.
Research summary on Ginkgo Biloba
Moves blood and oxygen to the brain to enhance memory and mental alertness
Helps in the elasticity and strength in the blood vessels and capillaries
Relieves headache, vertigo, and ringing in the ears
Strengthens the cardiovascular system, reducing tendency for clots
Scavenges free-radicals that can damage cells and accelerate aging
GBE is generally regarded as very safe, even by the US FDA, which is quite conservative on the subject. There are no reports of adverse effects in the scientific literature; no reported toxicity; rare experiences of gastric upset or headaches. According to the Herb Research Foundation, the effective dose appears to be around 120 mg to 160 mg per day. This figure refers to the dosage of flavones and gingkolides, that is, the main substances, not to raw herb or entire extract. It can take up to 6-8 weeks for cognitive effects to be noticed.