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Ginkgo Foolishness Laid to Rest

Finally the prevailing foolishness about Ginkgo Biloba as a prevention for Alzheimer's and other dementia producing diseases will be laid to rest.


I have long considered the value of Ginkgo as a prevention for Alzheimer's as so much nonsense. Ginkgo has had a wide following for at least 20 years of more. It has long been the darling of the medical knowledge challenged, the quacks and the Charlatans of the herbal cure alls.


I am happy that I did not subject June to taking this as just another pill to help her.


The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday November 19th 2008 reported in their "Health" column that "Ginkgo Fails to Postpone Dementia."


The basis of their revealing article was a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The Journal reported on the results of a trial described as the "largest and longest to date of the herbal compound." "The study followed 3,069 adults age 75 and older - about half of them with normal cognitive function and half with mild cognitive impairment - for an average of nearly six years. One group received  twice daily dose of ginkgo while the other received a placebo."


Over that period of time 523 participants developed some form of dementia

 The overall dementia rate was 3.3 cases per 100 person years in the Ginkgo condition and 2.9 per 100 person years in the placebo condition. 

The report said that the different rate between the Gingko participants and the Placebo participants is not statistically significant. (They treated both rates as essentially the same.)


Never-the-less, the Gingko participants had a higher rate of dementia symptom development than the non Gingko participants. It may not be statistically significant unless you are the one of the few additional participants developing the dementia symptoms.


The article also points out that the findings suggest the $250 million that Americans spend on Gingko every year as a waste of money. Amen to that!

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