Ginkgo and Alzheimer’s Disease
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Marianne
Posted on: May 5, 1998

Is the herb Gingko used to slow down Alzheimers and keep the mental mind sharp ?

Ginkgo baloba (Maidenhair tree) is a circulatory stimulant that improves blood flow to peripheral parts of the body, including the brain. Alzheimer’s Disease is progressive brain deterioration due to reduced blood flow, and therefore oxygen, to the brain. This causes memory loss and an inability to think, resulting in difficulty remembering simple tasks and relationships. Ginkgo does help to delay this process. Double-blind studies have shown a significant increase in memory, alertness, attention, sociability, mood and the ability to perform tasks. The dosage must be fairly high for these effects - 160 - 200 mg per day, taken in 3 doses of about 60 mg each.

Other factors in Alzheimer’s, according to studies, may be the accumulation of aluminum toxins in the brain. A study has shown that eliminating aluminum from sources such as aluminum cooking pots and antacids decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s. Studies show that cigarette smoking increases the risk. Vitamin B12 and Zinc supplementation have been shown in studies to reverse dementia.

Christopher Hobbs, in "Ginkgo, Elixir of Youth" (available at Richters) lists the following benefits of Ginkgo: Improves the characteristics and condition of the blood, reducing the risk of blood clots in the vessels; Free radical scavenger, protecting the cells against damage; Increases the uptake and utilization of oxygen and glucose in the tissues throughout the body; Increases blood flow to the brain or extremities; Regulates neurotransmitters, helping against memory loss, depression and senility; Protects the myelin covering on the nerves against some kinds of damage; Protects hearing; Shows anti-bacterial and anti-candida activity.

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