Ginkgo and Eyesight
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: K. Umholtz
Posted on: February 11, 1999

What do you know about Ginkgo and how it relates to eyesight? My father (who is an optometrist in southern California) recently went to a Optometric seminar at Berkley and said several times they brought up the herb Ginkgo. Do you know anything about this?

Christopher Hobbs, in "Ginkgo, Elixir of Youth" (available at Richters) states that Ginkgo helps protect and restore healthier functioning in the eye. The mechanisms are as follows: the compounds in gingko extract have been shown to concentrate in the eye.

* Ginkgo inhibits Platelet Aggregating Factors

* Ginkgo has free-radical and anti-oxidant properties

* Ginkgo acts to strengthen small capillaries

Studies with animals have shown that ginkgo extract can offer protection in the retina and cornea.

One double-blind study of macular degeneration in patients over age 55 showed significant improvement in acuity of distance vision in the group taking 80 mg of ginkgo extract a day for 6 months.

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