Today I’m going to talk about the benefits of ginkgo biloba supplements. Ginkgo Biloba had been around for a very long time and is, in fact, one of the oldest natural medicines ever used. Back years and years ago it was primarily for energy gain and a few other benefits.
Now, thousands of years later research shows us that it not only gives us energy but improves our blood flow. This is why research is being conducted one blood flow related problems such as headaches and some vision impairments and sexual problems. (1) Another benefit of Ginkgo Biloba is its effect on exercise-induced leg cramps (claudication). (2)
What we are most interested in the nootropic benefits of the leaves of this plant. A doctor named Dr. Andrew Scholey found that ginkgo had the immediate benefits of improved concentration, memory, and attention. (3) The reason he found was that the extract promotes Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is an energy molecule that improves nerve cell transmission. Thirty-four studies have been performed that all prove that Ginkgo has very positive effects on our minds.
You can also find Ginkgo Biloba as a key ingredient in Neuro Peak
So How Does Ginkgo Biloba Work
Flavonoids are an excellent influence on the nervous system:
Flavonoids protect our nervous system by suppressing neuroinflammation (is inflammation of the nervous tissue. It may be initiated in response to a variety of cues, including infection, traumatic brain injury, toxic metabolites, or autoimmunity.)
Terpenoids positively affect our entire body by dilating blood vessels to improve blood flow. When blood flow is increased we see positive effects on our brains.
To sum that up, if our cells have a lot of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, then they can perform at peak levels. (4)
- Cerebral blood vessels dilate
- Blood (potentially) becomes less viscous
- Brain cells have access to more oxygen and nutrients
- Their ability to do their jobs, perform maintenance and proliferate increases
- Cognitive function improves
Ginkgo Biloba is a great nootropic to improve our memory. Cholinesterase inhibitors work by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, the main neurotransmitter in the brain. It needs to work properly in order for the cognitive function to work correctly too.
Ginkgo helps preserve the choline as well as the acetylcholine in the brain. It promotes the healthy production of neurons including other neural structures such as synaptic connections which contribute to the development and accessibility of memories.
Clinical trials suggest that Ginkgo Biloba may enhance some areas of memory in healthy populations. A six-week study involving middle-aged healthy volunteers with no cognitive impairment showed that daily a dosage greatly increased information recall, although their overall cognition was unaffected. (5)
Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba
Energy boosting was the original use of Ginkgo thousands of years ago and well before nootropic benefits were discovered. From research in our time, it’s energy boosting benefit has beenscientifically proven.
Because it improves blood circulation throughout our body and increases oxygenation, increased blood flow to our muscles is increased giving us more energy and the ability to perform longer. (6)
Helps Fight Anxiety
There haven’t been too many studies on the use of Ginkgo for anxiety and we are still waiting. However, there has been one good study in 2007 that found Ginkgo may help people suffering from generalized anxiety. Generalized anxiety is chronic over worrying about everyday things.
Researchers took 82 volunteers who suffer from generalized anxiety. They also took 25 volunteers suffering from adjustment disorders as well as generalized anxiety. Some were given Ginkgo Biloba and some placebo for four weeks. At the end of the four-week period, the people given the Ginkgo showed a great improvement in their anxiety symptoms. Those taking the placebo did not. (7)
It should be noted that there is little scientific research comparing the effectiveness of ginkgo to that of anti-anxiety medications for the treatment of any type of anxiety disorder.
Reduction in Headaches
There are a lot of reasons we get headaches these days. Stress is the most common, fatigue, eye strain, alcohol (hangover) etc. Ginkgo can help.
Being as it is a natural anticoagulant and a blood-thinner, it will help with relief from headaches. What it does is reduce accumulation of platelets to stickiness helping to greatly lower pain and migraines.
By reducing pain by dilating blood vessels it also combats migraines in people who suffer stress-related migraines.
Once again, because of its ability to decrease the viscosity of our blood, we have great nootropic benefits. Making our blood less sticky improving blood flow, it allows better oxygen flow which results in better cognitive ability.
Ginkgo also increases our levels of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine which is related to learning and effects dopamine which then elevates our mood.
Many of the published reports of Ginkgo’s effects one cognition have involved patients suffering from mild to moderate cognitive impairment. What they say is, these studies found statistically significant improvement in performance on standardized tests of cognitive function after treatment with Ginkgo.
Helps to Prevent and/or Treat ADHD
Ginkgo Biloba has shown to improve our cognitive performance in a lot of studies. There have only been a few small studies one Ginkgo and it affects one ADHD in the past, some positive and some not.
One study shows that Ginkgo Biloba can be somewhat effective at reducing ADHD symptoms in children. A group of 50 children who suffered from ADHD was assembled and each was given up to 120 milligrams of Ginkgo per day. The result was lower symptoms of ADHD. However, it did not perform better than methylphenidate (Ritalin), suggesting the need for future trials at higher doses. (8)
Another study found that people with ADHD who took a Ginkgo had their symptoms improve. Children who were given 240 mg of Ginkgo Biloba extract daily for three to five weeks showed a reduction in their ADHD symptoms, but with few negative side effects. (9)
Improving Sleep Quality
In numerous cases, it has been discovered Ginkgo Biloba may improve our sleep quality. This is because of the supplements antioxidant ability. A study suggests that healthy people having difficulty sleeping can take 240mg of Ginkgo Biloba/day may be able to improve their sleep quality. (10)
The recommended dose of Ginkgo Biloba is 40 mg 3-times/day, however daily intake can be from 120 – 600 mg depending on your issue.
Ginkgo does take a while for you to achieve the full effects you desire. Give it about a month.
This is a must read!
For the most part, most healthy adults will not experience any side effects.
If you are allergic to plants that contain alkylphenols or taking certain medications, you should not take ginkgo.
Possible side effects include:
- Stomach pain
- Rash/allergic reaction
Ginkgo has the potential to interact negatively with some medications. Some interactions could increase the risk of bleeding.
- Blood thinners (Warfarin, aspirin)
- SSRIs/MAOIs/antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft)
- NSAIDS (ibuprofen, Tylenol)
Women who are pregnant or nursing are advised to avoid Ginkgo biloba, as there is little data on its effects in these situations.
Where to Buy Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is extremely widely available. It is sold from many stores and is readily available online and can be ordered by clicking the bottle to the right.