EFFECTS OF THE GINKGO BILOBA – Most clinical studies on efficacy have been conducted with a standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba which is named officially Egb 761. A standardized extract of the leaves of Ginkgo biloba contain ginkgolides, bilobalide, terpene trilactones, flavonoids, such as, quercetin, kaempferol, and isohamnetin, and ginkgolic acids. They are limited quantities and these limits was imposed because alkylphenols, such as ginkgolic acid have been reported to induce contact dermatitis.
The Ginkgo biloba extracts were reported to act anti-asthmatic, antioxidant, reduce cerebral insufficiency, relieve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia, and enhance short-term memory in healty subjects.
It has also neuroprotective, metabolic, and rheological effects. Furthermore Ginkgo biloba extract form the basis of the activity of the older synthetic nootropics. Although many studies have attempted to determine the effects of the Ginkgo biloba extracts on the central nervous system, this is not well understood.
Alzheimer’s dementia is an important indication for the therapeutic efficacy of Ginkgo biloba extract. It is hypothesised that Alzheimer’s dementia is due to a “cholinergic deficit” at central synapses. Because of that the cholinesterase inhibitors such as donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine are developed.
In one clinical trial effects of the Ginkgo biloba extracts and cholinesterase inhibitors’ on Alzheimer’s disease were compared. In that study those materials’ effectiveness were measured with “cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale” whose scores range from 0 to 70 (lower values are better). The initial scores of the patients in the trials were between 20 to 30. After 6 months treatment the improvements were about two points under with Ginkgo biloba and two-four points with the cholinesterase inhibitors.
Consequently the adverse effects of the treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors are 10 times common and the treatment costs five times higher than with Ginkgo biloba extracts.
Ginkgo biloba tree Another feature of the Ginkgo biloba extract is to enhance membrane fluidity. All of our cells have a cell membrane which separates inside and outside of the cells. The cell membrane is involved in numerous essential functions that are needed by all living organisms, such as animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, viruses and so on. For instance protection, regulating transport in and out of the cell, providing a passageway across the membrane for certain molecules. Membrane fluidity is an important aspect of a healty cell.
The fluid nature of the membrane allows for fusion of membranes, provides equal distribution of new lipids and new proteins which are the main components of a cell membrane, allows proper separation of membranes during cell division.
It has been hypothesized that a reduction in fluidity of a cell membrane is an important component of age related functional decline. It has been shown that Ginkgo biloba can enhance this feature in aged mice.
Ginkgo biloba is also used for the treatment of peripheral circulatory insufficiency, cerebrovascular diseases. Recently physicians have been interested in Ginkgo biloba because of the side effects and limited efectiveness of the cholinesterase inhibitors.
Ginkgo biloba extract has also anti-ischemic properties attributable to the terpenoid fraction.
Most clinical studies on efficacy have been conducted with a standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba which is named officially Egb 761. The scientists have still been working on Ginkgo biloba extract’s natural healing alternatives.