What is Gingko Biloba extract?

Ginkgo biloba extract is available as a supplement that is obtained from Ginkgo biloba trees, native to China. These trees can be dated back to 270 million years in fossils. They have a long history of use in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to treat conditions such as asthma (2nash). Modern uses include using the leaf extract for various medicinal and health needs. Ginkgo biloba is also used in traditional cooking in China and Japan.

What are Ginkgo Biloba extracts composed of?

Ginkgo biloba extracts are composed of trilactone terpene, ginkgolides A, B and C and flavonoids, each having their own use (nash). There is evidence to suggest that ginkgolides inhibit platelet aggregation and increase circulation (12 nash). Ginkgolide B is the most potent ginkgolide and has been tested the most scientifically. Flavonoids are antioxidants which have benefits such as antiaging and neuronal benefits (13 nash). Bilobalide is a trilactone terpene found in ginkgo biloba extracts. Bilobalide has been shown to reduce neuronal inflammation (16nash), reduce hypoxia-induced inflammation (46nash) and decrease inflammatory pain (47nash). It may also be involved in neuroprotection (48nash). Some extracts have a combination of all of these while others are more specific and have specific amounts of each. A number of studies have been done using the whole Ginkgo Biloba extract and using just components of it.

Health benefits of Ginkgo Biloba

Antioxidant properties

Cells age partly due to exposure to free radicals that cause them damage over time. This can be prevented with antioxidants that remove free radicals. Ginkgo biloba extracts can inhibit the damage caused by free radicals (10,11zuo). It does this by scavenging the free radicals and minimizing the damage. This has benefits in anti-aging and preserving our tissue.

Anti-lipid peroxidation properties

When unsaturated fatty acids in our bodies are exposed to free radicals, they are prone to damage. This can be detrimental to our bodies. Ginkgo extract can increase circulating amounts of these fatty acids and protect against free radical damage (23zuo)

DNA protection from free radical damage

Free radical damage to DNA can cause mutations and this can lead to further problems in the future such as cancer. Ginkgo biloba extract has been found to reduce free radical damage to cells in lab tests (27 Zuo). Ginkgo biloba extract can even increase the DNA repair rate in lab tests (28zuo). This helps preserve our DNA and protect it from damage.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Ginkgo biloba extract has been used to treat Alzheimer’s disease (79zuo). Patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia were found to improve with ginkgo extracts (89zuo) 5,67,76nash. It is not used as treatment throughout the world for Alzheimer’s disease. It is best to consult a doctor before trying to use it as treatment.

Neural benefit

Healthy seniors between the ages of 50 and 65 were found to have improved mental health and quality of life after taking ginkgo biloba extracts (85zuo). It may improve memory and cognitive processes (86zuo). Ginkgo biloba extracts have neuroprotective effects as well (102103nash). It does this partly through its free radical scavenging and induction of antioxidant enzymes.

Cancer benefit

Ginkgo biloba extracts can reduce the growth of cancer cells in the lab (99zuo). It has the potential to do the same in the body but more testing is needed.

Blood Circulation benefit

There have been some studies suggesting ginkgo biloba extracts can improve blood circulation and function in people having reduced blood flow problems (86nash87. A number of people use this to increase their blood circulation. It is believed to be effective through dilating the blood vessels and reducing platelet aggregation. Because of this, it is not recommended for people who have bleeding problems.

Ischemic stroke benefit

It has been found that individuals who have suffered from strokes have better cognitive and neurological testing outcomes after taking ginkgo biloba extract with aspirin in comparison to taking just aspirin alone (li). The authors concluded that the treatment alleviated cognitive and neurological deficits that follow strokes.

Sepsis benefit

Ginkgolide B, a component of ginkgo biloba extracts, has been shown to be effective along with antimicrobials in reducing mortality for those suffering from sepsis (30 in nash). Thus, it is possible that taking this along with antimicrobials might improve your chances of fighting infection.

Precautions with Ginkgo biloba extracts

Ginkgo biloba supplements should be taken as recommended on the bottle or by a physician. Some minor side effects that have been seen include stomach upset, headache, dizziness, constipation, forceful heartbeat and allergic skin reactions. If you have any of these reactions, stop taking the supplements or consult a doctor. Ginkgo biloba extracts also can reduce or slow blood clotting because of their effect on platelet activity. If you are taking any medication affecting blood clotting, please consult a doctor about taking ginkgo biloba extracts. Advil or ibuprofen can also reduce blood clotting. Be cautious while taking ginkgo biloba extracts along with advil or ibuprofen. If you have bleeding problems or a bleeding condition, please consult a doctor before taking ginkgo biloba extracts.

MapleLife Ginkgo Biloba extracts

MapleLife Nutrition and Formula produce high-quality natural supplements at a great price. Their Ginkgo Biloba extract supplements come highly recommended and are well reviewed. They come with the combination of different components found in the Ginkgo Biloba that have been documented to have circulatory, cognitive and neuronal benefits. There is an option in terms number of capsules that you can buy, small with 150 capsules and large with 300 capsules. There is a reason why Chinese and Japanese medicine has used Ginkgo Biloba for so many years. Try the Ginkgo Biloba extract supplements and see the benefits for yourself!