Miracle 5p supplement leads to faster processing skills and better memory in just six weeks

An inexpensive supplement is associated with faster processing skills and better memory, and these beneficial effects have been seen in as little as six weeks. Gingko biloba extract, derived from the ancient Ginkgo biloba or maidenhair tree, has long been touted for its health benefits.

A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that these benefits include improved memory in healthy adults.

The researchers sought to examine the relatively short-term (six-week) effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba extract on cognitive functioning in “cognitively intact” subjects aged 55 and older.

At the start of the study, 48 participants were randomly assigned to either a Ginkgo biloba extract or a placebo control group.

Ginkgo biloba contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals: unstable molecules that attack the brain

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To assess participants’ cognitive and behavioral functioning, they were administered a series of neuropsychological tests before the start of Ginkgo biloba extract/placebo therapy and again just before the end of the treatment regimen (after of six weeks).

What did the researchers discover?

Participants who received 180 mg of Ginkgo biloba extract daily for six weeks showed significantly greater improvement in a task assessing speed of processing abilities at the end of treatment compared to participants who received placebo

Improved performances were also observed in the Ginkgo biloba group on three of the four remaining tasks involving a timed and speed processing component, although they did not reach statistical significance.

In addition, a significant relationship was found between the type of treatment (Ginkgo biloba extract or placebo) and participants’ ratings of their overall recall abilities.

Specifically, more participants in the Ginkgo biloba extract group rated their overall recall abilities at the end of treatment as “improved” compared to the placebo group. In contrast, no significant differences were found between the Ginkgo biloba and placebo groups by the end of treatment on any of the four objective memory measures.

A previous study also found that patients diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, who took 240 mg of Ginkgo daily for six months had better memory and cognitive function than those who took a placebo.

However, no definitive conclusions can be drawn at this point. The research is limited and other studies have not reached the same results.

For example, a 2012 review of research on this relationship concluded that Ginkgo supplementation did not result in any measurable improvements in memory, executive function, or attention span.

Therefore, more studies are needed.


Other studies have failed to produce these results

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What could explain this effect?

Ginkgo is rich in antioxidants that are thought to cancel out free radicals—unstable molecules that can attack brain cells.

Free radicals have been widely studied for their effects on age-related conditions such as heart disease, cognitive impairment in particular, memory problems and dementia.

How much Ginkgo biloba is safe to take?

Ginkgo biloba is usually available as pills, capsules, or a tincture. There is no safe upper limit for Ginkgo biloba in the UK, but products tend to vary from 30mg to 500mg.

A typical daily dose can be 240mg for adults and, as a general guide, it should be taken for a minimum of eight weeks to see any effect, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Make sure you read the instructions on the package or patient leaflet before taking it, the EMA advises.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women are not advised to take ginkgo, as safety in these groups has not yet been established, research suggests.

Ginkgo can interact with certain drugs, including:

  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications
  • Medicines to thin the blood, such as warfarin or Ginkgo aspirin, can enhance its effects
  • Anticonvulsants there is a risk that gingko may trigger more seizures
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Antivirals
  • Medicines for diabetes
  • Medicines for blood pressure

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