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Ginkgo Biloba Extract: Anti-Aging, Brain Boosting and Many More Health Benefits!

Breakthrough research shows that Ginkgo biloba extract has more beneficial and far-reaching effects on our body’s health, on so many different levels, than any other nutritional supplement!

Read this Health & Wellness Update to learn how Ginkgo helps:

  • Slow down the aging process
  • Protect mitochondria, the tiny energy factories inside cells that provide the “spark of life”
  • Sharpen your mental performance
  • Protect against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders
  • Increase your concentration and short-term memory
  • Boost your energy levels
  • Improve circulation to your feet, legs and hands
  • Enhance your sex life as a result of increased blood circulation

In the past we’ve discussed how to choose a safe, effective and superb Ginkgo biloba supplement. Today, we’d like to share the latest scientific research on Ginkgo and how this best-selling herb is much, much more than a mind booster. Breakthrough research has shown that Ginkgo actually stimulates our body’s natural protective mechanisms on a genetic level—which means that Ginkgo biloba extract can help slow down the aging process!

What is Ginkgo used for?

The therapeutic use of Ginkgo biloba goes back centuries, and is described in traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia. Today, it is recognized around the world for its ability to neutralize free radicals and support healthy circulation to the brain and extremities. By increasing blood flow, Ginkgo exerts a positive effect on the entire vascular system, and particularly helps provide nourishment to the brain, eyes, ears, and heart muscle.

Ginkgo also helps prevent blood clots and has been used successfully for problems relating to poor circulation, such as phlebitis (inflammation of a vein) and diabetic peripheral vascular disease and even impotence. Since Ginkgo helps support peripheral circulation, it may provide relief to people who suffer from leg pain during or after exercise, and cold hands and feet. Ginkgo is also used to relieve the annoying ringing in the ears associated with tinnitis.

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It’s in the Genes

There have been hundreds of studies done on Gingko biloba extract in the past three decades, but the most significant discoveries have just recently been made. This research has utilized new techniques that allow scientists to examine how a compound such as Ginkgo changes the expression of genes in our cells. With these methods it is now possible to examine how something affects thousands of genes at one time. In a way, this is like seeing what different buttons get pushed inside cells, and this lets scientists see how a compound truly affects how the cells function.

It would be hard to imagine a product that pushed more of the right buttons than Ginkgo. This research has shown that Ginkgo is able to induce a variety of our cells’ natural protective enzymes, including those involved in antioxidant protection, energy production, cellular maintenance, and DNA repair. Additionally, levels of important growth hormones within the brain were dramatically enhanced.1

It now seems certain that Ginkgo’s unique and impressive properties come from its synergistic combination of antioxidant and protective constituents, combined with the extracts’ ability to induce our cells’ own natural antioxidant and protective factors. This makes Ginkgo truly unique as it not only provides us with a source of healthful flavonoids and terpenes that possess a variety of beneficial properties, but also actually stimulates our body’s natural protective mechanisms on a genetic level. There is no other product that has so many beneficial and far reaching effects on our body’s health, on so many different levels.1

Ginkgo is a proven longevity supplement

Research has shown that as we age, mitochondria become less efficient at producing energy and more efficient at generating damaging free radicals. This vicious cycle is now believed to be a major contributor to the aging process, and not surprisingly, also to memory loss.

Recent research has also shown that Ginkgo biloba extract is remarkably effective at protecting mitochondria from damage. Even more impressive, Ginkgo has been shown to not only preserve mitochondria structure and function in aging animals, but to also significantly extend their life span!

Bilobalide is proving to be a major contributor to Ginkgo’s ability to protect mitochondria from the effects of aging and damage, which is a proven strategy to extend life span. All the more reason to take a Ginkgo supplement with as much bilobalide content as possible!

Ginkgo protects your brain from long-term damage

Scientists believe that aging and many diseases, including arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and atherosclerosis, are the result of oxidative stress and the accumulation of damage, especially in our mitochondria. Ginkgo’s antioxidant properties neutralize the free radicals that can damage proteins within the cell, enzymes, or the fragile lipid membranes that surround and protect the cell. Additionally, it is particularly effective at protecting and preserving mitochondrial function.

Brain cells are composed mainly of fat, which is particularly vulnerable to free radical damage. Individuals who sustain free radical damage over a long period of time may experience deterioration in their mental capacity. Ginkgo has been proven to protect the delicate brain cells from this devastating damage.

Effective against Alzheimer’s disease

The first empirical clinical trial of Ginkgo biloba extract conducted in the United States, and reported in the October 22, 1997 Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that Ginkgo was beneficial in delaying the progression of dementia in patients for six months to one year. The double-blind clinical trial involved 327 patients with dementia (caused by Alzheimer’s or stroke) in which the patients were randomly assigned to take either Ginkgo supplements or a look-alike placebo every day for one year.

According to Pierre L. LeBars, M.D., Ph.D. and his colleagues from the New York Institute for Medical Research, Tarrytown, N.Y., after six months of daily supplementation, almost one third of the Alzheimer’s patients taking Ginkgo showed improvement in their social behavior and on standard tests of reasoning and memory. The group that took the placebo did worse in all areas, which would be expected due to the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s.

In a recent study, LeBars and his team did another 52-week, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study using 120 mg of Ginkgo. The results of this study were similar to the first, providing proof again that the Alzheimers patients who received Ginkgo showed improvement in cognitive performance and social functioning regardless of the stage of dementia, whether mild or moderately severe. However, in patients who had more severe dementia, the Ginkgo biloba extract proved to slow down or stabilize symptoms, rather than help improve functioning and performance. 2

Ginkgo improves intelligence in healthy, young people

You don’t have to be middle-aged or older for Ginkgo to help increase brainpower! Recently, there has been much speculation that Ginkgo may act as a ‘smart drug,’ improving intelligence in healthy, young people.

In a 30-day double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 61 participants were given a battery of validated neuropsychological tests before and after treatment with Ginkgo. Results indicated that due to the Ginkgo, the subjects showed a significant improvement in the speed at which they processed information and retained it. 3

In another placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 20 participants received 120 mg, 240 mg and 360 mg of a standardized extract of Ginkgo or a placebo. The results showed that the people who received 240 mg and 360 mg of Ginkgo biloba extract had a sustained improvement in attention, even six hours after they had received the supplement.4

How does Ginkgo biloba work?

More than 400 studies and reports have been published on Ginkgo and the research has demonstrated that its medical benefits depend on the action of two groups of active constituents: Ginkgo flavone glycosides and terpene lactones. The glycoside constituents include the bioflavonoid compounds that give Ginkgo its antioxidant activity throughout the body. The terpene lactones increase circulation and energy production in the brain and other parts of the body, allowing better oxygen and glucose uptake.

Ginkgo has been shown to:

  • Increase blood circulation throughout the body
  • Build capillary strength and reduce blood loss from capillary vessels
  • Decrease the clumping of blood in the circulatory system
  • Increase cellular glucose uptake to energize cells
  • Act as a powerful antioxidant, protecting against lipid peroxidation and other diseases and chronic conditions related to the production of free radicals, including aging
  • Exert an anti-inflammatory effect
  • Prevent oxidative damage to mitochondria (the energy factories inside every cell in your body), suggesting that Ginkgo exhibits beneficial effects on neuron degenerative diseases by preventing chronic oxidative damage and restoring energy production{ref 5}

How long should I take Ginkgo biloba extract?

Ginkgo biloba extract will continue to boost your brain power and circulation for as long as you take it. One bottle is a great start. You’ll notice almost immediately that your thinking is sharper, your memory is clearer, and you have more brain power to do the things you want to do with confidence.

Recent findings that life long Ginkgo supplementation not only preserves memory, but also prevents the deterioration of the energy producing mitochondria in cells and extends the life span of animals makes taking Ginkgo every day a logical choice—the only choice.

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References

  1. Gohil K, Moy RK, Farzin S, Maguire JJ, Packer L. “mRNA Expression Profile of a Human Cancer Cell Line in Response to Ginkgo Biloba Extract: Induction of Antioxidant Response and the Golgi System.” Free Radic Res 2001 Dec;33(6):831-849
  2. Le Bars PL, Velasco FM, Ferguson JM, Dessain EC, Kieser M, Hoerr R. “Influence of the severity of cognitive impairment on the effect of the Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in Alzheimer’s disease”Neuropsychobiology 2002;45(1):19-26
  3. Stough C, Clarke J, Lloyd J, Nathan PJ. “Neuropsychological changes after 30-day Ginkgo biloba administration in healthy participants.” Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2001 Jun;4(2):131-4
  4. Kennedy DO, Scholey AB, Wesnes KA. “The dose-dependent cognitive effects of acute administration of Ginkgo biloba to healthy young volunteers.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2000 Sep;151(4):416-23
  5. Yoshikawa T, Naito Y, Kondo M. “Ginkgo biloba leaf extract: review of biological actions and clinical applications.” Antioxid Redox Signal 1999 Winter;1(4):469-80

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