Ginkgo Improves Brain Function, Extends Life Span

Documented in animal and human studies, the pharmaceutical extract of ginkgo biloba has been shown to protect and improve cognitive performance.

Now, it may have a new function. In France and Germany, ginkgo is one of the most frequently prescribed drugs because of its broad-spectrum effects against a host of degenerative diseases.

An unexpected finding occurred in a study published in Physiology & Behavior (1998, Vol 63, No 3 pp-425-433). The study was designed to evaluate the neurological effects of ginkgo, and as expected, ginkgo improved learning and memory in a variety of tests to assess cognitive function.

What surprised the scientists, however, was the rats administered ginkgo lived a mean of 31 months compared to 26.4 months in the placebo group. In human equivalency terms, these results indicate that ginkgo could extend life span by 11 years. The scientists who conducted this study went into quite a bit of detail to explain why ginkgo may have produced this unexpected longevity benefit, and suggested that life span studies on ginkgo extract be initiated to confirm these initial results.

Life Extension Magazine April 1999

Used with permission

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