Does Ginkgo biloba work for memory?

Bad news for fans of Ginkgo biloba, often touted as a miracle treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease: it doesn’t appear to help prevent the illness.

As reported by the Montreal Gazette newspaper, French researchers tested Ginkgo bilboa, a rare type of free found largely in China, by giving capsules to one group with the extracts of the tree, and gave another group placebo pills, but that those in the first group were not any less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study, recently published in The Lancet Neurology journal, reports that those looking for a cure to Alzheimer’s will be disappointed if they place reliance in taking Ginkgo biloba capsules.

“The results are disappointing and fail to show that this herbal remedy reduces the risk of Alzheimer's,” Edzard Ernst, a professor at the University of Exeter and expert on Alzheimer's, was quoted as saying. “Another beautiful herbal theory destroyed by an ugly fact,” he said.

And while organizations like the Alzheimer’s Associations across North America – and the world – are likely to be disappointed by the news, there still are ways to lower the risk of dementia.

Increasing physical activity and mental exercise games are still the best ways to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease as much as possible.