Gingko Biloba Controversy

Gingkolide BThe structure of an active component of herbal remedy Gingko biloba is causing controversy among chemists apparently related to InChI strings and such matters.

Structural controversies may become a moot point given recent research that seems to suggest that one of the main benefits of taking this herbal remedy – memory improvement – is not valid.

A three-year study involving 118 people age 85 and older with no apparent memory problems was carried out by Hiroko Dodge and colleagues in the Department of Public Health and Center for Healthy Aging Research at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Half of the participants took Ginkgo biloba extract three times a day and half took a placebo. During the course of the study, 21 people developed mild memory problems, or questionable dementia: 14 of those took the placebo and seven took the ginkgo extract. Although there was a trend favoring ginkgo, the difference between those who took gingko versus the placebo was not statistically significant.

More on this from the American Academy of Neurology

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