Ginkgo biloba won't boost your memory
Millions of people take vitamin supplements and among the most popular is ginkgo biloba, with a reputation for boosting concentration, memory and even thwarting dementia.
But the popular herb has been proven to do none of those things, according to a new study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study is being called the largest clinical trial to date on the plant extract's value in slowing cognitive decline.
In the study of some 3,000 people ages 72 to 96, half received doses of 120-mog ginkgo extract twice a day for about six years. The other half got a placebo. The team of researchers didn't find any difference in memory language or attention and saw no differences in effects by age, race or education.
It isn't surprising. Last year, a comprehensive clinical trial concluded that supplement is not effective in prolonging or staving off Alzheimer's. An accompanying editorial said taking the supplement won't help and could possibly cause harm.
It's not just ginko biloba whose medical benefits have been questioned. The jury's still out on a host of supplements. Yet Americans spend billions every year on them.
Do you? What do you think?