Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ginkgo Doesn't Improve Memory Or Cognitive Skills

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the go-go-science dept.

Medicine 403

JumperCable writes "Ginkgo biloba has failed — again — to live up to its reputation for boosting memory and brain function. Just over a year after a study showed that the herb doesn't prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new study from the same team of researchers has found no evidence that ginkgo reduces the normal cognitive decline that comes with aging. In the new study, the largest of its kind to date, DeKosky and his colleagues followed more than 3,000 people between the ages of 72 and 96 for an average of six years. Half of the participants took two 120-milligram capsules of ginkgo a day during the study period, and the other half took a placebo. The people who took ginkgo showed no differences in attention, memory, and other cognitive measures compared to those who took the placebo, according to the study, which was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association."

cancel ×

403 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595146)

lolcats!

You know what else it's good for though, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595160)

It's basically herbal Viagra! BOING! Not that that would interest anyone here.

Re:You know what else it's good for though, right? (1, Funny)

Forge (2456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596030)

In other news Red Bull dose not actually give you wings and drinking it will not enable you to fly.

We return to our reporter at the scene where emergency crews are cleaning up the mess left by someone who took an add for a food or drink product literally.

Ginkgo is FOOD. Not medicine. Meaning that all the distributors need to prove is that it isn't poisonous and they can sell it with all kinds of wild claims attached. Perhaps the rules should change to require literal truth. "Our bear makes other people more beautiful to you"

Re:You know what else it's good for though, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30596158)

It's food just like willow bark is food.

Re:You know what else it's good for though, right? (3, Funny)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596174)

"Our bear makes other people more beautiful to you"

Is that a Care Bear, or what kind of bear, exactly?

Re:You know what else it's good for though, right? (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596332)

It's "Tipsy Bear" from the care bear family. Either that or kind of "beer" you drink.

Those Scientists! (-1, Troll)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595206)

Dey got wrong on a gecko, dey lie like momma say. Dey wrong bout dat dang clamutt changin'.

That's just Western prejudice (5, Funny)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595232)

These euro-centric "scientists" can't see pas their narrow-minded blinders to tap into the millenia of cultural experience embodied in Eastern medical and spiritual traditions. The point is, Gingko Baloba has a very potent effect when added to the labels of alternative medical products, causing them to fly off the shelves in exchange for cash. Western medicine is just jealous and probably racist and sexist against peoples like me.

Re:That's just Western prejudice (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595506)

Sounds like they should do some tests on this "placebo" stuff to see what makes it as good as ginkgo.

Re:That's just Western prejudice (4, Interesting)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595946)

I know you're joking, but I actually would have thought it really cool if they had a second control group who took nothing, just to see if there is a psychosomatic element in play.

Re:That's just Western prejudice (1)

anarchyboy (720565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596230)

There is, that's why they tested it against placebo. If they had tested it against taking nothing they would have found ginkgo (or the placebo) improved memory.

Re:That's just Western prejudice (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596292)

Yep, the Placebo effect is well documented so there's really no need to test it in every study.

Re:That's just Western prejudice (2, Insightful)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596286)

I read this [wired.com] a while back, and it's been noted that placebos are becoming even more effective... so the manufacturers are making even more potent ones.

Re:That's just Western prejudice (1, Insightful)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595620)

ROFLMAO!

Science is not centric anything, you look at the evidence and if it do not support the claims made by the manufacturer, it's clearly bullshit.

Not that I had expected the result to be anything different than what it currently is. Just because something is used by a group of people for years does not mean it actually works. Ref religion, clearly a fantasy yet millions of people are dumb enough to accept it as reality without asking the most basic questions.

Re:That's just Western prejudice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595752)

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

Re:That's just Western prejudice (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595920)

Too. Damn. Funny.

Re:That's just Western prejudice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30596172)

You think it's funny but when I end up living for thousands of years and you croak from a toxic indused cancerous heart stroke and the western "doctors" can't do anything because your yang karma balance aura is totally waked out from flouricidated water and killer vaccines, I will have the last laugh over a cup of steaming medicinal chai. --CFAFI, going underground as an "anonymous" to evade myself from the Italian terrorists who control Slashdot

Re:That's just Western prejudice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30596040)

Thank you.

To this post I feel I should add: Gingko Biloba.

(does it work for mod points?)

Re:That's just Western prejudice (1, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596198)

These euro-centric "scientists" can't see pas their narrow-minded blinders to tap into the millenia of cultural experience embodied in Eastern medical and spiritual traditions.

Yup, right up there with leeching and medicinal tapeworms. Those aren't "eastern", but they were used for years too. Got a headache? We'll drill a gaping, untreated hole in your head to release the "bad spirits"! Thats African, not "eastern", but do you think it's not effective? You must clearly be racist and sexist as well.

The point is, Gingko Baloba has a very potent effect when added to the labels of alternative medical products, causing them to fly off the shelves in exchange for cash.

Yup, it makes yuppies in "Organic" food stores worldwide not listen to reason. I've another shipment of snake oil that's been selling so well I can hardly keep it in stock. Since that's your only proof of effect so far, this stuff must be awesome. I'll get you some dirt cheap if you want. I swear!!!

Western medicine is just jealous and probably racist and sexist against peoples like me.

This statement confuses me such that I'm not quite sure how to comment. I'll try anyway, after a deep breath. Ginkgo Baloba[sic] is a plant. I am sure that by pure virtue of you posting your above comment, you are not a plant, certainly not of the same species as Ginkgo is. I'm fairly certain that you can't rightfully claim any similarity between your gender, whatever it may be, and that of any type of Ginkgo. Why is it that you assume some sort of racial or even sexist slight against you, whomever or whatever you might be, when a study is done involving herbal qualities of a plant and they're found to be equivalent to a placebo?


Oh, unless you thought the whole thing was about Ginkgo Balboa, Rocky's little known Chinese adopted sister.

Ginko has a different effect on me (2, Interesting)

Green Light (32766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595234)

I have noticed that when I take it, I am more "motivated". I get up out of my chair and do stuff, rather than surf, say, slashdot.

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (5, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595368)

People say the same about crystal meth

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595838)

And sugar pills.

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (4, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595488)

Well, that or you just assume that's the effect it will have on you, and so you behave accordingly.

But, hey, who am I to argue with a placebo effect that works for you?

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595562)

Exercise will have the same effect on you and improve your health.

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30596116)

i prefer meth

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (2, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596138)

It's true, but it's harder to get motivated enough to exercise. It's fairly easy to get motivated enough to take a pill.

Maybe he should take the pill to get motivated to exercise...

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595590)

I took gingko once, i was able to see each individual raindrop hitting the parking lot all at once. It was pretty wild stuff. I never did it again. Yes, I'm sure that's what I took.

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595660)

I get up out of my chair and do stuff

Playing a video game while standing is hardly takes any motivation.

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595978)

I get up out of my chair and do stuff

Playing a video game while standing is hardly takes any motivation.

Oh come on, he was talking about real activity, like going to the kitchen for food and soda. Sheesh.

Re:Ginko has a different effect on me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30596244)

I took Ginkgo Biloba regularly for a few months and, while I think my breath was fresher, I did not note any evidence that I remembered stuff better. I quit taking it. It didn't seem worth the money.

OTOH, I wasn't testing my memory in any standard way; my comment is purely anecdotal. Still, as an irrational human being, I am glad to read a scientific study that supports my preconception.

So what exactly then... (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595240)

...is ginkgo biloba good for?

Re:So what exactly then... (3, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595472)

The same thing that the color black is good for. Selling stuff to people.

Re:So what exactly then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595544)

Making money. Lots of stuff is sold because it can do "All Sorts of Wonder-full Stuff(tm): Fight aging, teach children math, make you more attractive, shed that belly fat, and make you spll gud," But all it dose is make some one some money for selling it.

I have found that once I learned how marketing worked it that knowledge was like an inoculation against sales tactics. Spotting the over inflated clams of salesmen, and of the using public, makes it much simpler to avoid stupid trends like "OMG Ginkgo makes you SMART!"

Re:So what exactly then... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595812)

...is ginkgo biloba good for?

Well, according to Wikipedia:

Out of the many conflicting research results, Ginkgo extract may have three effects on the human body: improvement in blood flow (including microcirculation in small capillaries) to most tissues and organs; protection against oxidative cell damage from free radicals; and blockage of many of the effects of platelet-activating factor (platelet aggregation, blood clotting) that have been related to the development of a number of cardiovascular, renal, respiratory and central nervous system disorders. Ginkgo can be used for intermittent claudication.

Some studies suggest a link between ginkgo and the easing of the symptoms of tinnitus.

Preliminary studies suggest that Ginkgo may be of benefit in multiple sclerosis, showing modest improvements in cognition and fatigue without increasing rates of serious adverse events in this population.

A study conducted in 2003 by the Department of Dermatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India concluded that Ginkgo is an effective treatment for arresting the development of vitiligo.

Sources:

Re:So what exactly then... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595900)

Ginkgo Balboa is clinically proven to improve your boxing skills...

Re:So what exactly then... (2)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596242)

Made me lol @work. Wish I had mod points. :)

Re:So what exactly then... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595940)

ginkgo biloba , HUH!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it agian.

Medical conspiracy! (5, Funny)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595242)

Yes but was it ORGANIC Kinkgo?? That is the question! This test was obviously conducted by real doctors who don't want us to know the truth about the power of eating weeds that grow in exotic jungles.

Re:Medical conspiracy! (5, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595536)

No, first you need to grow the Ginko organically. Then you need to increase the potency by diluting it homeopathically. Next, you form it into an ear candle [discovermagazine.com] . Once you do that, the the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot will contact the aliens from Vega 7 who will beam increased memory skills and ESP into you. But if any of this is attempted by "Western medicine", it will all fail.

Re:Medical conspiracy! (3, Interesting)

The Flymaster (112510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596204)

Well, not to speak for ginko or non-science, but it's not like eating weeds that grow in exotic jungles hasn't helped save a life or two.

Re:Medical conspiracy! (3, Insightful)

cain (14472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596210)

I know you're making a joke, but ginko is far from exotic and nor is it a weed (it's a tree). It is widely grown in cities as it is very hardy. If you live in NYC, you see them all over the place and come fall can't help but smell the foul odor of the pods as they fall to the ground and are crushed underfoot.

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=200005235 [efloras.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgo_Biloba [wikipedia.org]
&c, &c

"Americans spent $107 million on it" (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595272)

Holy shit, that's a lot of placebo.
But just wait until I convince everyone to eat my lawn. I'll be rich!

Oh wait ... http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/pages/product_detail.asp?pid=138 [hollandandbarrett.com]

Re:"Americans spent $107 million on it" (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596028)

Holy shit, that's a lot of placebo.

There was a study done (google it yourself, I'm feeling lazy) that showed that placebos work better when they're expensive (the target must know of the great value of the placebo).

Mind over matter, and keep your mind on the pricetag!

Actually works to their advantage (5, Funny)

jarocho (1617799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595362)

I bet the herbal supplements industry is hoping its customers will forget all about this report eventually... :)

Re:Actually works to their advantage (2, Informative)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595654)

They don't need to. Herbal health people are like religious extremists, any sort of logic won't get absorbed by their brain.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (0, Troll)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595874)

Or Apple users at that.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (0, Flamebait)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596118)

what a fucking troll why do you think its so cool to bash religion? Real good example of tolerance asshole.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (1)

The Damned Yankee (829738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596176)

Oh, sure. The spin will be about how "Big Pharma" is trying to suppress the "truth" about herbal remedies. So a report like this will be given roughly the same deference as the John Birch Society gives a White House press release. If it's not an out-and-out lie (to them), then it's a backhanded concession that they were right all along, because, hey, look how scared Big Pharma must be, to do this study to disprove our moonbat claims!

Re:Actually works to their advantage (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596328)

And they are conspiracists; they assume that any "scientific study" was rigged by Big Pharma or some other enemy to discredit herbals.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595782)

On the other hand, St. John's Wort has been proven as effective at treating depression as Paxil. So you can't lump all the herbals together. Just because Ginko doesn't work doesn't mean no herbs work.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (4, Interesting)

Chris Daniel (807289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596124)

Yes, St. John's Wort is effective. However, you should always consult with your doctor before taking it, as it can interfere with other drugs (specifically, I have read that it prevents or retards the mechanism of absorbing drugs into the bloodstream).

However, do keep in mind that the effectiveness of a single herbal medicine does not change the effectiveness of other herbal medicines.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596270)

St. John Wart has no constant ingredients or ratios.

Just so you know.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (1)

fusiongyro (55524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596182)

If they work, they eventually become medicine. Otherwise they remain snake oil.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596194)

So that means that Paxil is equally ineffective?

Re:Actually works to their advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30596238)

St. John's Wort has been proven as effective at treating depression as Paxil

Can you cite a controlled trial that shows SJW to be effective in treating depression, as well as how you measured it against Paxil?

Re:Actually works to their advantage (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596248)

No it hasn't, stop lying.

Many medicines come from herbs, that's not an issue. The issue is 'herbal remedies' that are herbs that have not been shown to have any medicinal effect above placebo.

You test an herb, if something shows up you testi ti in better contralloed conditions an so on. Either it is shown effective and replicate it, or you toss it away and get on to the next study.

Re:Actually works to their advantage (1)

smidget2k4 (847334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596320)

It is effective at treating light to light-moderate cases of depression. It has been shown no better than placebo for more severe cases. Plus, it has the added bonus of being impossible to know exactly how much of the drug you are taking, as concentrations will vary wildly by plant/time of year/soil.

Source: NIH/NCCAM [nih.gov]

memory no... blood flow very much so (3, Informative)

McNihil (612243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595364)

Aspirin or Ginko?

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginkgo-biloba-000247.htm [umm.edu]

Better concentration (some subjects thinking that that is one of the memory functions) could be a side effect of them not having headaches due to hypertension. Sample set yadi yada and so on.... statistics and damned lies.

Re:memory no... blood flow very much so (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596334)

Wow, that link is full od things that have been shown false about Ginko.

the Alt-Med* people seem to have infiltrated that school.

*by alt med I mean idiots that will hurt and kill people.

But surely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595374)

...at least it increases the size of your penis, right?

Untested drug found useless... wonders never cease (3, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595394)

Or perhaps it's best put, wonders often never materialize in the first place. Is anyone really surprised that something sold with a big "these claims have not been evaluated by the FDA" on the bottle has, in fact, been found to do nothing close to the claim?

Hopefully herbal viagra is next, and some day spammers will be emailing about things people actually can use...*

*(warning the claims in this post have not been evaluated by the FDA)

Re:Untested drug found useless... wonders never ce (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595646)

The "These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA" and its close friend "This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." are generally a signal that the product is sold as a "dietary supplement" or "nutritional supplement".

Thanks to DSHEA [fda.gov] , the FDA legally can't do jack about it unless they have direct evidence of a given product causing serious harm(and their budget for going on epidemiological expeditions for that sort of thing isn't much to write home about).

Whether you consider this a shining beacon of freedom, or an ignoble nest of quacks, it seems likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

Re:Untested drug found useless... wonders never ce (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595990)

"FDA legally can't do jack about it"
Thanks Reagan!

Re:Untested drug found useless... wonders never ce (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596186)

"Hopefully herbal viagra is next, and some day spammers will be emailing about things people actually can use..."

that is like waiting for the world to change, spammers have plenty or subjects, porn, money scams, pyramid scams, i could go on, but it's better if i don't. charging for email would solve the scam problems by at least 75%

Explains things... (1)

Bobb Sledd (307434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595396)

Well that explains why I can't remember where I put my Gingko.

Seriously though, I had a suspicion 10 years ago when I took it, I couldn't see any difference either.

Re:Explains things... (1)

jeffshoaf (611794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595684)

Seriously though, I had a suspicion 10 years ago when I took it, I couldn't see any difference either.

So it affected your vision?

Re:Explains things... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596014)

"Seriously though, I had a suspicion 10 years ago when I took it, I couldn't see any difference either."
Tha';s a horrible way to evaluate something. It's the same type of thinking that gives these idiots power in the market place.

Yes, studies show it does nothing, but using that to do bias confirmation is a bad thing.

Back to the real thang (2, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595430)

Smoke and coffee.

Maybe for dementia patients... (0)

invisik (227250) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595480)

I take it regularly throughout the day, every day, and it makes a huge difference for me in memory and calmness of thought. I get so worked up sometimes trying to multitask everything.. it really helps focus. I can definitely tell when I've taken it and when I haven't.

Too bad it doesn't help the dementia patients. Their circulatory system may be too weak to provide the increased blood flow to the brain that ginkgo enhances.

-m

Re:Maybe for dementia patients... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595706)

And that can't be associated with the placebo effect, how exactly? Because you're too special to fall for it? Yeah, right.

Re:Maybe for dementia patients... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595728)

I have this rock here that scares away tigers. Interested?

Re:Maybe for dementia patients... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595944)

My anti-gullibility crystal isn't humming, so it must be legit.

Just to be sure, what is its harmonic resonance, is it in concordance with the feline music of the spheres?

If so, I'll take three, because I've got three empty chakra points that seem optimal for it. It might even keep my thetans regulated, which has been an expensive issue lately.

Re:Maybe for dementia patients... (1)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596024)

I take it regularly throughout the day, every day, and it makes a huge difference for me in memory and calmness of thought. I get so worked up sometimes trying to multitask everything.. it really helps focus. I can definitely tell when I've taken it and when I haven't.

Yes, they have a term for this. It's called the placebo effect.

No surprise because of the dosage (0, Redundant)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595542)

average of six years. Half of the participants took two 120-milligram capsules of ginkgo a day

No surprise because of the dosage... a peculiarity of human metabolism that theres very few (no?) raw materials you can consume at that level for years that has any effect other than life or death.

There are vitamins and minerals that have some effect at those dosages... again, generally speaking, after six years the effect is either life or death.

Everything else has no effect. 120 mg of red meat, no effect. Now, 4 Kg of grilled red meat every day, that'll have an effect on blood chemistry after six years. But not 120 mg.

Although caffeine would have some effect for the first month or two, tolerance rapidly develops, resulting in no effect. And 120 mg of tea leaves would be pretty weak tea.

There are some carefully refined prescription medicines that have an effect... but unrefined plant material, no.

I'm struggling to think of a "raw material" that would have any effect other than life and death at that low of a dose over that time period... High yield lead ore? High yield mercury ore?

Now you go to the Kg range, or the ug range, substances with interesting effects exist.

Re:No surprise because of the dosage (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595898)

I thought about it more over lunch and rephrased, what I'm getting at is:

really small effective dose of something bad like poison, dead before the liver and kidneys even have a chance.

really huge dose of something bad like too much carbs or too much red meat or too much booze, just too much for liver and kidneys to realistically process, and/or they die trying.

That middle-ground, your innards have a fighting chance at saving you, and thru evolution, they seem to be pretty good at it. And that filtration that saves you from bad stuff, probably filters out similar dosages of good stuff.

Then combine that with the duration effect. Anything required that you don't take for six years, you'll probably be dead, with the possible exception of calcium. Anything bad for you that you take for six years, you'll probably be dead.

Combine the two effects and I'd be very surprised to find something in the mg range that you can take for half a decade that would have much positive or negative result.

Re:No surprise because of the dosage (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596150)

You are completely wrong.

You might want to lok into dosages of pharmaceuticals.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors can have a dosage between 5mg - 150mg. a day.

It's the dose that makes the poison.

Re:No surprise because of the dosage (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595958)

I think the lethal dosage of nutmeg is about 3 nuts. Hemlock, some mushrooms, and some berries also have low lethal doses.

Re:No surprise because of the dosage (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595984)

I know there are still people that daily suck on raw coca leaves. And they don't consume the leaves, just (I imagine) a few milligrams of 'juice'. It's not killing or curing them. But is has made them coca addicts. Does that count?

Re:No surprise because of the dosage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595998)

We could copy this test and use 120 mg hamburgers to prove that fast food doesn't contribute to obesity too.

All I know is .... (1)

thedbp (443047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595586)

Wait, what were we talking about?

What about in populations younger than 72? (1)

andrewagill (700624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595602)

I seriously doubt that it would improve memory function in younger people if it fails to help the elderly, but are there any studies that involve comparatively younger populations?

Re:What about in populations younger than 72? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595872)

I'm of a slightly different opinion, I'm inclined to doubt that a study involving the elderly would have much relevance to the younger people. Old people are already on the decline as it were, even something like regular exercise might not show results.

Re:What about in populations younger than 72? (1)

andrewagill (700624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595910)

Wellp, it looks like that's a negative [nih.gov] .

But nothing's more powerfull than: (1)

dschnur (61074) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595644)

"Well, I have a friend who heard from a really smart person/person on the Internet(s) that when he took it he was finally able to almost pass his GED."

Ok, brevity aside, wikipedia "Placebo Effect" and you will see that suggestion can be a cure in it's self.

Viral marketing gone bad?

How can we trust the results (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595688)

unless the researchers were taking ginkgo to improve their memory and cognitive skills? They probably made a lot of mental mistakes...

Interesting fact (5, Insightful)

static416 (1002522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595696)

You know what they call alternative medicine that works?.... Medicine.

still a remarkable plant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595714)

Ginko may not have medical value for humans, but it is still a remarkable tree. Genetically, its ancestors split off from all plants alive today something like a quarter billion years ago, and the modern tree still resembles ancestors found in fossil from 270 million years ago. No other plant has a similar leaf shape or vein structure. It is the only member of its genus, its family, order, class, and division. There may be no native population left, but you can often find this amazing form of life planted next to sidewalks.

But at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595744)

you can save 15% on your car insurance...

(Oops my bad, thats Geico)

Swear by ginko, swear at creationists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595796)

How many believers in ginko biloba go on an utter "They're SOOO stupid!!!" rant against creationists?

I see no difference between "faith medicine" and "faith biology".

Supplements industry group replies with BS (5, Informative)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595824)

I love the bullshit reply from the supplements industry group:

A supplements industry group, Council for Responsible Nutrition, said other studies suggest the herbal supplement can be effective in improving cognitive function.

"In an area where there are few other safe, affordable options, I would hate to see this study send the wrong message to consumers," Douglas MacKay, CRN vice president said in an email. "I would continue to recommend Ginkgo biloba to older adults as a safe, effective option for supporting cognitive health."

Cue the "but it worked in my case" replies...

Re:Supplements industry group replies with BS (1)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596048)

I would hate to see this study send the wrong message to consumers

And by "wrong message" he means that they are being told that they are buying a placebo and paying tons of money for it.

Ginko ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595828)

I have been using Ginko for years, and I must say...... wait what was i going to say.. Hmmmm hey how about those Patriots last Sunday, WOW!

Good Diet, Good Test Parameters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595842)

People who have a poor diet may see more improvement from any supplement than people who have a good diet. Chances are these people tested had a better than average diet than people who are in the test. Most testers set up the type of results they want, in my experience of having been in a test. When I did not answer a question like normal people, I was asked to leave. I said I only spent 20 minutes per day thinking about food. It was true, but most spend more time. I didn't fit in with the desired results, so I was put out post haste.

Focusin! (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30595922)

Bart never took ginkgo biloba for a reason!

Technical translation follows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30595980)

So the translation is simply put as....Ginkgo, is a Stink'oh

Wow thats some detailed study. (1)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596022)

Do they use these same methods for testing prescription drugs? I think not. Also FTFA "The study used the standardized ginkgo extract from Schwabe Pharmaceuticals that is regulated and sold as a medication in Germany." He didn't test the plant just gave some people a pill put out by a pharma company. Here let me explain vitamin C if you buy it from a pharma company they say you need 150 mg per day where a non pharma company will recommend 500 to 1000 mg, also the pharma version is asorbic acid while non pharma is usually a plant extract that contains so much asorbic acid when digested. Vitamin C as in asorbic acid sold a chewable tabs destroys your teeth
Also he is testing old people who may or may not have memory problems noone said ginko would cure alzimers. The ginkgo biloba dosage is very important, because in low doses it may not be effective, while in high doses it may produce side effects.

All I ask is truth in advertising (1)

aarenz (1009365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596078)

I dream of a day when products can only claim to do something that has been proven by unbiased testing. If the result that is desired is known and the testers understand that fact, they can make nearly any test say anything. Herbal items are not forced to be tested for safety or effectiveness. This is a problem since there are commercials and magazine articles that tout the benefits. If all of them were created to some standard and it was proven to work, then it is fine, otherwise they should just be able to say. This product may do something for some people and no more.

I recommend the book Natural Causes (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596102)

I read the book Natural Causes [randomhouse.com] a while back and it opened my eyes to the sham that the supplement industry is. Note I said industry, not supplements. I'm sure some of these things have useful effects, and would love to see more experiments performed to determine what they are. Until then, I won't ever touch them again, including even multivitamins.

Doesn't matter (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596326)

They will still be able to continue to sell this with the same exact claims. So long as it's a "supplement" and not a medication, nothing can be done under current regulations. The only thing that would get it removed from shelves if it was proven toxic, and even then maybe not.

Competing interests (1)

Little_Professor (971208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30596330)

Dr DeKosky reports receiving grants or research support from Elan, Myriad, Neurochem, and GlaxoSmithKline and serving on the advisory boards of or consulting for AstraZeneca, Abbott, Baxter, Daichi, Eisai, Forest, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, Medivation, Merck, NeuroPharma, Neuroptix, Pfizer, Myriad, and Servier.

Conflict of interest much?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?