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Tanakan, Tebonin, Rökan, Maidenhair
For healthy persons using Gingko Biloba as a cognitive enhancer, a one time dose of 120-240mg of the EGb-761 extract (or a 50:1 concentrated extract) taken 1-4 hours before performance appears to be the most reliable dose.
For alleviation of cognitive decline in older adults, a thrice daily dose of 60-120mg Gingko Biloba EGb-761 extract (or a 50:1 concentrated extract) taken with meals appears to be the most reliable method of administration.
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This may be the definition of a compound that "works for you" or whatnot. If using as a nootropic (brain enhancer) and it works, great. If not, I wouldn't bother repurchasing.
There are more reliable nootropics out there, this one just has a bunch of nice side-benefits to do with circulation (like Vinpocetine)
Gingko biloba is a compound derived from the Maidenhair tree, from the genus of Ginkgo from which the supplement Gingko Biloba derives the first part of its name. The latter part (Biloba) is derived from the shape of the leaves, consisting of two lobes.
There are various components in extracts from Maidenhair, including:
Additionally, there are compounds unique to Maidenhair (and thus Gingko Biloba), the terpene lactones, known as:
There is a standardized extract of Ginkgo Biloba called EGb-761, which is produced only from the ground up leaves of Maidenhair and consists of 24% flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones by total dry weight.
The Gingkolide content of EGb-761 is standardized to 2.8-3.4% of Gingkolides A, B and C combined and standardized to 2.6-3.2% Bilobalides. There is no standardization for ginkgolides J or M.
The extract itself is sometimes referred to as Tanakan, Tebonin, or Rökan. Another name, Kaveri (LI 1370), is similar but with 25% flavone glycosides.
There are two other possible extracts of Maidenhair, Cp202 which is free of all terpenoid structures and BN52063 which is free of all flavonoid structures.
The EGb-761 extract seems to, in mouse models, to alleviate cognitive damage and excitotoxicity if preloaded before the insult; which is due to bilobalides and gingkolides. This neuroprotection is mediated wholly through heme-oxygenase 1 which is upregulated in a dose and time dependent manner in cells with no apparent toxicity level.
Gingko Biloba can increase cerebral blood flow when measured overall, which is mostly due to increasing blood flow to the left-parietal occipital region. 60mg/kg bodyweight in rats is slightly more effective than 40mg/kg bodyweight Bacopa Monnieri. Due to a combination of its effects on neural blood flow and being a vasomodulatory compound, rat models suggest that Gingko Biloba can also attenuate changes in blood pressure after subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Gingko Biloba has also been implicated, in a rat model, with neuronal proliferation of AChE and NOS positive neurons in the forebrain.
At least one study has noted that effects were seen acutely, but not at the end of the trial, and suggested adaptation.
Effects seen with Gingko Biloba appear to be relatively dose dependent in some regards although not in a linear 'more is better' sense. That being said, the 'speed of attention' appears to be dulled with 120mg of Gingko Biloba (a dose that is effective at slightly increasing working memory) while enhanced at 240-360mg acute dosages.
Word recollection appears to be more beneficially affected at a once taken dose of 120mg rather than 240mg or thrice daily lower dosages.
At 240mg daily of the EGb-761 extract, some benefit is seen with functional impairment of Alzheimers and Multi-infarct dementia over 24 weeks and has also been noted to have similar effects at 120mg for 52 weeks. Shorter times at the lower dose may not be as significant. These benefits may translate into a better quality of life in those with neurological functional impairments.
It has been suggested that the effects of Ginkgo Bilboa supplementation are potentiating when cognitive decline just starts, but merely become a 'slowing' of decline in worse stages of dementia. Although it benefits all parameters of cognitive decline to a degree, it seems to improve visual-constructive impairments.
A recent (2009) Cochrane report suggest that, for the purpose of alleviating cognitive decline, that Gingko Biloba has benefit in numerous trials but the results of the benefits are inconsistent; Gingko Biloba supplementation doesn't seem to have any risks relative to other methods of preventing cognitive decline, however.
In models of cognitive decline, Gingko Bilboa seems to be effective at alleviating the rate of decline or otherwise improving symptoms. That being said, its effects are highly variable and do not benefit all parameters. Definitely bioactive, possibly effective, not reliable.
A trial in healthy adults over the age of 60 with 120mg Ginkgo daily for 26 months failed to find a difference between treatment and placebo. This is the same dose (120mg) that was found to be ineffective at improving working memory and mood, but increased pattern-recognition memory and attention. However, other studies do note benefits to working memory at this dose in healthy persons.
Shorter term studies find cognitive improvement in otherwise healthy older adults at 180mg daily which is a dose used with limited success for dementia. Higher dosages (240mg EGb-761) are effective in improving recall performance in healthy volunteers, and very high doses (600mg) still appear to be effective over the short-term.
As noted in one review, the use of Gingko Biloba in healthy persons for the use of cognitive enhancement is inconsistent.
In healthy persons, Gingko Biloba definitely appears to be bioactive. That being said, its practical results are highly variable. A dose of 240mg taken 1-4 hours before testing for the purpose of enhancing working memory appears to be the best guess at this moment in time.
The EGb-761 extract, at 240mg daily in healthy persons, appears to have a regulatory effect on blood flow. Traditional medicine and select reviews note that Ginkgo Biloba may have vasomodulatory actions, and one study in healthy volunteers noted an increase in forearm blood flow with 7.2mg active terpenoids and 28.8 active flavonoids (Brand: Gibidyl Forte) over 6 weeks.
One study noted that those subjects with highest baseline bloodflow and highest values after occlusion noted the most significant decreases, while lesser effects were seen with less dramatic baseline stats; lending credence to the 'regulatory' aspect of Ginkgo Biloba.
The effects on blood flow do not appear to be related to age.
These effects are seen both by enhancing the neuronal release of endogenous relaxing factors, and via inhibiting the COMT enzyme.
Gingko Biloba, due to its ability to enhance blood flow and eNOS, has been implicated in potentiating non-contact erections; erections caused by non-physical sensory stimuli.
It is being looked at to alleviate sexual side-effects of some anti-depressants like SSRIs due to increasing availability of NO. In a triple blind study, it seems to have efficacy in some persons but not consistent enough to be statistically significant. Repeats of this trial done over 2 months note an improvement, but not statistically different than placebo. The evidence is preliminary, but it doesn't seem to be overly effective at this goal.
Ginkgo Biloba has been investigated in being paired with aspirin for heart health.
Gingko and Ginseng, in a 60:100mg ratio, were effective at improving scores on the 'serial sevens' arithmatic task at combined doses of 320mg and 640mg where gingko or ginseng in isolation were unable to differ from placebo. Gingko alone, however, was able to improve scores in the 'serial threes' arithmatic task at dosages of 240mg and 360mg.
Possibly due to the compound Gingkolide B, which is an inhibitor of platlet activating factors, Ginkgo Bilboa has been associated with case studies of subdural hematomas. This compound may also be responsibly for a case of hyphema associated with the combination therapy of Ginkgo Biloba and Aspirin at 80mg of a 50:1 concentrated extract of Ginkgo with 325mg Aspirin.
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