Ginkgo Biloba

tickHerbal
tickBoosts energy
tickAids health
tickMood enhancer
How does it work?
Ginkgo biloba has been used in traditional medicine to improve circulation and enhance memory.
Who is it used for?
Ginkgo biloba is beneficial for anyone wanting to improve mental focus and alertness. It's very popular with strength and power athletes, as well as regular gym users, who want more energy to train.
How does it work?
Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species. Unlike many other herbs, ginkgo leaves are not used in their crude state, but in the form of a concentrated ginkgo biloba extract (GBE). In Europe, GBE is among the most popular herbal medications and is in the top five of all prescriptions written in France and Germany.

Ginkgo is widely touted as a "brain herb" and is often used to boost memory and enhance mental performance [1]. Ginkgo improves exercise performance by making your circulation more efficient, probably by regulating the tone and elasticity of blood vessels [5]. Ginkgo has also been shown to lower cortisol levels, a hormone which breaks down muscle tissue [4].

The Ginkgo tree has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 4,000 years. Various parts of the Ginkgo tree were reportedly used in the treatment of respiratory ailments, to improve circulation, as a digestive aid, as a tonic for memory loss in the elderly and as a longevity elixir [1]. Scientific studies throughout the years lend support to these traditional uses. Emerging evidence suggests that GBE is very effective at improving blood flow to the brain, mainly by dilating blood vessels (making them expand) and reducing the stickiness of blood platelets [2].

Ginkgo leaves are also believed to have potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals - damaging compounds in the body that alter cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can also increase the number of these damaging particles. Antioxidants such as those found in ginkgo can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Ginkgo also has an impressive safety record. Large clinical trials show no adverse effects after as many as 12 months of supplementation [3].
How do I use it?
Although Ginkgo can be taken at any time of day, some athletes report that 60-90 milligrams prior to exercise helps to improve alertness, focus, and performance. Look for an extract standardized to at least 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides and 6% terpene lactones. This is the type of extract shown to be effective in virtually every clinical trial.
What results can I expect?
The increase in mental focus and alertness usually occurs 20-30 minutes after taking Ginkgo.
What can it be combined with?
Ginkgo biloba is highly effective when taken alone, though some athletes like to combine it with guarana and tyrosine for better results.

1. Diamond BJ, Shiflett SC, Feiwel N. (2000). Ginkgo biloba extract: mechanisms and clinical indications. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 81, 669-678
2. Trick L, Boyle J, Hindmarch I. (2004). The effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (LI 1370) supplementation and discontinuation on activities of daily living and mood in free living older volunteers. Phytotherapy Research, 18, 531-537
3. Le Bars PL, Katz MM, Berman N, (1997). A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial of an extract of Ginkgo biloba for dementia. North American EGb Study Group. Journal of the American Medical Association, 278, 1327-1332
4. Jezova, D., Duncko, R., Lassanova, M., Kriska, M., & Moncek, F.J (2002). Reduction of rise in blood pressure and cortisol release during stress by Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) in healthy volunteers. Physiology and Pharmacology, 53, 337-348
5. Jung, F., Mrowietz, C., Kiesewetter, H., & Wenzel, E. (1990).

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