Memory Improving Supplement May Lead To Stroke

Armen Hareyan's picture

Research doubts in efficiency of supplement ginkgo biloba in improving memory problems occurring among elderly.

Memory Treatment Supplement

Ginkgo biloba is a supplement known as memory problem treatment among elderly. The supplement is widely available and relatively cheap.


This study examined 118 people aged from 85, who have never had memory problems, but had common heart problems due to age. They were divided into two groups: first group patients were taking the supplements, second group patients a placebo.

By the end of the study 21 people developed mild memory problems of dementia. 14 of these people were from the second group and 7 from the first group. Those taking the supplement three times a day exactly as directed showed only 68% lower memory problems. This is not a significant improvement and doesn't show that ginkgo biloba necessarily improves memory state.

Moreover, the research gave complicating results concerning stroke risk among those taking ginkgo biloba. 7 people taking the supplement had a stroke during the study, but none of the placebo takers had it.

The mechanism of ginkgo biloba affecting stroke occurrence in not clear, because the supplement is known to cause bleeding as an adverse side effect. Meanwhile stroke is mainly caused by blood clots. The data is quite conflicting and more research needs to be done to find out if there is a link. Researchers are now trying to find out whether the supplement increases stroke risk or no.

Study author is Hiroko Dodge, PhD, from Center for Healthy Aging Research at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He said: "These results need to be clarified with larger studies, but the findings are interesting because ginkgo biloba is already widely used, readily available, and relatively inexpensive. One of the most pressing public health problems facing our society is the rapidly growing number of people who, due to their age alone, are at high risk of developing dementia. The potential to delay or prevent this is of great importance. Further studies are needed to determine whether gingko biloba has any benefits in preventing cognitive decline and whether it is safe."