Ginkgo biloba should not be used to prevent dementia

Another herbal medication bites the dust.

The largest randomized trial thus far declared the drug ineffective for the prevention of mild dementia. In fact, in those who had a history of baseline cardiovascular disease, Ginkgo actually raised the incidence of dementia.

With bleeding is a potential adverse effect, the lead author cautions “why it is untenable to recommend a drug or nutraceutical in the absence of efficacy evidence simply because it could possibly help and initially appears harmless.”

Gingko-related products have annual sales of over $249 million in the United States. Expect those numbers to take a hit.

Gingko joins Echinacea and Black Cohosh as herbal remedies that have failed rigorous testing as reported in reputable medical journals.

topics: herbal, jama