Ginkgo Biloba: Sleep and Mood

Extracts of ginkgo biloba are widely available as tablets. Research shows that standardised extracts of ginkgo biloba are effective at increasing blood flow to the brain, and this provides a cognitive benefit. The ability of ginkgo biloba to alter brain function also makes the supplement a useful treatment for mood disorders and sleep disorders. For example, in one study researcher administered 120 mg per day of the standardised ginkgo biloba LI 1370 to a group of elderly subjects (age 68-69 years) for four months. The results of the study showed that the supplements of ginkgo biloba were effective at significantly improving the ease with which the subject could manage their daily activities, and this was accompanied by an improvement in mood and an improvement in sleep. Therefore extracts of ginkgo biloba show a wide range of benefits to mental health, and these effects have been shown to be particularly apparent in the elderly. The safety of ginkgo biloba is excellent as reported in many studies.

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Ginkgo biloba contains flavonoids and terpenes that may explain its beneficial effects. The flavonoids in ginkgo biloba may scavenge the free radicals which are thought to play a role in the neuronal changes that cause mood disorders. Terpenes have been shown to antagonise platelet activating factor which may be a causative factor in the development of inflammation in the brain.

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Cockle, S. M., Kimber, S. and Hindmarch, I. 2000. The effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (LI 1370) supplementation on activities of daily living in free living older volunteers: a questionnaire survey. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 15(4): 227-235

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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