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Research & Development In Brief

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Trade groups contest negative ginkgo study: A recently published study that found ginkgo biloba does not slow cognitive decline in older adults "should not be viewed as the final word" on the supplement's benefit, the Council for Responsible Nutrition argues. "There is a large body of previously published evidence" and ongoing clinical trials that suggest "ginkgo may improve cognitive impairment in older adults," says CRN VP of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Douglas MacKay in a Dec. 29 statement. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found the annual rates of decline of memory, attention, visual-spatial abilities, language and executive function of the 1,545 participants who took a 120-mg dose of ginkgo twice daily were the same as for 1,524 participants who took a placebo for an average of 6.1 years. The study, led by Beth Snitz at the Neurology Department at the University of Pittsburgh, is a secondary analysis of the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study, originally published in November 2008. The American Herbal Products Association complains the data review had "the same limitations as the original GEM study" and was not "ideally suited for this new endpoint.
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