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“….published in JAMA this week are the results of the largest and longest trial to date of Gingko biloba for the improvement of cognitive function and to treat, prevent, or reduce the effects of Alzheimers disease or other dementia. The results of the study are completely negative…These results call into question the practice in many countries of allowing pharmacological agents like G biloba to be marketed as supplements with health claims prior to being adequately studied. The European and US markets for G biloba are in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year. It will be interesting to see what happens following this study…The study did find that G biloba was generally safe. However, it should be noted that G biloba, although sold in the US as a supplement, should be considered a drug. It does have an anti-platelet blood-thinning effect and should not be taken prior to surgery. However, because many people think of herbs as supplements and not drugs, patients rarely disclose their supplements to their doctors, and doctors fail to take a supplement history. Safety is therefore still an issue.” Steven Novella, MD, Science Based Medicine (30th December 2009)