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To Take or Not to Take: Ginkgo Biloba

Despite being one of the most popular brain supplements in the world, some people have been giving ginkgo biloba a bad name lately, like this article on Live Science: Ginkgo biloba may not be the super-pill we all want it to be, but many people still think it is effective. Is it? In order to answer this, let’s divide the question into two different audiences – elderly people and young to middle aged adults.

Elderly People

This group of people is no stranger to ginkgo biloba. The extract of the leaves is sold in pill form and has been heavily marketed to older people who are suffering from memory loss or other mental incapacities like Alzheimer’s. There have been several notable studies that show ginkgo biloba has benefits for those who take it, even though the findings are mixed. For example, a 2008 study of elderly patients given ginkgo biloba in 2 doses, 120mg each, was found to not show any significant increase in the prevention of dementia. However, a 2010 study showed that there were, in fact, significant benefits for elderly people by taking ginkgo biloba, if the supplement was given in a single 240mg dose. Since there are no known side effects from taking too much ginkgo biloba, it is recommended to try a larger dose.

Young and Middle Aged Adults

One of the more modern questions about ginkgo biloba is whether or not this supplement works for people who are not old. The short answer is “yes.” Several clinical studies have confirmed that ginkgo biloba helps by increasing blood flow to the brain. When blood flow increases, the ability to focus and concentrate also increases. This makes ginkgo biloba one of the better choices for young adults and middle aged people trying to increase their levels of focus.


Ginkgo biloba is just an extract, and it only does one thing for the brain – increases blood flow. None of the research reviewed for this blog post showed any increase in brain receptor points. While ginkgo biloba is a good all-around supplement, the new age of cognitive enhancers has overtaken this simple leaf extract. For the best results, we recommend finding a cognitive supplement that features gingko, but is coupled with other ingredients also.

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