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Ginkgo Biloba Study – results/reporting in question February 6, 2010

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine.
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Ginkgo Biloba Helps Memory

Well, that is the conclusion I would draw from these study results, but mainstream medicine and media says the study showed that Ginko Biloba extract did NOT help stop memory loss.

The way the mainstream media is writing this story, and the conclusions of the study authors, looks like a deliberate misreading of the study results.

You decide – here are the two main results from the study:

* ” Half of the participants took ginkgo biloba extract three times a day and half took a placebo. During the study, 21 people developed mild memory problems, or questionable dementia: 14 of those took the placebo and seven took the ginkgo extract.”

* “they found that people who reliably took the supplement had a 68 percent lower risk of developing mild memory problems than those who took the placebo.”

In other words, 118 people were studied for memory loss, and 59 of them took Ginkgo biloba to see if the normal, expected memory loss in elderly people would occur or if the Ginkgo protected them from the memory loss.

Only 7 of the Ginkgo group, compared to 14 of the non-Ginkgo group, had some memory loss occur during the study period.

I think that sounds GOOD, it seems the Ginkgo was working for some of them.

But the media presents it the opposite way – “its a waste of money”, and “save your money” were remarks made by TV news anchors as they introduced the segment. The study authors said there was “no clear-cut benefit” from taking it. Are they deliberately misleading the public, and the study’s results? Are they paid by PharmaGiant Corps? Hmmmm.

Furthermore, this statement below from the study authors shows some bias against natural medicine in that if these results were found in a new Pharmadrug they would be saying how promising it is.

Here is what they said:
“Although there was a trend favoring ginkgo, the difference between those who took gingko versus the placebo was not statistically significant.”

Not statistically significant? Really? TWICE as many were helped in their declining years by taking Ginkgo Biloba as compared to those who didn’t take it, and that doesn’t say something?? COME ON, it is great news, and a good enough reason to take it when we get old, if not before.

Let me explain my reading of the study results a little further:

There was a “control group” of 59 people, the ones who took the placebo; none of them got the medicine. Their experience should reflect what is expected in the general population of their peers.

The other 59 people got the medicine, and their results are what we should expect if we take Ginkgo when we are old.

The control group saw 14 of their 59 people experience memory decline.
The Ginkgo group only had 7 of their 59 people experience memory decline.

When it is put like that, I don’t see how it can be said that Ginkgo has no benefit.

By the way, Ginkgo Biloba has other useful properties, just like many natural medicines do. For one thing, there is ginkgo’s antioxidant ability to reduce the level of harmful chemicals in the body.

Don’t trust authority, trust the truth.

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