I recently labeled G. biloba the “biggest loser in 2009” based on the results of The Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Study that was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.”

Now, Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the Austin, Texas-based American Botanical Council, has weighed with his criticism.

He cited the following flaws:

  • The data were drawn from an earlier study, which was not designed to determine the decline in cognition.
  • About 40% of the participants dropped out of the study over the 6-year duration of the trial.
    • Yet, the study included the dropouts for which no final data were available.
  • Certain cognitive parameters were not monitored until several years after the trial began.
  • The age of the subjects was  advanced — average of 79 years.
    • It’s unknown whether a younger group of ginkgo users would have been more responsive.

The bottom line

“This is not the definitive trial on ginkgo,” concluded Mr. Blumenthal.

1/6/10 20:45 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.