Sad to say, another large study has given the thumbs down to ginkgo biloba preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
The randomized, double-blind trial took place over five years, involving 2854 older adults (70+) who had presented to their primary care physician with memory complaints. Half were given a twice-daily dose of 120 mg standardised ginkgo biloba extract and half a placebo.
After five years, 4% of those receiving ginkgo biloba had been diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's disease, compared with 5% in the placebo group — an insignificant difference. There was no significant difference between the groups in mortality, stroke, or cardiovascular events, either.
The French study confirms the findings of an earlier American trial, and is also consistent with another large, long-running study that found no benefits of ginkgo biloba for age-related cognitive decline.
 Long-term use of standardised ginkgo biloba extract for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (GuidAge): a randomised placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet Neurology [Internet]. 2012 ;11(10):851 - 859. Available from: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(12)70206-5/abstract