Close-up of a single yellow Ginkgo biloba leaf against a white background

Reviewing Ginkgo Biloba: Does It Help with Dementia?

Ginkgo biloba, one of the oldest living tree species, has been used for centuries in traditional medicine as a natural nootropic to enhance cognitive functions and address issues of cognitive impairments.

With an aging global population, the potential cognitive benefits of Ginkgo biloba, particularly its standardized extract EGb761, are of significant interest.

This blog series aims to explore the scientific study titled "Efficacy and Adverse Effects of Ginkgo Biloba for Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis," providing an in-depth review of its findings.

How does this ancient nootropic stand up under the scrutiny of modern scientific methods? Can Ginkgo biloba genuinely make a difference for those experiencing cognitive decline, or is it merely the continuation of an age-old placebo effect?



  • Background
  • Study Overview
  • Results
  • Discussion


Reviewing Ginkgo Biloba: Does It Help with Dementia?


Ginkgo biloba tree with green leaves transitioning to yellow in autumn



Ginkgo biloba has been revered through the ages, not just for its longevity but also for its therapeutic properties. Traditionally used in Chinese medicine as a natural nootropic to enhance memory and prevent aging effects, it has now permeated the Western holistic health scene, gaining popularity as a top supplement for cognitive enhancement.

The extract EGb761, derived from Ginkgo biloba leaves, contains active compounds like flavanol glycosides and terpene lactones, believed to be responsible for its neuroprotective effects. These compounds are thought to improve blood flow and protect against neuronal damage.

Modern research and extensive reviews of clinical trials have begun to shed light on the potential cognitive benefits of Ginkgo biloba, making it a subject of considerable interest in the treatment of conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's disease.


Study Overview

The study "Efficacy and Adverse Effects of Ginkgo Biloba for Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2015.

Authored by Meng-Shan Tan, Jin-Tai Yu, Chen-Chen Tan, Hui-Fu Wang, Xiang-Fei Meng, Chong Wang, Teng Jiang, Xi-Chen Zhu, and Lan Tan, the research sought to consolidate new evidence regarding the clinical effects and safety of the standardized Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 on cognitive impairment and dementia.

The study was structured as a systematic review and meta-analysis, drawing data from relevant randomized controlled trials. Researchers included nine trials in the analysis, which varied from 22 to 26 weeks in duration, involving a total of 2,561 patients.

This review aimed to offer a comprehensive evaluation of EGb761’s effectiveness and safety, emphasizing doses of 240 mg/day and involving participants with neuropsychiatric symptoms.




The meta-analysis revealed that Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761, particularly at a dosage of 240 mg/day, is effective in stabilizing or slowing the decline in cognitive functions, behaviors, and overall clinical change in patients with cognitive impairments and dementia.

Specifically, the analysis showed significant improvements in cognition and activities of daily living, with the effects most pronounced in patients exhibiting neuropsychiatric symptoms. Statistical analysis underscored the robustness of these findings, with significant mean differences in cognitive scores and activities of daily living favoring the Ginkgo biloba group over the placebo.

These results lend substantial credibility to the potential of EGb761 as a therapeutic option in managing cognitive decline, especially among those with additional neuropsychiatric challenges.



This systematic review and meta-analysis reiterate the potential of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 as a multi-target nootropic for cognitive impairment and dementia. These results are aligned with the growing body of evidence that supports the neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects of Ginkgo biloba.

However, the study is not without its limitations. Variability in trial outcomes suggests that individual differences in disease progression, severity, and existing neuropsychiatric symptoms can influence treatment efficacy.

Future research should explore these variables more deeply, potentially stratifying patients by disease severity or symptomatology to tailor treatments more effectively. For practical applications, this research suggests that Ginkgo biloba could be considered as part of a broader strategy to manage cognitive decline, particularly for those at an increased risk of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Individuals interested in cognitive health could discuss with healthcare providers the possibility of incorporating EGb761 into their regimen.



This review of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 demonstrates its efficacy in slowing the progression of cognitive and behavioural symptoms in dementia, particularly among those with neuropsychiatric symptoms.

As we continue to understand and utilize traditional remedies like Ginkgo biloba within modern medical frameworks, individuals seeking to maintain or enhance cognitive health might consider this supplement as part of their approach.

Explore this natural nootropic further and discuss its potential inclusion in your health regimen with healthcare professionals.


Learn more about the vitamins, minerals and natural nootropic plant extracts we use to give your brain a daily boost 

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