By consuming Gingko, a herbal supplement, memory did not improve, attention or concentration in a group of healthy older adults. Gingko is a herbal extract much prized for many years for its effect on mental performance. Previous research has suggested it may be helpful in improving memory in people with dementia. It's also claimed that gingko can increase mental sharpness in those who are healthy.
Researchers at Williams College in Massachusetts, tested gingko against a placebo pill in a group of 90 men and 130 women - all of whom were healthy and aged 62 or over. They took gingko - or the placebo - for six weeks and had tests of memory, concentration and learning before, during and after the trial.
AdvertisementA close associate was also asked to note any change in participants' mental functioning. At the end of the trial, no significant differences had been recorded between the two groups. It looks as if gingko does not have any benefit on the mental performance of healthy people - although it may still be useful for those who are at risk of cognitive impairment.