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Clinically Ginkgo extract is useful for atherosclerosis, ischemia, cardiac arrhythmia's, reprofusion injury, strokes, coronary shock, vascular insufficiency and peripheral heart disease.
Ginkgo Biloba is one of the oldest living tree species, dating back over 300 million years, and individual trees can live for over 1,000 years. In China, extracts of the fruit and leaves of the Ginkgo tree have been used for over 5,000 years to treat lung ailments, such as asthma and bronchitis, and as a remedy for cardiovascular diseases.
Recently, western researchers have been studying Ginkgo Biloba as a treatment for senility, hardening of the arteries, and as a treatment for oxygen deprivation. More than 34 human studies on Ginkgo have been published since 1975, showing, among other things, that Ginkgo can increase the body's production of the universal energy molecule adenosine triphosphate, commonly called ATP.
The most active and well researched components of the ginkgo leaf are the Ginkgo flavone glycosides or Ginkgo heterosides. The extract of the leaf has been standardized to contain 24% Ginkgo heterosides. These, however, are not the only active components of the leaf extract. Ginkgo extract has proanthocyanidins which act as free radical scavengers. Terpene molecules such as ginkgolides and bilobalide make up 6% of the extract. There are also organic acids which help in the solubility of the flavonoid and Terpene components of the extract. Ginkgo extract has been extensively studied in Europe where it represents 1 and 1.5 percent of the prescriptions written in Germany and France respectively.