WASHINGTON, D.C., December 29, 2009 — In response to the publication of a study, “Ginkgo biloba for Preventing Cognitive Decline in Older Adults,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a leading trade association representing the dietary supplement industry, issued the following statement:
Statement by Douglas MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN:
“It is important to put this study into context and to remember that there is a large body of previously published evidence, which suggests that Ginkgo biloba may help improve cognitive impairment in older adults. There are also additional ongoing clinical trials, the results of which may address some of the limitations of the current study. The results of this single study add to the overall data on Ginkgo biloba, including valuable evidence in support of Ginkgo’s safety profile, but should not be viewed as the final word. In addition, several studies have demonstrated that Ginkgo biloba can be used to improve blood circulation and reduce oxidative stress, two risk factors associated with the progression of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
We also need to remember that cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are multi-factorial chronic conditions and the exact causes and mechanisms are unknown, and most importantly that there is no magic bullet or cure that has yet been found. The solution to these conditions will likely not be a single isolated approach, but rather will be a multi-component, integrative approach to supporting cognitive health, which may include lifestyle habits such as eating a healthy diet and taking dietary supplements such as Ginkgo biloba, along with both mental and physical exercise.
As a former practicing licensed naturopathic doctor, I have had the benefit of working with patients and have seen first-hand how Ginkgo biloba can be effective in improving cognitive function. In an area where there are few other safe, affordable options, I would hate to see this study send the wrong message to consumers. I would continue to recommend Ginkgo biloba to older adults as a safe, effective option for supporting cognitive health and would encourage consumers to talk to their own healthcare professional about what is right for them.”
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our 70+ manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit www.crnusa.org.