Ginkgo extract is one of the best-selling supplements in both the United States and in Europe. There are many claims as to what Ginkgo extract can do, but what is it, and how much should you take to see the benefits?
What is Ginkgo extract, and where does it come from?
Ginkgo extract is distilled from dried fan-shaped leaves of the Ginkgo biloba plant, which naturally occurs in China. It is also known as the maidenhair tree, eun-haeng, fossil tree, ginkyo, icho, ityo, Japanese silver apricot, kew tree, salisbury, or silver apricot. It is considered to be one of the oldest trees in the world. The trees can grow up to 130 feet, or 39.6 meters tall, and can live for over 1,000 years.
It is typically available in pill form, either as capsules or tablets, as well as a liquid extract or a tea.
Ginkgo extract has a high antioxidant count, which may be one reason behind the health claims. An antioxidant is a substance which helps prevent damage that is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are defined as unstable molecules which the body produces from everyday processes or from the environment. Specifically, Ginkgo extract has a high concentration of flavonoids and terpenoids, which are high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants can be found in foods that we eat, such as:
- Dark chocolate
- Goji berries
Even though many foods are high in antioxidants, it is possible that there are people who do not like or cannot eat these foods. Some may be too busy to be intentional about adding these foods to their diets. In these instances, antioxidants may be taken with a supplement pill.
Antioxidant intake has repeatedly been linked to maintaining wellness of the body. If you are looking for the most effective way to take antioxidants, MitoQ will target the mitochondria of in? your cells with antioxidants, depositing modified CoQ10, one of the most powerful antioxidants, directly in the “energy factories” where they can fight free radicals.
Need for antioxidants
At this point, you have read a lot about antioxidants, but why do we need them?
Antioxidants fight against unstable and uncharged molecules, called free radicals. Free radicals occur when oxygen in the body splits into single atoms that have unpaired electrons, which have a negative charge. Since electrons naturally desire to be in pairs, these atoms scavenge the body looking for other electrons.
This process can cause damage to your cells, and has been associated with damage caused to the body by the normal aging process.
Substances that create free radicals can be found in the food that we eat and the air we breathe, among other places. These substances include, but are not limited to, fried food, tobacco smoke, polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in vegetable oils, asbestos, water pollution, alcohol, and pesticides and other air pollutants, such as ozone and industrial chemicals. Free radicals are also the natural byproducts of natural processes within the body, such as metabolism, stress, or high-intensity cardio.
The process of creating a free radical creates a chain reaction of sorts. In order for the free radical to stabilize itself, it will take an electron from another molecule. This turns that molecule into a free radical, which must then take an electron from yet another molecule, and so on. This chain reaction damages the cell membrane, which is what protects the cell and transports nutrients into the cell and waste and toxic substances out of the cell.
Too many free radicals, combined with the cell damage that they incur, will then lead to oxidative stress. Studies have shown that oxidative stress can lead to damage of proteins, lipids (which make up cell membranes) and nucleic acid. Free radicals are also associated with damage that occurs to the body by the normal aging process.
Because the antioxidants that MitoQ uses are given a positive charge, they are able to more easily pass into the cell membrane and deliver a payload of free radical defense.
Ginkgo extract also has natural soothing properties, which has a positive link to brain and heart health. It can also help improve blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain and the eyes. Improved blood flow to the brain can help support cognitive function, as well as benefiting overall brain health. Increased antioxidant intake and increased blood flow can also help support eye health even with age.
There is also some evidence that suggests that Ginkgo extract can also help support and enhance brain function in healthy individuals.
This can include support in the following:
- Perceived well-being
- Attention span
Its natural soothing properties can also reduce general muscle tension and minor head tension. There are also studies that claim a link between regular intake of Ginkgo extract and improved brain health and function even with aging. This makes the regular consumption of Ginkgo extract a good idea for those who have memory loss in their family history.
Ginkgo extract has been shown to reduce tension and promote feelings of calmness, which is attributed to its antioxidant count. It has also been shown to promote calm emotions, which is thought to be related to its natural soothing properties.
Due to its natural soothing effects, it has also been linked to a decline in mild altitude sickness. Altitude sickness occurs when the human body experiences physical distress from a difficulty adjusting to the lower oxygen levels that occur at higher altitudes. For the active and adventurous types, the effects of altitude sickness could dampen long-awaited activities such as challenging high-altitude hikes or mountain climbs. Some of the symptoms of altitude sickness include:
- Upset stomach
- Shortness of breath
Most people will not experience these symptoms as long as they stay below 8,000 feet (or 2,438 meters). Thankfully, there are simple ways to decrease your chances of experiencing this sickness. You can avoid the effects either by consuming Ginkgo extract, by climbing no more than 1,000 feet in a day (so that your body continues to reacclimate to the height), and by drinking plenty of water as you climb. If you notice early symptoms, you can either take a break, or descend to your normal altitude. If you continue to notice worsening symptoms, it is imperative that you descend from your current height and seek medical attention.
Ginkgo extract’s natural soothing properties can also help support lung health and regular respiratory function. Respiratory health can be considered one of the most important kinds of health. This is due to the fact that the lungs carry oxygen to the blood, they take carbon dioxide out of the body as waste, and they move the air that we use to speak. The two lungs together contain 1,500 miles of airways, so having healthy lungs is of the utmost importance.
How much should I take?
Most people who take Ginkgo extract take between 120 and 140 milligrams per day. It is not recommended that you take over 600 milligrams (mgs) in a day. Two capsules of MitoQ’s proprietary blend of ingredients in our MitoQ Brain supplement includes:
- 120 mgs of Ginkgo extract, as well as MitoQ, which is an antioxidant that has been modified to pass through the mitochondrial membrane and deliver the antioxidants where they are most needed
- Zembrin® Kanna extract, which also helps with memory, as well as decision-making and positive and negative emotional responses
- Huperzine A, which helps to balance and regulate mood and cognitive function while also supporting normal, healthy brain function and mental clarity
- Sharp PS® Phosphatidylserine, which supports mental clarity, focus, balancing mood and brain function
Ginkgo extract works alongside these ingredients to support normal cognitive function, mental clarity, mood and stress balance, and overall brain health. To see the full effects of Ginkgo extract, we recommend that you take it for at least 8-12 weeks.