ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
CANCER
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
New Options Offered for Sleep Apnea
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Want Sun Protection? Wear Red or Blue
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
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Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly

HealthDay News) -- Among people aged 75 and older, the herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba does not prevent heart attacks, stroke or death, a new study finds.

There is some evidence that the popular herbal remedy might help prevent the leg-circulation problem known as peripheral artery disease, however.

Ginkgo contains nutrients called flavonoids, which are also found in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine, and are believed to offer some protection against cardiovascular events, the researchers say. The supplement, which is popular in the United States and Europe, has been touted to improve memory, and to prevent dementia, heart disease and stroke.

However, "ginkgo had no benefit in preventing heart attack or stroke," said study lead researcher Dr. Lewis H. Kuller, distinguished university professor of public health and professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

"But, surprising to us, was that the results were consistent with the observations in Europe that ginkgo appeared to have some benefit in preventing peripheral vascular disease," he said.

This could be due to flavonoids acting as both antioxidants and also causing blood vessels to expand, Kuller said.

The report was released online Nov. 24 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Circulation. Last year the same University of Pittsburgh team reported that ginkgo biloba had no effect on preventing dementia.

For their latest study, Kuller's group randomly assigned 3,069 patients to 120 milligrams of highly purified ginkgo biloba or placebo, twice a day as part of the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study.

Over the six years of the trial, 385 participants died, 164 had heart attacks, 151 had strokes, 73 had mini-strokes ("transient ischemic attacks") and 207 had chest pain, the researchers found.

There was no significant difference between those taking ginkgo or placebo for any of these outcomes, Kuller said.

However, among the 35 people who were treated for peripheral artery disease, 23 received placebo and 12 were taking ginkgo -- a statistically significance difference, the researchers noted.

About 8 million Americans have peripheral artery disease, which typically affects the arteries in the pelvis and legs. Symptoms include cramping and pain or tiredness in the hip muscles and legs when walking or climbing stairs, although not everyone who has PAD is symptomatic. The pain usually subsides during rest.

"This study demonstrated that there were absolutely no benefits of ginkgo biloba in reducing cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke or in reducing death due to cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Gregg A. Fonarow, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"Individuals interested in maintaining cardiovascular health should stick to interventions that have been proven to be beneficial, including not smoking, engaging in regular exercise, and maintaining healthy weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels rather than taking herbal supplements," Fonarow said.

Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, an independent non-profit educational organization, pointed to the study's more positive outcome.

"I believe it is important to emphasize that the results of this current exploratory trial do not in any manner reduce or negate the existing positive results of ginkgo biloba as an effective treatment in peripheral artery disease patients, which has been evaluated, confirmed, and approved by government regulatory drug authorities in leading Western European countries like Germany and France," he said.

In addition, Blumenthal said, the trial showed that ginkgo biloba was safe and well-tolerated.

SOURCES: Lewis H. Kuller, M.D., Dr.P.H., distinguished university professor, public health and professor of epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh; Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director, American Botanical Council; Gregg A. Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiovascular medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Nov. 24, 2009, Circulation, online Published on: November 26, 2009