ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Radiation Exposure Linked to Aggressive Thyroid Cancers
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FITNESS
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Coffee Cuts Liver Scarring in Hepatitis C
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Add your Article

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