What's Ginkgo biloba Made Of?

Now that you know all the wonderful medicinal purposes of the Ginkgo biloba, let’s figure out why the Ginkgo has all of these effects on the human body.          

Inside Ginkgo biloba extract (taken from the leaves of the Ginkgo tree) are four compounds known as ginkgolides A, B, C, and M. Each of these ginkgolides are made of 20-carbon compounds. There are two active ingredients in Ginkgo biloba extract and they are called flavone glycosides (flavonoids) and terpene lactones (terpenoids). These two ingredients are responsible for the magic behind the healing and prevention.

Flavonoids are antioxidants, meaning that they can donate and electron to a free radical. They are the ones responsible for strengthening the walls of the arteries, capillaries, and veins, but also allowing them to be flexible at the same time. Flavonoids also protect against the breakdown of a cell's plasma membrane, therefore prolonging its health. According to the book, ‘Ginkgo: a practical guide’ by G. Halpern, if you take Ginkgo biloba extract for fourteen days, it could be more effective than beta-carotene and Vitamin E.

The main function of terpenoids in your body is for unclogging blood vessels and maximizing glucose uptake in tissues; specifically, bilobalides and ginkgolides A, B, C, and J are responsible for these tasks. Terpenoids can help nerve cells that may have been oxygen deprived for a short amount of time continue to run properly. Therefore, these guys are the ones that help improve memory and mental function. PAF (platelet-activating factors) in the blood cause clogging not only in broken blood vessels, but also along the inside of blood vessels. The terpenoids can aid in unclogging the unwanted build-up.
* Picture above illustrates a blood clot. This picture was taken by "Pauli2990" from flicker.com.

Now that you understand how Ginkgo biloba works, visit PREVENTION OF ALZHEIMER'S? to see if there is a correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and Ginkgo biloba.