Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsMedicine · 1 decade ago

I Just Saw an ad for "Bayer Nutritional Supplement" On MSNBC Touting Gingko, a Scam?

Update:

So, Siddler, In this Case, it is a Question of Price, Not Effectiveness.

Update 2:

Thanks, K, What I was Aware of Gingko Already, Additionally:

Journal of the American Dietetic Association

Volume 107 • Number 3 • March 2007

Copyright © 2007 American Dietetic Association

Update 3:

I'm Sorry, K, Here is the Title of the Paper:

"Safety and Efficacy of a Ginkgo Biloba–Containing Dietary Supplement on Cognitive Function, Quality of Life, and Platelet Function in Healthy, Cognitively Intact Older Adults"

Update 4:

Thanks, K, In my Estimation. the Abstract is Devastating to Anyone Promoting Gingko for Anything.

2 Answers

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  • K
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Any "ad" touting the efficacy of a herbal product, at this point IS a scam. Empirical knowledge on herbal supplementation is still in its infancy. In general, studies available on gingko reveal no impact on wellness and even dangerious consequences of gingko herbal supplementation have been noted. If gingko is individually effective, I'd bet much of it could be accounted by a placebo effect.

    I have just read 3 empirical abstracts (and the actual articles when available) on Gingko. My overall impression is that published authors have not found a beneficial impact of gingko on memory or any other aspect of functioning. However, there exists critiques of methodology without follow-up study making available literature unreliable, but I don't believe invalid.

    Sooooo, I believe Bayer is taking advantage of an uninformed public. Too often we just *accept* what is touted as efficacious and "good for us" without knowing all the facts. It's kind of a catch 22. The lay person is not qualified or able to inform him/herself in the way an academic can. Empirical work shows that the majority of the public doesn't even consider herbs "medicines" or chemicals that could potentially have deleterious effects. Further, the lay-person would likely not even consider disbelieving something that hasn't been empirically demonstrated. The public, quite understandably, assumes that if a product is endorsed by a big company like Bayer, it has to backed by appropriate evidence, even though it may not be clear to the person what this evidence is or should be.

    Anyway, I have downloaded these articles I refer to on my computer. I can't send you the links 'cuz if you don't have access to my university library, you'll just get a "can not access info" message. So, email me and I can send them via attachment. Alternatively, I've cited the refs below in case you want to look them up yourself.

    Efficacy study:

    Solomon, P, Adams, F, Silver, A, Zimmer, J, & Deveaux, R. (2002). Gingko for memory enhancement: a randomized trial. JAMA, 288, 835-840.

    Critique of Solomon study:

    Caspi, D, & Rowland-Seymour, A. (2003). Gingko: smart pill or not. JOURNAL OF FAMILY PRACTICE, 52(2), 393-394.

    Dangers:

    Victor, H. (1999). Underreporting of dietary supplements to health care providers does great harm. MAYO CLINIC PROCEEDINGS, 74(5), 531-532.

    EDIT:: Thanx for the journal citation. Peeked at the abstract. Seems much more comprehensive, is more recent, and a little more methodologically sound than the ones I provided...

    EDIT:: Potentially physically devastating yes. But, on another level, these ads *exist* and gingko IS promoted. Devastating ramifications of promotion has at least escaped Bayer.

  • 1 decade ago

    Gingko biloba is a pretty common herbal supplement that is supposed to help with memory function. I have taken it before and did begin to have memories that haven't surfaced for a long time. I read later on that evidence for memory enhancement does seem to be long-term memory as I experienced. If you want to try gingko I bet you can get it cheaper than Bayer's version in the vitamin/supplement section of a grocery or health store.

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