Protecting The Brain From Damage With Ginko
Preventing brain damage from lack of oxygen with Ginko
Ginko biloba's effects are highly useful in the nervous system. Brain cells are even more susceptible to free radical damage than other cells, because their membranes have a higher content of unsaturated fatty acids (phospholipids) and are particularly vulnerable to peroxidation.
Brain cells are also more susceptible to hypoxia cerebral ischemia) than any other cells. They require large amounts of energy to function, and when blood supply is restricted there is not enough oxygen and glucose for membrane function and energy production. The result is usually a variety of metabolic changes, such as acidosis, electrolyte shifts, free radical production and increased release of free fatty acids, prostaglandins and neurotransmitters.
Ginkgo extract has shown a remarkable ability to prevent such metabolic disturbances in experimental studies of insufficient oxygen supply to the brain (DeFeudis 1991, Schaffler et al., 1985).
An interesting study on the biochemical events in the rat brain after ischemia (Sief-el-Nasr, 1995)suggests that lack of oxygen alone cannot anitiate peroxidation. This process requires restoration of oxygen supply. It is therefore concluded that the more severe brain damage happens during the reperfusion phase (restoration of circulation) after ischemia. It was shown that administration of Ginkgo extract before the ischemic injury prevented reduction of SOD activity and reduced lipid peroxide contents of the mitochondria in the rat brain. This was a clear indicator of the extract's protective effect against post-ischemic injury due to free radical production.