Folic acid and ginkgo biloba help prevent and recover from stroke

Folic acid

Doctors in this large review analyzed findings from 11 placebo- controlled studies of 65,790 people with cardiovascular disease. Participants took a placebo, or folic acid alone or with other B-vitamins in doses ranging from 500 mcg to 5 mg per day, over 12 to 87 months.

Overall compared to placebo, those taking folic acid were 10 percent less likely to have experienced a stroke. In men and women who had at least a 25 percent reduction in the inflammatory factor homocysteine, those taking
folic acid were 15 percent less likely to experience a stroke.

Discussing the findings, doctors said high levels of homocysteine increase chances for heart and circulatory problems, and that folic acid and other B-vitamins appear to reduce homocysteine levels, lowering chances for stroke and other circulatory events.

Ginkgo biloba preserves executive function

Doctors in this study followed 330 people who had experienced an acute stroke caused by a blockage (ischemic) within the past seven days. Participants took 100 mg of aspirin per day, alone or with 150 mg of ginkgo biloba extract three times per day, along with standard therapy to control blood pressure, sugar, lipids, and protect the nervous system.

After six months, compared to placebo, those taking ginkgo biloba had higher scores on tests of cognitive skills, including memory, command and control functions, and greater improvement in muscle strength, reflex response, and speech.

Doctors monitored participants for two years, finding ginkgo biloba with aspirin alleviated cognitive and neurological deficits without increasing chances of another stroke.

Reference: American Journal of the Medical Sciences; 2017, Vol. 354, No. 4, 379-87
Natural Insights for Well Being June 2018

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