According to a new study, extracts from Ginkgo biloba leaves may have a positive effect on the oxygen uptake and blood antioxidant capacity of young, active men.

For six weeks, scientists from the Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, the University of Technology and the Poznan University of Physical Education, examined 18 healthy, non-smoking students to see if a Ginkgo biloba extract would modify aerobic performance, improve blood antioxidant capacity and enhance brain-derived neurotraphic factor (BDNF) – protein - levels.

The participants, who were between the ages of 20-24, were separated into two groups, with one taking 160 mg/daily of a standardized extract of ginkgo biloba, while the other group took a placebo. Before, as well as a day after treatments, participants performed, while connected to a breath-by-breath gas analyzer, an incremental test to assess maximal oxygen uptake.

During the rest period, immediately after post-test and following 1 hour of recovery, venous blood samples were taken and analyzed for BDNF, the activity of antioxidant enzymes and plasma concentrations of non-enzymatic antioxidants, uric acid, ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), total phenolics, and lipod peroxidation products.

At the end of the study, which was published innutrients, scientist found the young men’s endurance performance, such as their maximum oxygen uptake (VO2Max) and blood antioxidant capacity, had some marginal improvements. The scientist also theorized the extract may “provide as a better neuroprotection through increased exercise-induced production of BDNF.”

Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 8/14/17