Ginkgo biloba is already known for being one of the most resistant tree species that ever existed on earth, being the living specie left from the Ginkgoales, a group from which only fosils are left. Ginkgo biloba belongs to a group of trees, the ginkgoales, with an existence on earth dated more than 200 million years ago. Ginkgo biloba has resisted over the years to pests of insects, viruses, bacterias, fungi and many others without perishing, being able to live as long as 1,000 years. Flavonoids are natural antioxidants found in plants, and responsible for some of the health benefits of Ginkgo biloba. For example, Apigenin, a natural flavonoid found in many herbs as for example Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), as well as in apples, celery and also in some spices as oregano, tarragon, cilantro, basil and parsley, is a flavonoid believed to have some influence over the mild sedative effects claimed by this herb. In recent scientific studies, this flavonoid, apigenin, was found to also act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Ginkgo biloba protects the brain astrocytes. Scientists and researchers known how important is the protective effect for astrocytes in all areas of hippocampal formation. Astrocytes are glial cells in the brain and spinal cord and are the most abundant cell of the human brain. Astrocytes perform many functions, they are in charge of the provision of nutrients to the nervous tissue, they repair the brain and spinal cord following traumatic injuries and are involved in the scarring process that follows, but it seems some type of oxidative stress appears to be responsible for the mitochondrial damage within these specialized astrocytes. Ginkgo biloba extract reduces oxidative stress and improves mitochondrial respiration and thus may be useful in preventing or slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, increasing also the production of adenosine triphosphate in neurons.
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