Remember More! Or will you? - Chapter 7

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Have you ever set set something down, even for a second, then forgotten where it was? In chapter 7, we will be learning all about memory, how is works, and how it processes information. One of the things I found most interesting was a side section about a way people try to improve their memories, that may not actually work.
Americans spend several hundred million dollars on Ginkgo per year. Ginkgo, an ancient Chinese medicine extracted from ginkgo trees, supposedly improves one's memory drastically after only 4 weeks of consistent consumption. Or does it?
Controlled studies testing Ginkgo pills against placebos have shown that the drugs effects are minimal to nonexistent. In fact the effect of the drug on your memory is equal about to that of drinking a glass of lemonade. When tested on individuals with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, the effects were just as slight.
Ginkgo pills as memory enhancers? Probably not. But what are its effects then? Well in certain cases Ginkgo can actually be harmful! Many herbal remedies, when taken excessively, can interfere with effects of blood thinning medicines. After reading that my main question was: How can this drug then possibly be legally sold?
Well, it turns out that the FDA no longer regulates diet supplements or herbal remedies. This is why its hard to know if these memory pills actually work and, if they don't, what their true effects are. Shocking! However, perhaps we can all take a psych lesson from this: Remember to be skeptical. And perhaps find another way to remember where you put things.

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Very interesting and thoughtful post! I have also always wondered about pills like these. I went to GNC once to get protein for lifting, and I wondered this same thing when I was buying protein. But when I asked the GNC worker about it, if these are proven to work and approved, he said everything was approved by GNC which seemed a little sketchy. It is amazing how stuff like this can get out without any kind of regulations, especially with a product that could potentially be harmful. Is there any kind of agency regulating these things? That is very ridiculously when you think about it. But very good blog!

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This page contains a single entry by pete8944 published on January 25, 2012 11:52 PM.

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