Japan, the gingko biloba chewing gum that saves memory

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A truly innovative and functional chewing gum that literally ‘saves memory’ (‘Memory Maintaining‘) is launched in Japan. In fact, chewing gum from the Japanese company Lotte contains extracts of ginkgo biloba, a plant that has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. (1)

Gingko biloba and memory. The scientific evidence

Gingko biloba is the basis of Lotte’s proposed innovation. The product, also available in tablet form, contains some of its extracts-flavone glycosides and terpene lactones-that are known to help improve memory and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So much so that it justifies a special health claim on the labeling and advertising of products marketed in Japan.(2) Japan’s rules on food-related health claims, among other things, still serve as a model for Europe as well. (3)

An ad hoc scientific study was conducted by Brazilian researchers on Lotte’s chewing gum. (4) By administering 19.2 mg flavone glycosides and 4.8 mg terpene lactones tablets to 48 healthy adults aged 60-70 for 8 months. Comparison with placebo. Subjected 4 times to mnemonic tests, ginkgo biloba-treated volunteers showed improvement in several cognitive aspects. (5)

Possible side effects

However, the side effects potentially associated with ginkgo biloba intake lead one to advise against the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach. And suggest timely compliance with the directions for use provided on the label of dietary supplements, which in Europe as in Japan are subject to strict regulations.

Taking gingko biloba may interfere with coagulation and inhibit the effectiveness of some medications. (5) Therefore, its consumption should be arranged with the attending physician.

Memory Maintaining, ‘misplaced’ ingredients

Detracting from the value of this functional chewing gum, in our opinion, are some ingredients added to sweeten the chewing gum. Such as the synthetic sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame k, whose safety has been repeatedly doubted LINK.

This is a not insignificant flaw on a very interesting product in itself, made among other things by a group with a respectable social and environmental policy. (6)

 

Notes

(1) Lotte Co., Ltd. Sayama Factory is an FSSC 22000 certified factory https://www.lotte.co.jp/

(2) SEE https://www.fld.caa.go.jp/caaks/cssc02/?recordSeq=41907030091100

(3) Food for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU). A brief summary of the current rules on health claims in Japan at https://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/topics/foodsafety/fhc/02.html

(4) José Carlos Fernandes Galduróz, Mario Castiglioni et al. Cognitive Performance, SPECT, and Blood Viscosity in Elderly Non-demented. Pharmacopsychiatry. DOI 0.1055/ -2003-41197 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6366509_Cognitive_Performance_SPECT_and_Blood_Viscosity_in_Elderly_Non-demented_People_Using_Ginkgo_Biloba

(5) SEE https://www.humanitas.it/enciclopedia/principi-attivi/Fitoterapici/ginkgo-biloba

(6) SEE https://www.lotte.co.jp/english/charter/

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".