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New Customized Gingko Extract Designed for Tinnitus

New Extraction Technology
by Barry Keate

Ginkgo Biloba Extract (GBE) has long played an important role in the fight against tinnitus. Arches Tinnitus Formula™ has always used the highest quality, premium-grade GBE found on the world market. And now, it just got much better.

After years of research and using newly developed extraction technologies, we have developed a customized ginkgo extract for Arches Tinnitus Formula™ that is specifically designed for people who suffer from tinnitus. This is the first ginkgo formulation in the world expressly created for tinnitus.

In order to understand the critical differences between our new GBE formulation versus the standardized ginkgo extract, and why it has greater potential to improve tinnitus, we should review the development of Ginkgo Biloba Extract.

The “Standardized” Ginkgo Biloba Extract

The Dr. Willmar Schwabe Company of Germany developed the first GBE in 1965. It was based on a standardized extract consisting of a minimum of 24% flavonol glycosides and 6% terpene lactones. Included are three types of flavonol glycosides. The terpene lactones consist of ginkgolides A through J and, very importantly, bilobalide.

As originally developed, there were also minimum amounts of individual components required. Ginkgolides A, B and C were to be at least 2.8% and bilobalide at least 2.6%. Ginkgolic acid, a powerful allergen and undesirable component, was to be reduced to less than 5 ppm (parts per million).

Initially called EGb 761, this has come to be known in the US as 24/6 Ginkgo Biloba Extract. Our new customized ginkgo extract has been designed to exceed a minimum standard of 26/7. What this important difference means for your tinnitus will be discussed in a moment.

Ginkgo Biloba Extract has many uses in human health. The American Botanical Council’s Clinical Guide to Herbs states that the primary uses for ginkgo are tinnitus/vertigo, cerebral insufficiency and peripheral vascular disease. In Germany, ginkgo extract is approved for the treatment of tinnitus, among other conditions. GBE is sold as a prescription medicine in Germany but as a dietary supplement in the US.

Unfortunately, ginkgo is not as well regulated in the US as it is in Europe. The result is a flood of adulterated ginkgo biloba in the US market. There is so much adulterated ginkgo that Consumer Labs reported in 2007 that 75% of all ginkgo products it tested had failed due to a lack of required amounts of one or more constituents.

Your Brain on Tinnitus

Neurotransmitters facilitate the transfer of chemical information between synapses in the brain and auditory nerve. There are many neurotransmitters in the brain but two of the primary, workhorse transmitters are glutamate and GABA (gamma-amino-butyric acid). Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter and GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Too much excitation creates an increase in electrical and chemical activity that can lead to neurological disorders like tinnitus.

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter used by the ear to transmit signals across the synapse leading to the brain. It is produced by the hair cells of the inner ear when converting vibrational sound into electrical signals. When the hair cells are damaged (as with exposure to loud noise), they produce excess glutamate, which floods the neurotransmitter receptors in the auditory nerve and brain. Excess glutamate overexcites the neurons and causes them to fire continuously until they become depleted and eventually die. This process is known as glutamate neurotoxicity and is responsible for many neurological conditions including tinnitus.

Why Ginkgo Works for Tinnitus

There are three simultaneously operating mechanisms of action responsible for the reduction of tinnitus:

1 – The flavonol glycosides are responsible for ginkgo’s antioxidant actions. Antioxidants neutralize damaging free radicals, which are involved in cellular damage and are a source of hearing impairment due to cochlear damage.

2 – The ginkgolide fractions of terpene lactones support blood vessel relaxation and inhibit platelet activating factor (PAF). This results in increased circulation, especially in the micro-capillaries that feed the brain, eyes and ears.

3 –Most importantly, the bilobalide fraction of terpene lactones protects brain neurons by affecting GABA receptors in the brain and by glutamate antagonism and antioxidant activity. It also protects against ischemic injury (lack of blood flow) and neuronal death.

Read more on how Arches Tinnitus  Formula™ works for tinnitus in our Tinnitus Library.

Why Bilobalide Is So Important for Tinnitus

Bilobalide has been found to be a potent antagonist to glutamate release. It has also been shown to reduce the rate of GABA uptake, meaning it keeps GABA active in the system to reduce the effects of increased glutamate. Bilobalide is potently therapeutic in cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative disorders such as tinnitus.

One study from the UK on bilobalide and neuroprotection states “. . . an ability to decrease excitotoxic amino acid release, particularly glutamate, would suggest that this is a probable mechanism to account for its neuroprotective properties.” (1)

Another study concludes “. . . the reported neuroprotective properties of bilobalide may, in part, be mediated through its ability to reduce glutamate efflux, thus leading to a decrease in the excitotoxic effects of this neurotransmitter.” (2)

Still another clinical study concludes “. . . Bilobalide has been shown to be protective against glutamate-induced excitotoxic neuronal death.” (3)

Arches’ New Ginkgo Formulation

Arches has taken this knowledge and created a new, more potent, ginkgo extract designed for people with tinnitus. We have increased the flavonol glycoside component from the standard 24% to a minimum of 26%! The terpene lactone content has increased from 6% to a minimum of 7%! Ginkgolides A, B and C have increased from 2.8% to over 4%!

Perhaps most importantly, our bilobalide content has jumped from 2.6% to 3.6%, a 40% increase over standardized 24/6 Ginkgo biloba extract. At the same time, ginkgolic acid has been reduced to less than 0.5 ppm.

Standard Extract
Arches New Extract
Flavonal Glycosides
Terpene Lactones
A, B &C

View the complete Certificate of Analysis for one batch of this enhanced formulation.

Our new ginkgo is still grown naturally, without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The leaves are picked by hand to prevent breakage, which can cause oxidation of active ingredients. Our ginkgo is extracted using only water and ethyl alcohol so there are no petrochemical residues. And it is processed to reduce ginkgolic acid to undetectable limits.

Our new and improved Arches Tinnitus Formula™ has come about through previously unavailable extraction technologies. This has been a time-consuming process and our new ginkgo extract formulation is more expensive than the old one. However, we are maintaining our current pricing and do not anticipate a price increase.

It is my hope and belief that our improved ginkgo formulation will be helpful to an even greater number of individuals, helping further to improve the lives of those who must live every day with tinnitus.



  1. Davies JA, Johns L, Jones FA. Effects of bilobalide on Cerebral Amino Acid Neurotransmission. Pharmacopsychiatry 2003;36 Suppl 1:584-588.
  2. Johns L, Sinclair AJ, Davies JA. Effects of Bilobalide on Hypoxia/Hypoglycemia0Stimulated Glutamate Efflux from Rat Cortical Brain Slices. Neurochemical Research Vol. 27, No. 5, May, 2002:369-371.
  3. Dubey AK, Shankar PR, et. al. Ginkgo biloba – an appraisal. Kathmandu Univ Medi J (KUMJ). 2004 Jul-Sep;2(3):225-9.