• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Health Update

Air Date: Week of July 28, 2000

Maggie Villiger reports that the herbal supplement ginkgo biloba may be able to treat altitude sickness.

Transcript

VILLIGER: Planning a mountain trek? Maybe you should grab some gingko before you go. The popular herbal supplement may prevent altitude sickness, according to researchers from the Wilderness Medical Society. The nausea, dizziness, and fatigue of altitude sickness are the body's response to lower oxygen levels at high elevations. Many travelers don't have time to acclimate, and commonly-used drugs have nasty side effects. Gingko biloba may be able to help. In this recent study, 21 people took the herb for five days before their climb. For comparison, another group took a placebo. Then everyone drove almost 10,000 feet up Pike's Peak in Colorado. Those who took gingko were only half as likely to feel ill as those who didn't. While scientists don't yet understand how gingko biloba might combat altitude sickness, the results were encouraging enough to repeat the study, now in the slightly warmer climes of Hawaii. And that's this week's health update. I'm Maggie Villiger.

 

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.