Gingko does not prevent heart attack, stroke

December 7, 2009 by  

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gingko leavesThe plant Gingko biloba has always been associated with special healing powers. It is a very popular herb supplement in alternative and complementary medicine.

A recent study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh revealed some bad news and some good news about Gingko. The bad news is that Gingko does not prevent cardiovascular event or mortalities as previously thought. The good news is that it may have some protective effects against peripheral artery disease.

According to study author Lewis H. Kuller professor of public health and f epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh:

“Surprisingly, Ginkgo was associated with a reduction in peripheral artery disease, but the number of patients was small. The difference was statistically significant.”

The present study used data from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study which looked at the effect of the herb on dementia. However, the plant’s cardiovascular effects were also assessed. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups. One group received 120 mg of EGb761, a highly purified form of Ginkgo biloba, two times a day. The other group received placebo, also two times a day.

The results revealed that Gingko did not prevent cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack in study participants aged 75 years or older. However, Gingko seemed to have benefits for those with peripheral arterial disease.

Dr. Kuller continues:

“Clearly you can’t make a national recommendation based on these numbers, but the data is intriguing. Peripheral artery disease is a major public health problem and the preventive therapies are not very good. My feeling is that ginkgo and its class of agents, flavonoids, should be further evaluated to see if they have some benefit.”

About Gingko biloba

Gingko biloba is also known as fossil tree, maidenhair tree, Japanese silver apricot, baiguo, bai guo ye, kew tree, yinhsing. It contains flavonoids, antioxidant compounds also found in dark chocolate, red wine, fruits, and vegetables, which are believed to offer some protection against cardiovascular events.

According to the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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One Response to “Gingko does not prevent heart attack, stroke”
  1. Clara says:

    It’s better that people know exactly what an herb is capable of doing. Thanks for the info.

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