Ginkgo biloba

Timothy S. Tracy

Summary

Controlled studies suggest that administration of Ginkgo biloba (GB) extract has limited effectiveness in improving memory and cognition, either in elderly subjects with dementia or healthy subjects. GB administration does seem to reverse sudden hearing loss in patients with mild cases of this disorder. Additionally, GB administration may blunt the rise in blood pressure in response to stress and may blunt the glycemic response after an oral glucose tolerance test. Despite the lack of evidence of effects on coagulation in vivo, a number of case reports of excessive bleeding in patients taking GB have been reported. Finally, GB does not appear to be prone to causing drug interactions, except for agents metabolized by cytochrome P450 2C19 (in which case, induction is observed).

Key Words: Ginkgolides; dementia; memory; diabetes; bleeding disorders.

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