Ginkgo Biloba May Offer Benefits for Those with Type 2 Diabetes, Research Suggests

Ginkgo biloba

Cincinnati, OH—The extract of the leaves of Ginkgo biloba may offer some therapeutic benefits in fighting Type 2 diabetes, according to new research from a team of international scientists.

Helal Fouad Hetta, Ph.D., scientist in the University of Cincinnati Division of Digestive Diseases, said in a press release: “In diabetic rats, Ginkgo biloba had a very good effect on the beta cells of Langerhans—cells in the pancreas responsible for insulin secretion—by creating a restorative effect similar to what we see in healthy non-diabetic rats.”

The study, published in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, was done in animal models. Type 2 diabetes was induced by feeding rats a high-fat diet for eight weeks, followed by injection of a single low dose of streptozotocin. Forty rats were randomly assigned to one of four groups: A non-diabetic control group, a diabetic control group, a diabetic group given extract from Ginkgo biloba leaves for four weeks, and a diabetic group given magnetized water for four weeks.

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In the treated groups, pancreatic beta cells and insulin was increased nearly back to normal levels, particularly in the Ginkgo group, according to the press release. Antioxidant status was also improved, and the oxidative stress associated with type 2 diabetes was also reduced.

That said, the results are still preliminary, according to Dr. Hetta. “Our findings need to be tested in human clinical trials of large sample size… I would not recommend eating raw or roasted Ginkgo seeds because they can be poisonous. It should be taken as a capsule or in tablets if used. Also, if you are currently taking medications, please consult with your physicians before considering Ginkgo biloba… it is not toxic when used in low dosages, but can interact with other medicines.”