Ginkgo biloba is known to have antioxidant properties, but could it offer therapeutic benefits for people with Type 2 diabetes?
Some new research is pointing in a positive direction, according to Helal Fouad Hetta, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow and scientist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Division of Digestive Diseases.
"We have promising results in rats but, in humans, we still need more evidence," Hetta says. "And we need to [test] it in a large number of human clinical trials."
Researchers induced Type 2 diabetes in rats. They were then treated with various combinations of Ginkgo biloba extract and magnetized water, that's water that's been passed through a magnetic field and has been shown to reduce blood glucose and other positive effects in diabetic rats.
The study found:
- "After having Ginkgo biloba and magnetized water added to their diets, the mass of the pancreatic beta cells and the amount of insulin in these cells was shown to increase markedly, almost back to normal levels, particularly in the Ginkgo biloba-treated group."
- "Both Ginkgo biloba and magnetized water improved the antioxidant status and reduced the oxidative stress associated with Type 2 diabetes by down regulation of the two antioxidant enzymes, glutathione and superoxide dismutase 2, in the pancreatic tissue."
Hetta stresses the results are preliminary.
Most research on Ginkgo biloba, he points out, relates to dementia and memory issues. It affects blood circulation. It can interact with medications, so Hetta warns you should consult with a doctor before considering adding a Ginkgo supplement to your diet.
The study was published in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy.