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New Doubts About Ginkgo Biloba

Despite the fact that no study has ever produced concrete evidence that taking ginkgo biloba supplements provide the benefits people take them for, namely improving memory and preventing dementia, people continue to take them, believing that it might do them good, and even if it doesn’t, it can’t hurt. Or can it?

This past spring, the first government toxicology study on ginkgo biloba was released, with some pretty surprising findings. It caused cancer in lab animals, particularly an excessive number of liver and thyroid cancers, as well as nasal tumors. The mice developed multiple and numerous liver cancers, including a type that is quite aggressive and rarely seen in rodents.

Until now, there have been very few previous reports of side effects in the supplement’s long history of human use. The study doesn’t prove that these same cancers will affect humans, but the preponderance of the same circumstances across gender and species of the animal test subjects is worrisome.

The study is not without its critics and flaws though. It is much harder to do a controlled test on humans than is on animals, since it would require a large group of people with very similar health backgrounds, eating habits, and lifestyles. But just because something is toxic to animals, does that mean it will have a similar effect on humans?

Furthermore, the American Botanical Council says that the ginkgo extract used in the study has a different chemical composition than what is usually in the supplements sold to Americans. The scientists behind the study say they got it from a major supplier to American supplement companies, so this issue is up for debate. What seems pretty clear though, is that this study, like many toxicology studies, used a very high dose. The animal test subjects were given 900 milligrams per pound of body weight. Humans take between just 30 and 120 milligrams a day.

Ginkgo biloba has already been removed from energy drinks like Rockstar, based on the findings of this study.

Read the entire article here: New Doubts About Ginkgo Biloba