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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2005 Apr;68(1):29-38.

Short-term oral ingestion of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) reduces malondialdehyde levels in washed platelets of type 2 diabetic subjects.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences-MSC 6246, University of Texas HSC at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.


We have recently reported that ingestion of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) (a) significantly reduced collagen-induced platelet aggregation and thromboxane B2 (TXB2) production in both non-diabetic individuals as well as those with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), (b) significantly reduced platelet malondialdehyde (MDA), an index of lipid peroxidation, in non-diabetic subjects. In the present study we report that ingestion of EGb 761 (120 mg daily for 3 months), significantly decreased platelet MDA-thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS) (41 +/- 9 pmol/10(7) platelets versus 30 +/- 11 pmol/10(7) platelets) (p < 0.005) in T2DM subjects with normal cholesterol levels (total cholesterol, 164 +/- 22 mg/dl; age, 54 +/- 9 years; BMI, 35.0 +/- 8.8 kg/m2, n = 12). In T2DM subjects with high cholesterol (total cholesterol, 218 +/- 15 mg/dl; age, 52 +/- 5 years; BMI, 36.2 +/- 6.6 kg/m2, n = 7), EGb 761 ingestion reduced the platelet TBARS from 29 +/- 9 to 22 +/- 9 pmol/10(7) platelets (p < 0.04). Because ingestion of EGb 761 did not alter platelet counts it is concluded that EGb 761, probably due to the flavonoid fraction, reduced the TBARS by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX)-1-mediated arachidonic acid oxygenation or by reducing the arachidonic acid pool. This is likely to lead to a reduction of platelet hyperactivity, a significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease in T2DM patients. Because of other reported beneficial properties of EGb 761, such as stimulation of pancreatic beta-cell function in T2DM subjects with pancreatic exhaustion, it appears that T2DM subjects might benefit from ingesting EGb 761 as a dietary supplement.

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