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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2004 Mar 19;43(13):1640-58.

Chemistry and biology of terpene trilactones from Ginkgo biloba.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universitetsparken 2, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. krst@dfuni/dk


Ginkgo biloba, the ginkgo tree, is the oldest living tree, with a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. In recent years, the leaf extracts have been widely sold as phytomedicine in Europe and as a dietary supplement worldwide. Effects of Ginkgo biloba extracts have been postulated to include improvement of memory, increased blood circulation, as well as beneficial effects to sufferers of Alzheimer's disease. The most unique components of the extracts are the terpene trilactones, that is, ginkgolides and bilobalide. These structurally complex molecules have been attractive targets for total synthesis. Terpene trilactones are believed to be partly responsible for the neuromodulatory properties of Ginkgo biloba extracts, and several biological effects of the terpene trilactones have been discovered in recent years, making them attractive pharmacological tools that could provide insight into the effects of Ginkgo biloba extracts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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