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Ginkgo biloba leave extract: biological, medicinal, and toxicological effects.

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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Ginkgo biloba leave extract is among the most widely sold herbal dietary supplements in the United States. Its purported biological effects include: scavenging free radical; lowering oxidative stress; reducing neural damages, reducing platelets aggregation; anti-inflammation; anti-tumor activities; and anti-aging. Clinically, it has been prescribed to treat CNS disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and cognitive deficits. It exerts allergy and changes in bleeding time. While its mutagenicity or carcinogenic activity has not been reported, its components, quercetin, kaempferol and rutin have been shown to be genotoxic. There are no standards or guidelines regulating the constituent components of Ginkgo biloba leave extract nor are exposure limits imposed. Safety evaluation of Ginkgo biloba leave extract is being conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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