Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Can Ginkgo Biloba Extract be used for anticancer?

Can Ginkgo Biloba Extract be used for anticancer?

by: Arlene Gentallan


        Ginkgo Biloba is one of the most popular and best-selling herbal dietary supplement in the United States. Surely, there must be an amazing reason for it's reputation. Several mention has been made about ginkgo biloba's reputed anti-cancer property.

        It's anticancer property may be attributed to it's antioxidant capability owing to it's terpenoids,  flavanoids, and flavone glycosides content. It is also antifungal,  antibacterial, antithrombotic, memory enhancer, and circulatory stimulant.

        In a study by Bai Y, Ahao F, Li Y, et al. of China published on NLM, they've found out that ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) inhibit gastric cancer proliferation by inducing natural cancer cell death.

        But in another study by Mary Biggs, PhD, MPH, Barbara Sorkin, PhD, et al, their result "do not support the hypothesis that consumption of Ginkgo biloba reduces the risk of cancer." For the study, they had 3,069 participant with age 75 years old above. One group received 120mg ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) while the other group received placebo. Among those receiving ginkgo biloba extract, they've noticed a 2-fold increase in the occurrence of breast cancer and colorectal cancer. They did however, noticed lower occurrence of prostate cancer. Several limitations of the study were cited like the 120 mg twice daily dosing of ginkgo biloba not being optimal for cancer prevention.

        It is also worth knowing that herbal supplement quality of ginkgo biloba extract may vary from manufacturer because of the varying methods used to make them. Herbal supplements have no approved therapeutic claim so it will be best to seek medical advice from your doctor should you consider it as an adjunct to cancer treatment.

Conclusion: Although Ginkgo biloba has shows anticancer potential, it's use as an anti-cancer treatment needs further clinical research. There is no solid research proof that can be used to recommend ginkgo biloba to treat cancer.