Ginkgo does not promote bleeding

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New meta-analysis confirms great security of ginkgo extracts

Ginkgo biloba is one of the most intensively studied medicinal plants. Extracts from its leaves are used as medicines for dementia, memory disorders, dizziness or ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Ginkgo extracts have been shown to promote blood circulation. Doesn't this increase the tendency to bleed? A recently published meta-analysis eliminated this concern.

The fear that after taking ginkgo extracts there is a decrease in blood coagulation and thus an increased tendency to bleed has been repeatedly voiced. Diploma pharmacologist Andrea J. Kellermann and Dr. Charlotte Kloft from the University of Halle-Wittenberg therefore initially viewed 296 potentially relevant studies of international literature in English, French and German for a meta-analysis. After excluding publications that did not meet the strict requirements, the data from 18 studies with a total of 1,985 adults (including 53 percent women) were evaluated. For this world's first meta-analysis of blood flow and coagulation while taking ginkgo, all available parameters of blood flow such as flow behavior (viscosity), platelet aggregation, fibrinogen concentration, etc. were used.

The result: There was no connection between the proven phytopharmaceutical and abnormal bleeding (Pharmacotherapy 2011; 31 (5): 490-502). The standardized ginkgo extracts examined in the studies have a significant and clinically relevant positive effect on blood circulation, but do not lead to an increased tendency to bleed. There was no evidence of an increased bleeding risk in any of the studies analyzed.

The Halle scientists emphasize, however, that the result of their meta-analysis only applies to the intake of standardized ginkgo extracts that have been tested in clinical studies. In no way can it be transferred to other ginkgo-containing products such as teas, non-standardized preparations or food supplements. Their pharmacologically active and potentially toxic ingredients can deviate considerably from the scientifically researched standardized pharmaceutical extracts. (KFN 08/2011)

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