In a new study, researchers found the extract of the leaves of Ginkgo biloba, a popular dietary supplement, may offer benefits in fighting type 2 diabetes.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine and other institutes.
Gingko biloba is one of the oldest living tree species. Most Ginkgo products are made with extract prepared from leaves.
Most research on Gingko focuses on its effects on dementia and age-related memory impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease and pain caused by too little blood flow or claudication.
It is commonly available as an oral tablet, extract, capsule or tea. It is not toxic when used in low dosages, but can interact with other medicines.
Magnetized water, which has been passed through a magnetic field, has also been reported to reduce blood glucose, improve antioxidant status and lipid profiles in the body.
In this study, the team found that after having Ginkgo biloba and magnetized water added to mice diets, the mass of the pancreatic beta cells and the amount of insulin in these cells increased markedly, almost back to normal levels.
The finding shows in diabetic rats Ginkgo biloba had a very good effect on the beta cells of cells in the pancreas responsible for insulin secretion.
In addition, both Ginkgo biloba and magnetized water reduced the oxidative stress linked to type 2 diabetes.
The researchers say more work is needed to see the possible benefits for Type 2 diabetes. The current findings need to be tested in human clinical trials of large sample size.
They would not recommend eating raw or roasted Ginkgo seeds because they can be poisonous.
It should be taken as a capsule or in tablets if used. Also, if people are currently taking medications, they need to consult with their physicians before considering Ginkgo biloba.
The lead author of the study is Ahmed Saleh, Ph.D., Jazan University in Saudi Arabia.
The study is published in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity.
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