The extract of the leaves of Ginkgo biloba, a popular dietary supplement, may offer some therapeutic benefits in fighting Type 2 diabetes, according to new findings.
The researchers found that in diabetic rats, Ginkgo biloba had a very good effect on the beta cells of Langerhans–cells in the pancreas responsible for insulin secretion–by creating a restorative effect similar to what is seen in healthy non-diabetic rats.
“The extracts derived from Ginkgo biloba have been frequently used in traditional medicine and have been shown to exhibit antioxidant potency,” says Dr. Helal Fouad Hetta, of the University of Cincinnati Division of Digestive Diseases.
“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 diabetic rat models,” he explains.
How was the Study Conducted?
In this study, Type 2 diabetes was induced by feeding rats a high-fat-diet for eight weeks followed by intra-peritoneal injection of a single low dose of streptozotocin.
Forty rats were randomly assigned to four groups: a non-diabetic control group and three diabetic groups. One diabetic group served as a positive control (diabetic), while the other two groups were orally administered with water extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves and magnetized water for four weeks, respectively.
The pancreatic beta cells of diabetic rats are reduced and insulin secretion is curtailed.
After having Ginkgo biloba and magnetized water added to their diets, the mass of the pancreatic beta cells and the amount of insulin in these cells was shown to increase markedly, almost back to normal levels, particularly in the Ginkgo biloba-treated group, according to Hetta.
In addition, both Ginkgo biloba and magnetized water improved the anti-oxidant status and reduced the oxidative stress associated with Type 2 diabetes by down-regulation of the two antioxidant enzymes, glutathione and superoxide dismutase 2, in the pancreatic tissue.
Hetta acknowledges the findings for Ginkgo Biloba’s impact on Type 2 diabetes are preliminary.
“We still need more evidence about possible benefits for Type 2 diabetes so there is ongoing research,” says Hetta.
And, Hetta says the findings need to be tested in human clinical trials of large sample size.
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. Hetta says those that are currently taking medications should consult with their physicians before considering Ginkgo biloba.
The work was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia.
The authors of the study report no conflicts of interest in this work.
The study is published in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy.
- The University of Cincinnati. (2019, August 22). Ginkgo biloba may aid in treating type 2 diabetes. EurekAlert! Retrieved August 23, 2019, from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-08/uoc-gbm082219.php