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Is Ginkgo biloba safe?

Q. Dear Terry, “While I have had success with ginkgo, I recently heard on the Oz show that it may not have the benefits we think and also might be dangerous.  What is your take on this?” — Joan H., Green Bay, WI

A. Dear Joan, Despite the recent headlines, ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) continues to be safe to take.  Ginkgo has been the subject of numerous preclinical studies and dozens of human clinical trials and has been shown to have a long history of safe use and known benefits.

The study that Dr. Oz referred to is an animal study that was poorly done and significantly flawed.  The study used a very poor grade ginkgo that has a drastically different chemical composition than the ginkgo leaf extracts typically sold in the United States. In addition, the doses given to the rodents in the study were 55-108 times higher than the normal human levels of consumption of standardized ginkgo.

When it comes to ginkgo formulas, make sure you select one that is standardized to 24% ginkgoflavonglycosides and 6% terpene lactones. I know these words are kind of long and technical, but show them to your health food retailer, and they will get you connected to a quality product.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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