Gingko Biloba May Protect from Radiation

November 05, 2009

Extracts from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree may protect cells from radiation, state scientists from the Korean Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences. The Ginkgo tree is different from many herbal remedies since it is a unique species with no living relatives, and is a popular example of a living fossil with individual trees living for thousands of years and in fact it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

The scientists collected white blood cells from healthy people aged 18 to 50 years old. They treated half of the cell samples with a commercially available Ginkgo biloba extract and treated the other half with a saline solution. They then compared the effects of gamma radiation from radioactive cesium on the white blood cells. They discovered that one in three of the untreated cells died while only one in twenty of the cells treated with the Ginkgo biloba extract died (that's a third to a twentieth a huge difference). Additional studies with mice showed a similar protective effect against radiation poisoning. The research suggests that Ginkgo biloba extracts can neutralize free radicals radiation produces and prevent healthy cells from dying. Ginkgo has Ginkgoflavonglycosides and terpenoids; two very powerful groups of antioxidants. The study is published in the International Journal of Low Radiation , 2009, 6, 209-218