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Ginkgo Biloba supplement may help in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, according to new studies

Ginkgo Biloba may help improve diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common microvascular complication of diabetes, and remains a major cause of preventable blindness among adults at working age. The treatment of diabetic retinopathy is mostly done with Laser photocoagulation therapy. However, recent studies have suggested that ginkgo biloba can help avert diabetic retinopathy, with no serious side effects.


Chronic hyperglycaemia is believed to be the primary factor for inducing damage to retinal cells. Diabetic retinopathy is characterized by microaneurysms, inter-retinal oedema, haemorrhages, intraocular pathological neovascularization and exudates (fluid that filters from the circulatory system into lesions or areas of inflammation).

The treatment of Diabetic retinopathy with Ginkgo biloba may help diabetic patients in 3 ways:

1) Ginkgo biloba has been shown to improve haemorrheological abnormalities

Long - term diabetics have been observed to have a deterioration of the flow properties of blood, which is called Hemorrheological abnormalities. But, a study from the Medical University of Taiwan on 25 patients with type 2 diabetes, has found that 3 months of oral ginkgo biloba supplementation is able to improve Hemorrheological abnormalities in the following ways:

Reducing the marker of oxidative stress called malondialdehyde (MDA) on erythrocytes membranes (red blood cells);

Decreasing fibrinogen levels, which is a glycoprotein in vertebrates that helps in the formation of blood clots;

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Promoting erythrocytes deformability, which refers to the ability of erythrocytes (red blood cells, RBC ) to change shape under a given level of applied stress;

Improving blood viscosity and viscoelasticity, which may facilitate blood perfusion;

It also effectively improves retinal capillary blood flow rate in type 2 diabetic patients with retinopathy.

2) Ginkgo Biloba helps to improve vision deficits common in diabetic retinopathy

A study on diabetic retinopathy has found that patients with DR have a Blue-Yellow Vision Deficit. But a double-blind trial of 29 diabetic subjects, with an early diabetic retinopathy, has concluded that there was an improvement in color vision evolution in the subjects treated with ginkgo biloba, who were given the supplement for 6 months.

3) Ginkgo biloba is Antihyperglycemic and antioxidant

A research on the effects of ginkgo biloba on diabetic rats, has observed that oral ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) has tremendous effects on Serum lipid profile, antioxidant enzymes in hepatic and pancreatic tissue. Prior to treatment, diabetic rats had significant decreases in body weight and antioxidant ability and increases in blood glucose, lipid profile, and lipid peroxidation. However the administration of Ginkgo biloba extract daily for 30 days in diabetic rats reversed the above parameters significantly. GBE possesses antihyperglycemic, antioxidant, and antihyperlipidemia activities.

With the promising results on ginkgo biloba’s effectiveness in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, it is worth knowing more about this plant and contacting a naturopath herbalist in order to find out the best Ginkgo biloba products available in the market.