Natural Products Association CEO John Shaw comments on a New York Times story about ginkgo biloba:
“On a daily basis, millions of consumers across the country turn to dietary supplements to improve their health and quality of life. Ginkgo biloba is one supplement that Americans have safely used for many years to support cognitive function. I’m disappointed that theNew York Times chose to highlight a study that challenges the safety of ginkgo biloba.
“NPA believes there are three major issues with the study from the National Toxicology Program. First, the study tested the effects of gingko biloba in animals, and these results cannot be directly translated to humans.
“Second, the lab animals in this study were given quantities of ginkgo biloba that were much higher than humans would consume. The New York Times story even points this out, noting that “doses used in toxicology studies tend to be very high.” Mice received up to 2,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight five times a week in this study; consumers take up to about 120 milligrams a day.
“Finally, it has been found that the ginkgo extract used in the NTP study was not the same high-quality type that has been used in clinical trials establishing the benefits and safety of ginkgo biloba. NPA echoes the American Botanical Council stating “it is highly unfortunate that NTP chose to use this ginkgo extract as it means that the results of the NTP’s studies are not applicable to the standard-setting ginkgo extracts.
“The NTP study and the accompanying story from the New York Times should not deter consumers from taking ginkgo biloba. We encourage those interested in taking a new dietary supplement to consult their health care professional.”