Ginkgo biloba in type 2 diabetes Original paper

In this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, supplementation with ginkgo biloba improved blood parameters of vascular health in adults with type 2 diabetes.

This Study Summary was published on April 2, 2024.

Quick Summary

In this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, supplementation with ginkgo biloba improved blood parameters of vascular health in adults with type 2 diabetes.

What was studied?

The effects of supplementation with Ginkgo biloba (GKB) in the context of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

The following outcomes were evaluated:

  • Blood parameters related to vascular health: plasma viscosity (a marker of inflammation), hematocrit, velocity of the dorsalis pedis artery (the main blood supply to the foot and a marker of circulatory issues), and ankle brachial index (a test of blood flow to the legs)
  • Blood lipids: HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • Biomarkers of glycemic control: HbA1c and fasting glucose
  • Adverse effects

Who was studied?

A total of 1,573 men and women (average ages of 47–69) with T2D.

How was it studied?

A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials was performed. The studies were conducted in China (11 trials) and Iraq (2 trials).

Eleven trials compared GKB extract + metformin to metformin alone, 1 trial compared GKB extract to buflomedil (a drug that increases blood flow), and 1 trial compared GKB extract + a Chinese herbal medicine to a placebo. The intervention duration ranged from 1 to 3 years.

What were the results?

Supplementation with GKB improved several outcomes: plasma viscosity decreased (large effect size), hematocrit decreased (medium effect size), velocity of the dorsalis pedis artery increased (medium effect size), and ankle brachial index increased (medium effect size).

The risk of bias was low in 2 trials, unclear in 2 trials, and high in 9 trials.

Anything else I need to know?

The poor methodological quality of most of the trials included in the meta-analysis reduces our confidence in the findings.

This Study Summary was published on April 2, 2024.