Minggu, 12 Oktober 2008

Ginkgo and Prevention of Stroke

The herbal remedy Ginkgo biloba may help prevent strokes, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The researchers induced strokes in mice after treating some of the mice with various doses of Ginkgo. The mice pretreated with Ginkgo had nearly 50 percent less brain damage after stroke than the untreated mice. The researchers speculate that Ginkgo may be protective against stroke because it increases the level of an antioxidant enzyme that eliminates free radicals. And free radicals reportedly have damaging effects in living cells, even after a stroke-causing clot is removed or dissolved.

Researchers caution that so far, the research has only been done on mice. Still, it’s encouraging to see herbal remedies being subjected to the same kind of careful scientific scrutiny that has traditionally been applied to therapeutic drugs. This is exactly what we had hoped for, as discussed in Human Biology 5th ed. in the Current Issue essay entitled “Antioxidants: Hope or Hype?” (pp. 42-43). In time perhaps we’ll know the real story behind herbal remedies, and not have to rely on anecdotes and hype.

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