Posts Tagged ‘antioxidant’

Gingko Biloba NOT Associated with Risk of Bleeding

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

For years, doctors have been warning of a possible bleeding side effect of ginko biloba, an flavonoid and terpenoid antioxidant herb that has been found to have many beneficial effects in the body.

Some doctors worried about drug interactions with specific medications, have warned a patient not to use ginko biloba due to an increased risk of bleeding. This warning is normally reserved for NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and aspirin. However, doctors started lumping in gingko biloba with NSAIDs, as causing a potential bleeding interaction.

Although such concerns are very rare, sometimes doctors warn patients about possible side effects of gingko biloba used in combination with anticonvulsive drugs, SSRI antidepressants, and immunosuppressive drugs. However, such concerns are so rare that there may be only one or two case reports …which do not necessarily show a cause and effect of using gingko biloba and the medical concern. For example, Serotonin Syndrome can happen with any SSRI with or without gingko biloba. The fact that a person who experienced Serotonin Syndrome and happen to also be taking gingko biloba does not show a cause and effect. Why blame the gingko biloba, when it was the SSRI could cause this serious problem on its own?

In either case, we can cross the biggest concern that doctors have had about gingko biloba off the list, that of increasing the risk of bleeding.

This month (May 2011), a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies found that there is NOT an associated risk of bleeding with standardized ginko biloba extract. Andrea J Kellermann and Charlotte Kloft (2011). Is There a Risk of Bleeding Associated with Standardized Ginkgo biloba Extract Therapy? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Pharmacotherapy: Volume 31, Issue 5, pp. 490-502. (See reference link below.)

People can continue to use ginko biloba extract for many reasons, and now do so without the worry of abnormal bleeding; nor worry about drug interactions that are normally a concern with aspirin and other NSAIDs.

Eighteen randomized controlled studies involving a total of 1,985 adults were enrolled to receive either ginko biloba exract (GBE) or placebo; 87% were patients with dementia, peripheral artery disease, or diabetes mellitus; 13% were healthy volunteers. Based on meta-analysis of hemostasis outcomes, comparison of mean difference or baseline change between treatment and placebo groups did not indicate a higher bleeding risk associated with standardized GBE. (See reference below.)

In other words, ginko biloba extract does not increase the risk of bleeding problems as do NSAIDs.

Gingko biloba extract is often used alone, or even better, in conjunction with other nutritional supplements such as vitamin E, vitamin C, fish oil, grape seed extract, resveratrol, co-enzyme Q10, olive extract, tumeric extract, and many others, for multiple purposes. A partial list of some of these conditions that antioxidants such as gingko biloba extract and others have been shown to provide benefits are:

Macular Degeneration
Dementia in Alzheimer’s Disease
NON-Alzheimer’s Dementia
Mutliple Scelerosis

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Resveratrol, a “Drug” for the Pharmaceutical Companies?

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Last Sunday, CBS’s “60 Minutes” program ran a story about the incredible benefits of the antioxidant RESVERATROL, obtained from the skin of red grapes.  There are numerous medical studies showing the myriad benefits that resveratrol provides.  Like GRAPE SEED EXTRACT, resveratrol helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), can benefit those with autoimmune diseases, reduces the risk of age-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc., etc., ….and appears to slow the aging process itself! 

These benefits were extolled in the TV story about resveratrol.  All of it true, and known for at least a decade or more.

Now, this is what REALLY BOTHERED ME:  Not once during this story did they mention the words, “nutritional supplement” or “antioxidant.”  Instead, they kept referring to resveratrol as a “drug.”  As I watched, I couldn’t figure out why they kept saying “the drug,” rather than “the supplement,” or “the antioxidant.”  Then it became crystal clear what was happening.

The researchers in this story (and they are not the only researchers studying resveratrol) had formed a corporation and sold their lab (and souls) to a pharmaceutical company!  Ah-ha!  Furthermore, the sell-out researchers said how they are working on formulating a SYNTHETIC FORM of resveratrol that then can be distributed (sold for massive profit after a patent is obtained) by a pharmaceutical company.  You see, pharmaceutical companies cannot patent a naturally-occurring nutrient, and therefore cannot make huge profits.  That’s why they are always trying to come up with a synthetic form of an effective naturally-occurring substance.  

It’s not about giving people real information so we all can benefit now, it’s obviously about twisting or hiding the information so that they can make an insane profit.  Are they in it for TRUE HEALTH, or solely for the profit?  Certainly there is nothing wrong with making a profit, …the thing that bothers me is holding back what already works very well (and making a reasonable profit off of such sales), and making people believe that our salvation lies with the synthetic formulations that can only be provided from the pharmaceutical industry ….labled as “drugs” so that they can make crushing profits ….at our expense.

This is exactly what happened with the hormone drug Provera.  Decades ago progresterone was discovered from a plant source, and would work just fine in the human body, and would be the identical structure as that found in the human body (known as “bio-identical hormones”).  However, the pharmaceutical company could not make big profits off of the natural form, and therefore tinkered with the molecule until they got it to work (partially), and then could sell it as “Provera.”  However, it does not have all the benefits of progesterone, and there are suggestions that it may increase the risk for heart disease and breast cancer.  But, to the pharmaceutical companies the profit is worth the risk.

Now we have pharmaceutical companies trying to take powerful, effective, safe, and available antioxidant nutrients like resveratrol, and make them into a synthetic form so that they can claim they have a “miracle drug” that provides so many benefits.  On “60 Minutes” the scientists said that the “drug would be ready in about 5 years or so.”

Well, the antioxidant nutrient ALREADY EXISTS!  You can get the benefits of resveratrol (and grape seed extract, and turmeric extract, and others) NOW!  Unfortunately, the pharmacuetical companies know that doctors, the media, and most people only accept such news to as “real” when a pharmaceutical company announces its findings.  Unfortunatley, too few of people realize that there are amazing benefits that they can be enjoying now from many antioxidant nutrients, including resveratrol. 

Don’t be a victim to pharmaceutical company greed.  Don’t wait to obtain the benefits “5 years from now.” Start enjoying the benefits of resveratrol, grape seed extract, turmeric extract now.  (See some of the ”In the News” updates here on my website about turmeric extract, co-enzyme Q10, vitamin D, etc.)