|Ginkgo Protects the Liver and Kidneys from Uranium|
|Written by Roman Bystrianyk|
|Saturday, 13 March 2010 03:10|
Dating back to over 200 million years, ginkgo biloba is considered the oldest tree species on earth, with ginkgo trees having been known to live over an average of 1,000 years or more. Ginkgo has been shown to possess antioxidant activity and to aid in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with free radicals. The two groups of significant compounds found in ginkgo are flavonoids, such as myricetin and quercitin, which provide for the antioxidant action, and terpenes which help inhibit the formation of blood clots. These compounds decrease the injury that occurs due to free radicals. Studies have also shown that the toxic liver damage of acetaminophen, also commonly known as Tylenol, is reduced through the antioxidant effects of ginkgo.
Uranium is a radioactive element that is present in the environment from uranium mining, nuclear industry emissions, military applications, through the use of coal and other fuels, by the use of phosphate fertilizers, and as a result of being slowly released from natural deposits. Uranium is both radioactive and toxic with the liver and kidneys being the main targets of uranium's toxic effects and with reservoirs of Uranium concentrating in the kidneys and bones. Uranium ends up in the human body through eating or drinking it or by inhaling dust particles containing uranium.
A new study in Journal of Medicinal Food evaluates the ginkgo's role in protecting the body from the toxic effects of uranium on the principal targets of the liver and kidneys. The study authors examined mice exposed to uranium with some mice treated with varying amounts of ginkgo.
Similar to previous research this study found that mice treated with uranium showed "a significant liver damage" with the authors noting that the uranium's liver toxicity is probably the result of "on the one hand, the occurrence of the inflammatory state, and on the other hand, by direct toxic action of uranium on liver cells."
However, the mice treated with gingko showed a significant protective effect for the liver and kidneys against the negative effects of uranium. This shielding effect also increased with the greater amount of ginkgo used. "Gingko biloba had a protective effect against uranium-induced hepatotoxicity [toxic to the liver]and nephrotoxicity [toxic to the kidneys], and this effect is dose dependent."
The authors conaclude that "the result of the present study clearly demonstrated that subacute uranium toxicity induces oxidative damage in liver and kidneys. However, supplementation with ginkgo biloba extract protects against uranium toxicity, by reducing the effects of free radicals and preventing lipid peroxidative degradation of biomembranes. Therefore, the antioxidant role of ginkgo biloba may serve as a ‘toxicity-limiting agent' to reduce environmental effects of chemical and radioactive agents or may provide a new approach for understanding the mechanism of chemical toxicity."
SOURCE: Journal of Medicinal Food, 2010, 179-188
|Last Updated on Saturday, 13 March 2010 03:21|