Ginkgo Biloba, ginkgolides may help prevent ovarian cancer
By American Association for Cancer Research - News Release
Nov 1, 2005, 09:56
Possible Chemoprevention of Ovarian Cancer by the Herbal, Ginkgo Biloba
Researchers in Boston, led by Drs. Bin Ye and Daniel Cramer of Brigham and Women's Hospital, have developed new laboratory and epidemiological evidence that demonstrates, for the first time, that ginkgo biloba appears to lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
In a population-based study which involved more than 600 ovarian cancer cases and 640 healthy, matched controls, women who took ginkgo supplements for six months or longer were shown to have a 60 percent lower risk for ovarian cancer.
Ye and his colleagues found that ginkgo, echinacea, St. John's Wort, ginseng, and chondroitin were the most commonly used herbals among study participants. A further analysis of the data showed that ginkgo was the only herb linked to ovarian cancer prevention. The preventive effect was more pronounced in women with non-muncious ovarian cancers, with data showing that ginkgo may reduce the risk of this type of ovarian cancer by 65-70 percent. "Among the mixture of ginkgo chemicals," said Ye, "we found laboratory evidence that ginkgolide A and B--terpene compounds--are the most active components contributing to this protective effect."
Ye's team, which included scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, Boston University and Linden Bioscience, next took the evidence demonstrated by their population studies to the laboratory. In vitro experiments showed that a low dosage of ginkgolide caused ovarian cancer cells to stop growing. They observed significant cell cycle blockage in non-mucinous ovarian cancer cells. Ginkgolides appeared to be less effective against the mucinous type of ovarian cancer cells.
"While the detailed mechanism of ginkgo action on ovarian cancer cells is not yet well understood," Ye explained, "from the existing literature it most likely that ginkgo and ginkgolides are involved in anti-inflammation and anti-angiogenesis processes via many extra- and intra-cellular signal pathways. In the future, these findings could potentially offer a new strategy for ovarian cancer prevention and therapy, using the active forms of ginkgolides."
I've been taking Gingko since I saw this study early this year. I'm on chemo now so I've stopped it for now. But when I'm finished with chemo, I'll certainly start it again. I've had brain surgery twice and its very good for the brain also. I asked my neurosurgeon after surgery was over whether he thought I could take it and he said yes after a few months. This herb is one that you don't want to take before surgery. It is much like aspirin where it thins the blood. When you're on chemo the doctors and nurses always tell you not to use aspirin but tylenol.
I was digagnosed in 1998 aged 51 - no children, got married for the first time in 1997 and of all the people I know I am the only one who has eaten healthy meals all my life with more than five fruit and veg a day and polenty of exercise and fresh air, haed a sheep farm in the hills of Scotland. It sometimes upsets me when I read this sort of article - how did I get cancer if the reports of what to eat and drink suggest you will not get cancer. I would say if you eat and drink natural things with little or preferably no preservatives your body will have a better chance of fighting the disease. Don't beat yourself up by thinking you could have stopped it I do not believe that is possible - I'm an example. I will say I do drink Ginkgo teasand will continue to try and help myself whenever I can as well as taking all the help available from the doc5tors.
OVCA does seem to hit "healthy" people. My daughter also was the picture of health all her life. Age 49, had over 600 sick leave hours built up at work. Even the Doctor at Mayo was surprised, as she had none of the so called markers for OVCA. It seems to be entirely up to the individuals immune system. We all carry cancer cells, but usually our immunity keeps them under control. If there is any preventive out there, it will be a substance that keeps the cancer cell from splitting. My thoughts are, that there are many claims for natural cancer cell killers, but since each individual is different, then each person needs to try a varity of things. Leslee is trying a few of the more securely researched products. Time will tell.
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